07/17/2002 8:07 pm ET
Jeter "#1 Good Guy in Pro Sports"
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter added another item to his already impressive resume on Wednesday, as The Sporting News named the Yankees shortstop as the "#1 Good Guy in Pro Sports."
For the past five years, The Sporting News has selected a player whose off-field accomplishments and character make him a symbol for all that is right about sports. Jeter joined football players Darrell Green and Derrick Brooks and hoopsters David Robinson and Dikembe Mutombo as the annual winners.
"This is a prestigious award, and I'm honored to receive it," Jeter said. "It means a lot. I had an opportunity to look through the magazine, see some of the guys in there. It means more when you can do some things off the field to help out. On the field is great, it's our job and what we do every day. But if you can affect a child's life off the field, that means much more to me. I'm very proud of the number of children we've been able to help over the years."
The award was presented at Yankee Stadium before Wednesday's game against the Detroit Tigers, as John Rawlings, Senior VP & Editorial Director of The Sporting News presented the All-Star shortstop with a crystal trophy.
"The research for this issue makes all of us proud to be covering the gifted and giving athletes whose deeds are often unnoticed by fans," Rawlings said. "Sports today is very much about athletes 'giving back,' and Derek Jeter epitomizes this with the life he is leading."
Jeter was selected the overall "good guy" among hundreds of nominees in the four major team sports covered by The Sporting News. The issue lists more than 75 players worthy of acclaim, with each sport also producing an overall selection. Toronto's Carlos Delgado topped the list of 17 Major Leaguers.
The July 22 issue features Jeter on the cover, as well as a profile of the shortstop. The story focuses on Jeter's "Turn 2 Foundation," which is administered by his parents.
"I started the foundation in 1996, and it's gone above and beyond any expectations that I had," said Jeter, who was inspired as a youngster by Dave Winfield's foundation for children. "He had a foundation for kids, and I thought that was really cool. Here's a professional athlete giving back to the community, and that's something I always wanted to do."
Jeter's mother, Dorothy, and his sister, Sharlee, were in attendance as Jeter received his award.
"This is a family foundation, and it's been a pleasure -- and sometimes it's been hard -- to work with my family. I accept this award on behalf of my family," Jeter said. "It shows that the foundation has grown over the years. We've done a lot of things, and hopefully we can continue to grow."
In addition to Jeter and Delgado, the following big leaguers were also selected as "good guys" by the magazine: Wilson Alvarez, Doug Glanville, Rusty Greer, Roberto Hernandez, Bobby Higginson, Randy Johnson, Jason Kendall, Al Leiter, Mike Matheny, Russ Ortiz, Ivan Rodriguez, Curt Schilling, Greg Vaughn, Jose Vidro and Dan Wilson.
"We think that it's particularly relevant at a time when there is a fair amount of bad news about athletes, that we stand back and bring our readers the good accomplishment of professional athletes," said Rawlings.
Jeter said that many athletes are involved with charity and their communities, though most choose not to make a big deal out of it.
"I think a lot of athletes are involved," Jeter said. "They give back to the community, but not necessarily for the publicity."
For more information on the Turn 2 Foundation, log on to www.turn2foundation.org.
Mark Feinsand covers the Yankees for MLB.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.