Students Seek Star Shortstop’s Signature

Students flocked to see New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter work out on the UT track last Tuesday.

Jeter was spotted before noon finishing his training near the stands of Pepin Stadium.

Sophomore Daniel Davis and junior Tim Perez spotted Jeter and approached him with baseballs.

“He told us, ‘If I sign yours, I am going to have to sign one for everyone,’ but he signed it anyway,” said Davis. “I just think it’s exciting that the New York Yankees’ team captain trains at Tampa University.”

Jeter claims Tampa as his primary residence, a move disputed by New York tax officials who want him to pay income tax in the state. The New Jersey native has listed Tampa as his official residence since 1994. New York officials want a cut of his $20 million salary from each of the last three years, according to court papers.

Despite the legal trouble, Jeter spent the morning working out in the middle of campus.

“He kept asking people, ‘Don’t you all have class or something?'” said Davis.

A large number of people crowded around Jeter as he walked off the track.

“It was kind of crazy that someone his status would come here to train,” said sophomore Drew Leto. “Out of all the places that Derek Jeter could train, he came here.”

As students raced back to their rooms to get baseballs for Jeter to sign, others called their friends to gloat about their luck. People followed Jeter all the way back to his car in the West parking garage.

“My baseball went from being worth nothing, to quite something,” said Leto. “I hit a homerun with it in high school, and now it has Jeter’s signature.”

A small group of Red Sox fans walked by and chanted, “Championship! Championship,” in reference to Boston’s recent World Series victory. The Yankees were knocked out of the playoffs by the Cleveland Indians in the American League Divisional Series.

Jeter isn’t the only professional athlete to train at UT. Sergio Perez, a member of the 2006 National Champion UT baseball team, was drafted by the Houston Astros and works out on campus. Students have reported seeing members of the Tampa Bay Lightning training on campus as well.

Most of the athletes are working with Eric Hall and Raphael Ruiz. Both Hall and Ruiz are athletic trainers for Spartan sports teams, but they also take on personal clients.

Fans who hope to catch a glimpse of their favorite athlete working out on campus should try to wake up earlier. Athletes show up on inconsistent schedules and are usually done by 9 a.m.

Leave a Reply

Back To Top