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After Pandemic Delay, Yankees Great Derek Jeter Inducted Into Baseball Hall Of Fame

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter was finally inducted Wednesday into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The ceremony had been delayed for more than a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Yankees scout by the name of Dick Groch said of Jeter prior to the 1992 MLB draft, "He's not going to the University of Michigan. The only place Derek Jeter is going is Cooperstown."

Derek Jeter Baseball Hall of Fame
Derek Jeter speaks during the 2021 Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Clark Sports Center on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021 in Cooperstown, New York. (Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Groch was not at the ceremony Wednesday, but he was at home, very likely smiling ear to ear as his prediction came true, CBS2's Otis Livingston reported.

In front of a massive crowd of Yankees fans, Hall of Famers and celebrities, including Michael Jordan and Knicks legend Patrick Ewing, the long-time Bronx Bombers captain was finally inducted.

"I forgot how good that feels," Jeter said of the wild applause he received.

Jeter enjoyed a 20-year career, all with the Yankees, and retired as the franchise's leader with 3,465 hits and 2,747 games played.

But as Yankees fans would agree, the legendary shortstop is best known as a winner, helping the Bombers capture five World Series titles.

The first line of his plaque reads, "Heartbeat of a Yankee dynasty," and he paid special tribute to Yankees fans.

"There is only one thing in my life that I wanted to be, and that was the shortstop for the New York Yankees. And now, I'm a Yankee forever, and without question, you helped me get here today as much as any individual I've mentioned," Jeter said. "You can't be fooled. There's a huge responsibility that comes with wearing a Yankee uniform, and just because you have it on doesn't guarantee you anything. You know, you have to earn it. You demanded that I earn it. Every single day, whether it was during the season or in the offseason, I felt as though I was representing you and I was representing all of New York.

"And I had one goal during my career, and that was to win more than everyone else, and we did," Jeter added.

Many wondered if Jeter would cry on Wednesday because he has always been known for his stealth composure. But he didn't shed a tear. He finished his speech with a message to all the young players in the game.

"It's more than just a game. You know, the greatest to ever play in the Hall of Fame family, they're all watching, and I personally cannot wait to welcome a few of you on this very stage, just as I have been by so many others. So thank you all once again. It has been a hell of a ride," Jeter said.

Jeter thanked many during his speech, including late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, whom he said challenged him and at times publicly embarrassed people. The "Boss" wanted to know if Jeter had what it took and the Yankees were big winners because of that.

Other members of the 2020 class include Ted Simmons, Larry Walker and the late Marvin Miller.

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