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Joe Namath Calls Yankees Shortstop Derek Jeter An ‘Angel’

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Joe Namath and Derek Jeter (Sweeny Murti/WFAN)

Joe Namath and Derek Jeter (Sweeny Murti/WFAN)

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TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — From one legend to another. Broadway Joe was filled with praise for Mr. November.

Joe Namath says Yankees captain Derek Jeter is an “angel” for his life on and off the field.

The quarterback was at New York’s spring training game Monday against the Washington Nationals to throw the ceremonial first pitch. Wearing a Yankees No. 12 uniform, Namath took out the starting lineup before the game to the umpires.

“Over all the years, I’ve learned to respect what teammates and coaches have to say about the guys they work with, and I’ve only heard wonderful compliments about him,” Namath said. “And then we get to see him in person, or on the television, or how he conducts himself away from the game, or off the field. The scrutiny that he’s had over the years, and I can’t imagine how the guy could be an angel like this over the years. He’s to be respected for every phase of his life it seems.

“Many of us fell short in some of that, but learned to bounce back,” Namath added. “It’s human to err, and I know about that. We do our best to come back. Derek hasn’t made many errors that I’ve been able to witness.”

When asked what Namath’s comments meant to him, Jeter smiled and responded: “Puts a lot of pressure on me.”

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Jeter caught Namath’s pitch.

“He’s special,” Namath said. “Some of the things in life that athletes, people in the public eye go through, I can relate to a bit. But his career, where he’s been, what he’s done, I can’t relate to all that.”

Surrounded by reporters in the Yankees clubhouse, Jeter noted how things have changed since Namath led the Jets to victory over the Baltimore Colts in the 1969 Super Bowl after guaranteeing a New York victory.

“Less Internet back them” Jeter said. “Stories go viral now.”

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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