NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The man who took Derek Jeter’s place at shortstop is doing his best to win a Jeter-esque place in the hearts of Yankees faithful.
Didi Gregorius hit home runs in consecutive at-bats Wednesday night against the Cleveland Indians to power the Yankees into the American League Championship Series.
“This guy’s unbelievable,” Yankees fan David Bautiste told CBS2’s Tony Aiello. “I expected it. He’s very athletic. He’s a very talented guy. (Yankees general manager) Brian Cashman just did a hell of a job bringing him in. He’s just amazing.”
At Modell’s in Times Square on Thursday, his T-shirt was temporarily sold out. Beverly Durbino got the last one.
“I’m sending this to my grandson in Texas,” she said. “And he’s a die-hard Yankee fan, and I love Didi, and I love the Yankees.” Gregorius was born in the Netherlands, not known as a hotbed of baseball. He grew up on Curacao, in the Dutch Caribbean, which has turned out about a dozen major leaguers.
When Jeter in 2014, Gregorius drew and posted a tribute, months before the Yankees traded for him to take Jeter’s spot at shortstop.
“To follow Jeter’s footsteps was amazing, just to see how he played for 20 years,” Gregorius said in the documentary “Day in the Life: Didi Gregorius. “He’s an icon there. Nobody’s going to replace him.”
To be sure, for all the excitement about Gregorius, he’s still five World Series titles short of “The Captain.”
But Gregorius does have one title which so far has eluded Jeter — “Sir.” For his success with the Netherlands’ national team, the Dutch King named Gregorius a “knight of the Order Orange-Nassau.” If he keeps this up, he may end up king of the city.