Fellow Athletes Oblivious To The Captain's Renown During Meet-And-Greet In Japan


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — We know Derek Jeter as the legendary former captain of the New York Yankees. A five-time World Series champion, the Bombers’ all-time hits leader and a future first-ballot Hall of Famer.

But to a pair of sumo wrestlers, he’s just another face in the crowd.

Jeter is in Japan to co-host a charity baseball game and clinic this weekend with former Yankees teammate Hideki Matsui. On Thursday, Jeter and girlfriend Hannah Davis took in the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka, and one of the wrestlers had no idea he was meeting a superstar.

“I didn’t realize who it was,” Chiyomaru said, according to The Japan Times. “You have to tell me earlier.”

Another sumo star, Tochiozan, put the longtime shortstop out of position: “He was a catcher or something like that, wasn’t he?”

Still, he’s Jeter, which means he’s not going totally unnoticed halfway across the world. The 40-year-old was all smiles in a photo opportunity with grand champion Hakuho and was the subject of some high praise from Japan Sumo Association chairman Kitanoumi.

“He was an amazing athlete,” Kitanoumi said. “He’s pretty tall, isn’t he?”

Derek Jeter (R) shakes hands with sumo grand champion Hakuho after watching the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka, Japan on March 19, 2015. (Photo by Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images)

Derek Jeter (R) shakes hands with sumo grand champion Hakuho after watching the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka, Japan on March 19, 2015. (Photo by Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images)