Derek Jeter has been in the news a lot lately. He went 2-for-2 in his final All-Star game last night, but did not get the MVP nod. I watched his post-game interview, and I think his career offers parallels to the trucking industry.
Jeter has been a professional baseball player for 22 years, all with the Yankees. The Captain was an important part of five World Series wins for the team. Jeter is reliable to the point of heroism; by 2005, he had more career hits than the great Lou Gehrig. He was lifelong a model of sportsmanship, a gentleman athlete.
But Jeter turned 40 this year, his batting average is down to .272, compared to his career average of .311, and he scored only two home runs and 25 RBIs. Jeter will be paid $12 million for this, his final season. Is that a good value for the team? Sure. The fans love him, myself included.
So, what is the connection between Derek Jeter and the trucking industry (besides the fact that I think about either trucking or baseball for pretty much all of my waking hours)?
Like Jeter, trucking has performed extremely well for decades under almost all conditions. Trucking is one of the more expensive modes of transportation, mile for mile. but it provides excellent value. Trucking is steady and reliable, and it is an integral part of "the team" in every successful supply chain operation. The industry has had some great years and some "off" years, but if you want freight to arrive at a specific place and time, trucking delivers. Just like Derek Jeter.
Trucking deserves tremendous respect -- or RE2PECT, as in Jeter's jersey number-turned-logo. I'm proud to be a part of this industry.
Photo by Andrew Theodorakis, New York Daily News