Over his 20 years in Major League Baseball, Derek Jeter made an impact not only on baseball, but on New York and the sports scene in general.
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has often told of how Jeter mentored him in a way when Eli struggled after being drafted by the Giants in 2001, and the dozens of farewell tributes from athletes of all walks and in all cities Jeter received over the last few weeks show just what an impact he has had on everyone.
That list was added to on Monday, with props this time coming from a man who himself was quickly thrust into the middle of the Big Apple's brightest lights a decade ago, but did so coming from a overseas and knowing little of The Captain and his legacy.
"It was cool to come here, not being used to baseball, and see how much of an impact he has had on the game and the people of this city," New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist told YES Network's Seth Rothman Monday after the Blueshirts' preseason victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. "I think he's been an inspiration for me and probably a lot of athletes in New York, to see how he came in and handled everything, on and off the field."
Lundqvist has been referred to colloquially as "King Henrik" throughout his career, and after helping lead the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Finals last season, he, along with two-time Super Bowl Champion Manning among others, is one who may be on the precipice of "replacing" Jeter as the face of New York sports.
But to the All-Star net-minder, as much as he could try to emulate the way Jeter handled himself, The Captain's shoes aren't that easily fillable.
"He's a true class act, and at the level he's been at for so many years, that's impressive," Lundqvist said. "(Jeter's retirement is) going to leave a big hole I think, but (he has) been fun to watch."