GREENWICH, Conn. -- As summer fades into fall, so does New York Yankees great shortstop Derek Jeter as he finishes his illustrious career in the next couple of weeks.
A pair of Yankee fans from Greenwich, Joseph Vizzo and his nephew Joseph Marini, said they admire how Jeter has handled himself so well both on and off the field.
"The most important thing to me was how he conducted himself, not only has a player, but as a human being," Vizzo said approvingly after rhyming off a list of Jeter's positive personal qualities. "A lot of class, a lot of class."
Vizzo spoke at Chicken Joe's restaurant at 231 E. Putnam Ave. in Cos Cob, which Marini operates.
"He kept himself in shape, you didn't see him partying a lot," Vizzo said. "He didn't do anything in excess. He just kept himself prepared to play baseball every time he was called. Not too many players can say that, especially after 20 years."
But Vizzo said is a bit conflicted about Jeter's impending retirement.
"I wish he could play another year, but I think it's time now that he's retiring this year," he said.
Vizzo, who graduated from Greenwich High School in 1969 as an all-county catcher, played one year at Miami Dade College, where a teammate was future Yankees' great Bucky Dent.
Vizzo said there will never be anyone else like Jeter.
"It's like asking if there is going to be another Michael Jordan," Vizzo said. "You won't see another Derek Jeter."
Both men praised Jeter's parents and said much of his success can be attributed to how he was raised.
"It starts at home. They did a great job and they should take a bow," Marini said.
Marini said that in nearly every season there were other shortstops who were more talented and had gaudier offensive numbers. But he said Jeter shined in two areas: his longevity and his ability to get a hit when it mattered.
"He wasn't the best player. But he got it done when he had to get it done," Marini said. "The other players were all great players, but they weren't clutch hitters like him."
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