HBO Sports And MLB Productions' Documentary About Derek Jeter Is A Home Run

Jeter 3000th hit

Photo: AP

Derek Jeter is a fairly reserved guy.Sure, he gives a press conference after practically every game and he dates gorgeous women who aren’t strangers to magazine covers, but Jeter plays his cards close to the vest.

The allure of HBO Sports and Major League Baseball Productions’ documentary Derek Jeter 3K is how much The Captain lets his guard down and the cameras in. 

Derek Jeter 3K is a film about Derek’s chase for 3,000 hits and the emotions he felt while trying to become the first New York Yankee ever to reach the historic number. Most of the filming took place between June 13, 2011 and the days immediately following July 9th, the day Jeter eclipsed the mark with a five-for-five showing.

“I didn’t think about what the moment would be like, I just wanted to experience it with those fans.” Those are the first words Jeter utters in the entire documentary, and they set the tone for one of the film’s main themes: humility.

Derek Jeter has everything he could ever want in the world, yet time and time again throughout the movie’s duration, Jeter talks about other people or how he’s interacting with others.

Jeter addresses how heavily he resisted being placed on the disabled list with a relatively minor calf strain. His qualms come not only from wanting to play, but the fear he was disappointing people.

The cameras followed Derek to his rehab assignments and showed his interactions with coaches and assistants that have names no baseball fan would take the time to research in order to figure out who they are. Jeter knew them all by name and a had a story for each one of them.

While he was hurt, Jeter celebrated his 37th birthday in Tampa with a few of his closest friends. Among those friends was former teammate Gerald Williams. By coincidence, his birthday was the same day as this year’s Old-Timers’ Day. Jeter spent his birthday watching the game quietly with his buddies.

“Bernie [Williams] at Old-Timer’s Day. And Tino. Gah!” Derek’s comical realisation of his age was possibly the only time in the movie where he expressed any dismay about anything.

Despite a few down seasons, the Bomber faithful have not ran him out on a rail is because Derek Jeter is a great dude if Derek Jeter 3K is truly any indication.

There are few flaws to Derek Jeter 3K. The music can get a bit monotonous just like the other professional sport league’s produced movies, but that’s a minor annoyance. The production quality is fantastic especially considering in how little time it was made. Also, Derek’s apartment is amazing and we get to see a lot of it.

Just by opening the blinds that cover the window that peers into Derek Jeter’s soul, HBO and MLB hit a home run here. It’s safe to think of DJ3K as the Yankees’ answer to ESPN’s Four Days In October, and it took a lot of heart to even come close to matching that.

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