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As a reporter, I never much cared for Derek Jeter. His quotes are canned and terrible, his emotions never come out, he’s as guarded as a social security check.

As a baseball guy, however, how can’t you appreciate the guy?

Is Derek Jeter an all-time, all-time, all-time great, a la Mantle, Ruth, Rickey Henderson, Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, etc? No. But he is an all-time great—the shortstop with the most hits, a four-time World Series champ, an undisputed leader and grinder.

That’s why, I truly believe, Jeter may way become the first unanimous Hall of Same selection.

I really do.

I know … I know—some moron voter will make a stand by voting NO; his chance to say, “If Ruth wasn’t unanimous, Jeter shouldn’t be.” But let’s think about this for a moment. In the modern era, Mike Piazza would qualify as a unanimous Hall of Famer—but his defense was horrid, and he used PED. Alex Rodriguez would qualify, but he also used PED, and was an oft-toxic clubhouse presence. Mariano Rivera is certainly worthy, but some dillweed will always punish a closer. Barry Bonds—ha! Manny Ramirez—double ha!

But Jeter, well, Jeter is perfect. First, look at his lifetime statistics. Second, look at the three Gold Gloves (yes, his defense isn’t what it once was. But, in 2009, it’s been very good). Third, look at the four titles. Fifth, look at the captaincy. Sixth, look at the clutch situations—especially The Flip against Oakland. Seventh, look at the dignified way he carries himself.

I thought it utterly insane that Rickey Henderson had a handful of voters who didn’t support his Hall bid, but the Rickster was, factually, arrogant and a wee-bit selfish. He didn’t deserve any Nays, but he didn’t always carry himself with professionalism.

Jeter is, for lack of a better word, perfect.

To vote against the man would be illogical. And downright stupid.

Jeff Pearlman is a writer.