Every time Derek Jeter arrives in a new city this year, he gets a ton of gifts lavished on him by teams wanting to honor him during his retirement season. The White Sox bestowed a bonanza of stuff on Jeter before Sunday’s game, including a miniature bench crafted out of balls and bats, a sample of infield dirt from U.S. Cellular Field and a $5,000 donation to Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation.
The bench needs a little bit of explaining. Turns out, the item was actually designed and made by a company owned by former White Sox slugger Ron Kittle. So that’s what Ron Kittle has been up to since his retirement.
How do we grade the White Sox on their Jeter gifts? I’m giving them a solid B+ for creativity with the miniature bench. That was some outside-the-box thinking. Giving them a C- for the dirt because that is just too obvious. Plus, why the hell would he want dirt from U.S. Cellular? If you had some dirt still laying around from Comiskey Park and you gave him that, I’d say cool gift.
The donation thing is troublesome. A for the thought, but D for the amount. $5,000 sounds like a healthy donation until you realize that, earlier this year, the Mets gave Jeter’s foundation $22,222.22 (cause Jeter’s number is 2). The White Sox just look like cheapskates with the $5,000. Hell, even the Brewers gave the foundation $10,000 and they’re just about the cheapest franchise in the league.
Overall, giving the White Sox a B for their effort. Good job not going with the region-specific gift like L.A. did with the paddle board and Houston did with the cowboy boots. What would be a Chicago-specific gift anyway, a free bullet to the thigh?