KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter returned to his hometown of Kalamazoo Wednesday to surprise 125 young baseball players.
The children were at the Mayor’s Riverfront Park participating in a baseball clinic put on by Turn 2 Foundation when the organization’s founder showed up.
Jeter was a standout athlete at Kalamazoo Central High School before he went on to play 20 seasons with the Yankees. He was part of five World Series championships.
He credited strong support at home for his feats on the field and what he and his family has accomplished with the Turn 2 Foundation.
“Growing up, we learned all of our family values through playing sports. So that was something we did together as a family. And we learned a lot of lessons through sports,” Jeter said.
“When you’re younger, this is when your mind is shaped and the people around you are extremely important. I’ve always been biased, saying we have the greatest parents in the world. We got a lot of support growing up and we want to give these kids that same support,” Jeter added.
This is the 20th anniversary of the Turn 2 Foundation, which has donated more than $23 million to organizations that support its mission of motivating youth to turn away from drugs and alcohol and turn to healthy lifestyles.