Fans of the Miami Marlins joined the players in heaping praise on potential new owner Derek Jeter on Tuesday.
Jeter is part of a group that reportedly won a bidding war to purchase the team from Jeffrey Loria. The sale is not finalized as of yet, but that could happen before the season comes to an end. If the sale completes, Jeter would be a member of an ownership group that includes former Florida governor Jeb Bush and other investors.
During his legendary playing career, Jeter won multiple titles with the New York Yankees. The shortstop was known for his excellent work ethic and his leadership ability. Jeter served as the team captain for New York and some of his former teammates chimed in with their thoughts following the sale report.
“(He’s) just a guy who cares about winning,” David Phelps said. “That’s number one in his mind, regardless of what he’s doing. I think it’s going to carry over into whatever his next endeavor is."
“He’s a baseball icon,” said Martin Prado. “He’s a role model for all of us. Playing with him was actually a privilege.”
"He’s very aware and somebody that is graceful, somebody that has common sense. I think it’s a miracle that we have somebody like that in baseball,” added Ichiro Suzuki.
The positive comments for Jeter also came from the stands, with several Marlins fans adding their own thoughts.
"So happy Jeter's name is involved and will play an active role. Huge for the team changing public and league perception," said Marlins fan Brodie of Iowa.
"Derek Jeter is literally the anti Loria for those New York transplanted fans who swear they would never cheer this team. If they didn't want Loria, Jeter is like their dream guy to own this team," added Dennis Baquero who has been a fan of the Marlins since their inaugural season.
"His good public image should help turn around the perception of the franchise, one would hope," fellow long-time Marlins fan Michael Theed said.
If the Jeter group can finalize the purchase, the other 29 teams would then have an opportunity to weigh in. Major League Baseball requires at least 75 percent of the owners to approve any sale.