By Bruce Levine-
(CBS) — Comparing Derek Jeter and Starlin Castro may be a stretch at best, as a separation of 2,600 hits and 15 years of experience make the line between the two talents hard to connect.
Jeter has only played a handful of games at Wrigley Field during his 20 years of travels around baseball, but this week is still memorable to the Yankee icon as New York visits Chicago.
“I remember coming here to watch games,” he said. “I remember my last day of high school coming here with my parents. We drove to see a Cub game. There is a lot of history and tradition with the Cubs here. I am glad I have an opportunity to play here this year.”
As early as 2011, Castro said that he wanted to have a career like Jeter’s. The two are different types of players, yet special baseball talents in many ways. Jeter has been the focal point of Yankee superiority since 1995. A less-than-stellar minor league season saw the future Hall of Fame Jeter make 50 errors in the minor leagues in a single season. That bump in the road had zero impact on his Yankee career once he made it to the major leagues.
“A lot of shortstops have come up and worn No. 2,” Jeter said. “When I met them, they said they were fans or their mom and dad liked me. I have not seen Castro a lot, (but) still what I have seen has been impressive. He has played well to this point, and I think he will only get better.”
Former Cub Alfonso Soriano has played with both shortstops in his career. Soriano was a kid in 2000 when he was tutored by Jeter, Bernie Williams and Mariano Rivera. He returned to the Yankees last July when the Cubs traded him.
“Castro has the power and talent to hit 30 home runs,” Soriano said. “It depends on him how good he gets. He has the talent. We need to see how much he wants it. If he wants to be a superstar (like Jeter), it is up to him.”
Now in his final season, Jeter was honored by the Cubs on Tuesday evening. He was presented with the number 2 off of the Wrigley scoreboard before the game.
“It is unexpected,” Jeter said. “I don’t go into any city expecting them to do something for me. I don’t expect fans to react a certain way either. All of this makes me feel really good. Again it is not something you count on happening.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.