Derek Jeter’s legacy shines beyond the diamond through NFL superstar Mahomes

Derek Jeter with NFL superstar Patrick Mahomes
Matthew Maybloom
Monday September 25, 2023

Table of Contents

Yankees legend Derek Jeter‘s impact extends across the MLB, serving as a source of inspiration not only for budding baseball talents but also leaving an indelible mark on a Colombian player, who chose to name his son after him. This player, Jeter Downs, currently fills the role of a shortstop for the Washington Nationals. While this association may appear ordinary, Captain Clutch’s influence transcends into the realm of the NFL, specifically leaving an imprint on superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

A standout player for the Kansas City Chiefs, Mahomes requires no formal introduction, as his athletic prowess speaks volumes. What sets Mahomes apart is his distinctive sidearm throwing style, which draws its unique inspiration from a rather unexpected source – the artistry of a shortstop making a throw to first base. Derek Jeter, a celebrated figure in that very position, happens to be one of Mahomes’ cherished icons. Although they recently engaged in a conversation, the connection between these two transcends mere happenstance, stretching back over several decades.

Mahomes treasures childhood photo with Derek Jeter

Considering the lineage of the quarterback’s family, Patrick Mahomes’ connection to the world of baseball may not appear so unexpected. His father, Pat Mahomes Sr., dedicated 11 years of his life to a career in MLB, although he didn’t quite attain the same level of stardom as his accomplished son. Young Mahomes Jr. spent his entire childhood immersed in the ambiance of baseball stadiums, and a portion of it was even experienced in New York. Although Mahomes Sr. played for the Mets, his son developed friendly ties with their cross-town rivals as well.

Recently, a photograph from the early 2000s, featuring the Chiefs’ player alongside Derek Jeter, circulated widely on social media after the NFL team shared it. In the picture, a young Patrick Mahomes, likely around 4 or 5 years old, stands with his hand engulfed in an oversized glove, sporting an enormous grin on his face. Beside him, Derek Jeter stands in his iconic pinstripes, placing a hand on the young Mahomes’ cap. Notably, the former Yankees captain even autographed the photograph.

Fast forward to the present day, and the quarterback reportedly presented the same picture to Derek Jeter as a 28-year-old, now almost reaching the stature of the Hall of Famer himself. In the second image, Mahomes gazes at Derek Jeter with the same reverence in his eyes, while the retired sports icon holds the signed photograph in his grasp. It’s truly a remarkable full-circle moment.

Mahomes’ MLB aspirations


The narrative surrounding Patrick Mahomes and baseball is deeply ingrained. Despite his current status as an NFL professional, the enduring influence of the baseball diamond remains palpable in his journey. While football holds the primary place in his heart, it’s worth noting that Mahomes, during his high school years, embraced a triple-threat athletic career. Although basketball’s prospects dimmed early on, there’s a lingering thought that in an alternate reality, the 28-year-old could have easily blossomed into an MLB sensation today.

Pat Mahomes Sr. undeniably harbored hopes that his son would tread the same baseball path he did. In such a scenario, it would have been yet another instance of a son surpassing his father’s achievements in the world of baseball. However, destiny had different plans, and the name “Patrick Mahomes” would ultimately be celebrated exclusively in the context of the NFL.

Patrick Mahomes recently had a heartfelt reunion with MLB legend Derek Jeter, during which the 28-year-old quarterback presented the Hall of Famer with a cherished photograph capturing a moment from Mahomes’ childhood when he was around 4-5 years old. The official Instagram page of the Kansas City Chiefs shared a snapshot of their meeting, juxtaposing it with the sentimental image that bears Derek Jeter’s signature—a keepsake gifted to young Pat many years ago.

As a child, Mahomes was a familiar sight on the baseball field, given that his father, Pat Mahomes, enjoyed an 11-season career in MLB, which notably included two seasons with Derek Jeter’s crosstown rival, the New York Mets.

Mahomes has previously spoken about the profound impact that Derek Jeter had on his formative years, highlighting that his interactions with the legendary shortstop provided invaluable lessons about professionalism.

In a conversation with Derek Jeter, a five-time World Series champion and current FOX Sports MLB studio analyst, Mahomes reminisced about his childhood aspirations, revealing his youthful ambition to pursue a career in baseball to the fullest extent possible.

Mahomes expressed his childhood aspiration to become a baseball player while speaking to Derek Jeter on FOX NFL Sunday. He mentioned that he had a strong desire to pursue a career in baseball and recalled meeting Jeter when he was quite young. Mahomes initially aspired to be a shortstop. However, he noted that his passion for football, particularly the quarterback position, developed during his high school years when he started playing under the Friday Night Lights in Texas.

Patrick Mahomes’ ties to MLB luminaries should come as no surprise, especially when considering his father, Patrick Mahomes Sr., who himself was an MLB standout and initially harbored aspirations of his son walking in his baseball footsteps. However, young Mahomes ultimately made the NFL his sporting dream, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Pat Mahomes Sr. enjoyed a prolific 11-season tenure in the major leagues. Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback, inherited a close association with the sport of baseball due to his father’s accomplished career, which effectively immersed him in the baseball milieu during his formative years. Pat Mahomes Sr. often remarked on his son’s early athletic talents, and he even mentioned that MLB star Alex Rodriguez played a role akin to a mentor in young Patrick’s life.

The Chiefs’ superstar elaborated on the ways in which his experience playing shortstop in baseball contributes to his skills as a quarterback. However, he candidly acknowledged the inherent difficulty of excelling in baseball compared to football.


Mahomes explained that in his opinion, playing shortstop required the ability to make accurate throws from various arm angles and different platforms.

For Mahomes, this action carried a profound meaning, as he has frequently expressed how icons of the baseball world, such as Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, played a pivotal role in shaping his strong work ethic and instilling the fundamental importance of diligence in his character during his early years when he observed their performances on the field. The influence wielded by these legendary personalities became the driving force behind his unwavering commitment and achievements in the NFL.

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