I have the email ("evidence mail") to prove that this actually happened. If you're anything like me, you'll think I dreamt it too.
One minute, I was editing a story about a fishing trip in Costa Rica. The next minute, I was told I would be interviewing Derek Jeter in person, one-on-one tomorrow.
My morning began with a cup coffee and a story to edit. I took a break to check my email and found this. It was sent to the professor accompanying my program this summer. It was forwarded to him by another Mizzou journalism faculty member.
"Do you have a student who would like to interview Derek Jeter of the Yankees on Friday for the LA Times? My son is looking for someone to get him to answer some questions. Derek doesn't do phone interviews. My son would arrange for credentials, the interview and send the student a list of questions. It's about Jeter's 3000th hit."
I emailed my professor immediately, told him that I would do anything for this opportunity. After thirty minutes of shaking and checking my inbox incessantly, he replied and told me it was mine.
For those of you who read my first post. Hell, for those of you who know anything about me, any reaction you might picture to this news would be an underestimation of my actual reaction. I cried for 20 minutes. I read the details:
"You'll get a tag line in the LA Times and a small fee and a free Yankees game!!"
This was the happiest moment I've experienced in my short career as a journalist. And I knew that no opportunity could ever top this for me. Derek Jeter has been my favorite Yankee my entire life. I've religiously followed his career. I've always had hopes of getting his autograph at a spring training game. Never in my life did I think I would have the opportunity to sit down with him and talk, to do what I do best: journalize.
The best coincidence of all: I attended a Yankees game last night with one of my sorority sisters and she asked me what I would do if I ever had the opportunity to meet Derek Jeter.
And so, I tried to digest what was upon me: The press seat in Yankee Stadium I forever dreamt of was mine, at least for a night. Or so I thought.
A few hours later, I was extremely disappointed to find out that the Yankees organization refused to give me press credentials because I'm a student and not an employed reporter.
Again, anyone who has even skimmed the contents of this blog or knows me remotely can gauge my reaction to this news. Whatever you might picture, it's an underestimation of my actual reaction to this news.
While it is very upsetting that some lucky reporter from the Baltimore Sun is now getting my opportunity to sit down with Derek Jeter, I'm still very thankful for several reasons.
1) Having a reporter ask a journalism student to do his interview with a superstar athlete about a momentous career achievement is enormous. It speaks to the reputation of my journalism education at the Missouri School of Journalism. For a reporter to trust me with that job makes me feel fantastic about my education. The fact that I was selected by my professor makes me feel great about my ability.
2) If this opportunity showed up at the birth of my career as a professional reporter, I can only imagine the opportunities that lie ahead of me in the future.
3) This is why I came to New York City...to chase very big dreams. Those dreams are coming closer than ever to becoming reality.