Derek Jeter honored at Yankee Stadium (240634)

“Entertainment and arts [can] influence culture & galvanize communities”

Couldn’t tell me my fate wasn’t sealed. I was gonna be the heir apparent, and the next great New York Yankee. A mixture of my two favorite players at the time, I fathomed my game as having the speed, defense and batting eye of Mickey Rivers mixed with the poise, professionalism and being a homegrown kid, like Willie Randolph. The dream of playing was curtailed for various reasons, the main ones being a) I discovered being a young, Black boy carrying a baseball bat was considered imminent danger and b) finding my true self behind the wheels of steel!! That never stopped the love of the game. Though the New York Yankees was and stayed the squad a lot of great players fueled my love for the game. Carew, Morgan, Reggie, Murray, Rice, Henderson, Ozzie Smith and, talent-wise the best players I saw: Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Bonds. All these dudes had electric moments in their immortal careers, but in terms of OVERALL play and sustained excellence I’d have to rock with the quiet assassin that held down the shortstop position from 1995-2014 for the Bronx Bombers. His final numbers of 3,465 hits, 260 homers, 358 stolen bases and 1,311 runs batted in, may have paled by comparison to the others mentioned, but he was a Rookie of the Year Award winner, a 5 time Golden Glove and Silver Slugger winner, a 14 time All-Star and more importantly a 5 time WORLD CHAMPION!!! He wasn’t an ‘along for the ride as part of a championship team’ type dude; he LEAD them there. Derek Jeter was that dude!!!!!! Now he reached the only other plateau a player can reach, missing by 1 vote from being the second unanimous player elected into the Baseball Hall Of Fame. Well-deserved Jeter! Salute 2 you!!!!!

Getting back on script, the nominees for the 51st NAACP Image Awards were announced recently by Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP and Connie Orlando, executive vice-president, specials, music programming & music strategy.

Leading the way was Netflix, which has 30 television category nominations and additional 12 nominations in the motion picture categories for a grand total of 42. RCA Records leads in the music recording categories with 14, followed by Columbia Records and BMG respectively with 7. Universal Pictures leads the motion picture categories with 15 nominations, and Penguin Random House has 8 nominations followed by HarperCollins with 4 in the literary categories.

“Representation across entertainment and the arts has profound meaning and unparalleled power to shape perceptions, influence culture, and galvanize communities,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “This year’s nominees have conveyed a wide range of authentic stories and experiences that have resonated with many, and we’re proud to continue celebrating their outstanding achievements and performances.”

“This is a historic occasion for BET Networks, and we’re thrilled to be able to celebrate our network’s 40th anniversary in conjunction with this milestone moment of hosting the NAACP Image Awards,” said Scott Mills, president of BET Networks. “It is our distinct privilege to be able to acknowledge contributions of talent in TV, music, movies and literature and we look forward to celebrating these contributions next month.”

The NAACP Image Awards honors the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature, and film and also recognizes individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors and will air for the first time on BET Networks on Saturday, Feb. 22, 8 p.m.

God willing, I’m going, going back, back to Cali, Cali. More on that later!

Over and out. Holla next week. Til then, enjoy the nightlife.