Derek Jeter's jersey may say no. 2 on the back, but he'll always be no. 1 in his family's hearts.
The retired New York Yankees star was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York on Sept. 8, and his wife Hannah Jeter and daughters Bella Raine Jeter, 4, and Story Grey Jeter, 2, attended the ceremony to celebrate the major milestone.
For the occasion, the children wore matching blue and white dresses and bows wrapped around their pigtails. The public appearance marked a rare one for Bella and Story as Derek and Hannah tend to protect their little ones' privacy by shielding them from the spotlight.
When it was time for their dad's speech, the kids joined the crowd in giving him a round of applause. At one point in his remarks, Derek gave his loved ones a sweet shout-out.
"My girls, Hannah, Bella and Story. You know, this day puts an exclamation point on my playing career, which was my first dream," the athlete, 47, said. "You know, through you all, with you all, I'm living another one."
He then went on to profess his love for the 31-year-old model. "Hannah, you thought you married into retirement. It didn't take long for me to get back at it," Derek, who retired at the end of the 2014 season and went on to become CEO and part-owner of the Miami Marlins about a year after his 2016 wedding with Hannah, continued. "I know you didn't envision that part. But we've been through so much over the past five years, and you're the strongest person I know, which I'm sure you're going to say is required when dealing with me."
The former shortstop called her "thoughtful," "caring", "an incredible wife and even more amazing mother."
"I couldn't be luckier—let me say it again, let me clarify—I couldn't be luckier that our paths crossed when they did," he added. "I love you so much and, you know, there's been nothing more fulfilling in my life than building our future and our family together."
Derek said he always wanted to make his family proud and shared with his children the lessons he learned throughout his career.
"Bella and Story, I want you to know that your dad was far from perfect," he continued. "I've made my fair share of mistakes on and off the field. But through it all, I tried to do the right thing, and I found something I was passionate about, and I worked harder than anyone else. I didn't take any shortcuts to achieve it. You know, I have zero regrets in my career, other than the fact that I didn't get to share it with you."
"Most of it won't be what I accomplished on the field," Derek added. "It will be the lessons I learned off of it, and I hope I always make you proud. Proud because of who I am as a result of the people I mentioned and the experiences I've had with them. You know, for so many years, I tried my best to represent New York and the Yankee organization in the best light possible. Now, I represent you."
He then revealed his hopes for his kids. "You know, you have your futures ahead of you," Derek said. "I want you to dream big, and I want you to believe it. Know that I'm here to support you, guide you and protect you. Most important, I'm here to love you. In time, I want you to find someone who inspires you and then, when the time is right, I want you to inspire others. I love you girls more than you ever know."