Mustangs' Jeter Downs Hopes to Live up to Namesake - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Mustangs' Jeter Downs Hopes to Live up to Namesake

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Is it a secret in the name, or is there anything to the Jeter name?

"When I was named after Jeter, Jeter was just a rookie," said Mustangs shortstop Jeter Downs. 

"My mom and I were talking about it just the other day, like she just named me Jeter because she liked the name."

That is one heck of a name to just like when Downs was born in St. Andres, Columbia in 1998. At the time, Downs mother had no idea that she was naming her son, a future shortstop, after one of the greatest ever to play the position.

"It was nothing special about him playing, like yeah he was a good kid," said Downs. "And he just had two years in the league, he wasn't really that dude yet. It coming down to this now, it's pretty crazy."

Downs, the current short stop of the Mustangs, says he tries to emulate his game on and off the field after the former Bronx Bomber. That said, it was still a big weight off his shoulders when he finally got that first professional hit.

"That hit kind of gave me that confidence booster everywhere, actually," said Downs. "Then I went onto the field that next half inning, and I just felt like I belonged here. It felt like home, and it felt like I'd been doing it a while."

After growing up in Miami, Florida, Jeter has a new home now. It may not be filled with palm trees, but it is filled with fans who appreciate a good ballplayer. And while he can't predict if he'll always be shortstop, to him, Billings is the best place to be.

"I thank God for the opportunity," said Downs. "I just want to go out and play hard. Whether I play short, second, third, that's not my call. I just go out there and work hard everyday, and whatever happens, happens."