Life on the Road of Derek and Hannah Jeter


The Jeters really like their Grand Wagoneer Obsidian Edition.

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The ad was for the Jeep Grand Wagoneer Obsidian Edition, and the happy family using it for an upstate New York lake trip included one of the world’s most famous baseball players, the ‘former New York Yankee Derek Jeter, and his tennis- playing model/TV host wife, Hannah Jeter. There were also children, but not really their children.

The Jeters have a multi-year partnership with Jeep, and the ad was just one part of the “Eyes Wide Open” marketing campaign. The 60-second kickoff spot, with some sections filmed in New York (and a low-key Detroit reference) debuted during Game 1 of the World Series on Friday.

The setting was Forest Lake, near Harriman State Park, and the interview took place on a dock with sweeping views of the changing fall colors in all directions. The backdrop was a bustling film set, complete with catering, lights, cameras and everything needed to capture the perfect moment. “We did this just for you,” jokes Jeter.

The Jeters actually have three exuberant kids — all in car seats — and you can certainly imagine them pulling a lot out of a $100,000 three-row Grand Wagoneer for family excursions. “We wouldn’t be doing this partnership if we weren’t actually using the car,” Jeter says. “Because I couldn’t sit here pretending I like a two-seater sports car. It wouldn’t be fair. My life now is that we have a 5 year old, a 3 year old and a 10 month old, and they are in the back with their baby gear, toys and strollers. This type of vehicle is perfect for us.

The 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Series Two Obsidian starts at US$105,490 in the all-wheel-drive version. The 6.4-liter V8 engine produces 471 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of peak torque, allowing a zero-to-60 time of six seconds. The Obsidian sits on large 22-inch wheels and can be fitted with a slightly sinister blackout treatment – grille, badging, mirrors, window trim, and more. The interior can match, but if it’s too black, other colors are available.

Derek Jeter is portrayed in the ESPN documentary series The Captain. He was captain of the Yankees team from 2003 to 2014, which might explain why he loves the captain’s chairs in the Jeep.

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The Jeters, who have lived mostly in the Miami area for the past five years (after Derek’s initial involvement with the Miami Marlins), will they be taking long trips in their Grand Wagoneer?

“Let me just say, every trip is a long trip when you have three kids,” Derek said. Hannah adds, “I feel like we could take a trip to Orlando Disney, and we’re also going up to Palm Beach a bit. And that’s like an hour in the car, and you have to be comfortable on trips like that with the kids.

Derek was born in Pequannock, NJ, but grew up primarily in Kalamazoo, Michigan. “I was two and a half hours from Detroit, but the auto industry is huge in Michigan,” Jeter says. His first car was a Datsun 310 with three broken door handles, he said. “The only one that worked was the driver’s side passenger door.” Derek also remembers a sporty Mitsubishi 3000, but in 1992, at just 18, he was drafted as the Yankees’ first-round draft pick. And he didn’t have much time for cars – it was mostly team buses and yellow cabs. After retiring, Derek acquired a Mercedes, but it was mostly temporary SUVs.

“We’ve rented a lot of big SUVs with the third row, but they weren’t great to drive, hard to maneuver and hard to park,” Derek explains. “The Grand Wagoneer makes perfect sense to us.”

Hannah has a similar automotive story. “I grew up in the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, and my first car was my brother’s hand, a Honda Accord, I think. But then we moved to New York and after that, I didn’t ever had to drive,” Hannah said. “But I think I’m an amazing driver! I drove off the islands, where there weren’t even multiple lanes, and very few traffic lights, and we were on the other side of the road. And now I take long trips on American highways.

Derek Jeter alongside his daughter Bella as he is honored by the New York Yankees before a game at Yankee Stadium on September 9, 2022.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

During the worst times of the Covid-19 pandemic, Derek says, “We would take the girls in the car and just drive around. I always do. Personally, I like driving with all three of them, it’s Hannah who likes to go alone. Sometimes I go have coffee with them, and we have something with the girls in the back called Coffee Talk. Conversations can become very interesting, when you try to answer all the questions they ask.

Jeter served as the Yankees’ team captain from 2003 to 2014, so he was under a lot of pressure. His supernaturally calm demeanor must have been helpful. “You have to be passionate about what you do, and I’m very passionate,” he says. “But I think I’m also balanced.”

Hannah Jeter Says Tennis Was Her Idea; his story is the opposite of King Richard and the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena. “Derek and I joke that he was playing a team sport and I was playing an individual sport, where it’s all up to you. Neither of my parents played tennis, and it was kind of a fluke that I originally got into it. They were there to watch over me and support me. They could have cared less about what I chose to do, as long as it was something I was going to work hard on.

And hard work is something the Jeters have in common. Hannah was champion of the Caribbean National Tennis Team before branching out into acting, modeling and hosting.

The partnership with Jeep will last several years, but others could follow. “This is just the beginning of our relationship, and I hope it will be very, very long and mutually beneficial,” Derek says.


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