The rain gave way to the most perfect night! But that’s Derek Jeter for you, isn’t it?

derek-jeter-getty1It’s Derek Jeter’s final appearance in pinstripes …. 

A first eveyone thought it was going to rain out. But this is Derek Jeter we are talking about. Would weather really stop Derek Jeter taking the field one last time in pinstripes? Would or could anything? 

Jeter’s life in the New York Yankees spotlight has been too storied for anything short of a MAJOR and I mean major National emergency to stop tonight’s game at the New Yankee Stadium from happening. It’s been planned since his announcement in February. Eight months, a Derek Jeter Day (Michael Jordan appearance included), a Derek Jeter takeover of the All-Star game and about one thousand kick ass gifts later Jeter will play his final game in the Yankees pinstripes home jeresy. 

This will be the last time we see #2 play, the last time we will EVER see a Yankee take the field in a single digit numbered jersey, it’s the last time in two full decades that we will hear the now deceased Bob Sheppard’s voice announce, “Now batting Number 2 Derek Jeter.” 

(It was an idea Jeter had prior to Sheppard’s death in 2010. Sheppard had announced the Yankees lineup for 56 years and was the only voice that the Captain remembered, so they had a special recording made that would be used just for Jeter and it will be played for the final time in a matter of moments.)

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Jeter with Petitte, Rivera and Posada- Getty Images

I honestly have to ask where the f*** (lol) did the last 20 years go? Two decades I was 13 when Jeter was called up and I remember clearly both he and A-Rod being young, being rookies – then suddenly they are all old and most of them are retired (although A-Rod is neither officially retired nor was he drafted in 1992 but I remember them both emerging in the league).

But the 1992 draft, in which Jeter was picked number 6 overall in the first round by the New York Yankees, brought us some other very memorable (and more favorable than A-Rod) baseball names – from the first two rounds of the June amature player draft included Jason Kendall, Shannon Stewart, Phil Nevin, Todd Helton, and Jason Giambi. Of all the members who are still playing in 2014 are Jeter and Giambi – and while Jeter’s play has slowed somewhat, he’s the only one who is still playing everyday and play well. 

I will return to give a recap of what happens in this game – how Jeter does, how they have him exit and how many times I end up crying (I may not be a Yankees fan but come on people! Mariano was emotion, Derek will be worse and we all know it! That Gatorade commercial!! OMFG!!!) So I will leave you with two things until the game ends: 

My Personal Tribute to the Captain that I wrote on Call to the Pen titled:

6 signs Derek Jeter’s farewell tour has a life of its own*

(*I promise it shows #Re2pect, is heartwarming and funny so you should check it out*)

And the Gatorade commerical I talked about:

Derek Jeter’s new commercial is a MUST SEE!!

Now see y’all after the game …

 And what a game it was ladies and gentleman though I doubt if you are sitting here reading a baseball blog that you didn’t watch it! The whole world was watching it!

Much to the dismay of quite a few other networks I bet. I forgot that my beloved A’s were playing on Texas time and while I did then switch back and forth, the Jeter game – oops I mean the Yankees vs. Orioles game – was soooo much better than seeing the A’s barely score and lose 2-1 on a walk-off by Adrian Beltre who plays for a team that at least right now doesn’t matter one bit.

But back to Jeter. He doubled in his first at-bat. I’m thinking great an extra base hit! That makes for a good night already and the rain magically had stopped to giveway to a clear night (it only does things like this for those truly blessed by the baseball gods I’m telling you) – then Jeter safely advanced to third on a wild pitch and further propelled himself away from the 10th place A-Rod on the All-time runs scored list. Jeter is currently 9th on that list and sixth on the all-time hits list in case you have been living under a rock! 😉

Postgame Jeter crouches at short to chants of his name. 9/25/14 Getty Images
Postgame Jeter crouches at short to chants of his name. 9/25/14 Getty Images

Jeter did make an error in the game but who is counting that when in his 7th inning (and what could have been final at-bat) he grounded into a fielder’s choice to shortstop JJ Hardy who threw an errant pitch past the second baseman to score not one but two runs (Ichiro and Pirela) to put the Yankees ahead in the game.

“Broken-bat, I got a run in, you know what I mean?” Jeter said. “But I’ve done that time and time again. We had the lead. I was happy if we won the game right there.”

With the Yankees up by two runs, the Orioles’ Nick Markakis and Alejandro De Aza went back to back for the Orioles off Kuroda and with the Yankees up by three in the eighth inning Adam Jones and Steve Pearce both took reliever David Robertson deep and the score was now Orioles 5, Yankees 5. 

“What can you say? It created another Derek Jeter moment,” Robertson said. “As much as I wished I wouldn’t have created it, I’m glad it happened.”

The bottom of the eighth and the top of the ninth came and went. Suddenly Jeter was striding to the plate again, this time with a man on second. This is so Jeter it’s unbelievable.

Consider all the big moments like even something simple like his stellar performance in this season’s mid-summer classic – there are too many to tell – but “Mr. November” aka “Captain Clutch” aka simply “Captain” – left not just Yankee fans but BASEBALL FANS with the most perfect ending memory any of us could have asked for.

I wonder what it is like to truly live a fairy tale? If I ever assume a position prestigious enough to be able to ask him, you’ll know. Because I will ask him, absolutely.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Derek Jeter jumped on the first pitch he saw from the Orioles’ Evan Meek and hit a single bouncing past first base that allowed pinch-runner Antoan Richardson to get  home safely.

Jeter watched the play and bounced near first base, pumping both fists in the air before being mobbed by his teammates who were probably still in a state of awe and disbelief like the rest of us. A walk-off … could you have asked for a more fitting ending to Jeter’s time in the famous pinstripes? 

Everything, as if by magic or destiny, went Jeter’s way and it was more beautiful and perfect than pretty much anything I have ever witnessed. Those that were there had better cherish those ticket stubs the way I revere mine when I witnessed MLB’s 19th perfect game at the Coliseum in Oakland.

If that game was perfect. This one was ten times perfect but there’s not word for something like this …. except maybe making Derek Jeter an adjective and just saying “oh that moment was so amazingly Derek Jeter.”

[mlbvideo id=”36599553″ width=”400″ height=”224″ /]

 

Congrats and Farewell Captain!!

#Re2pect!

Thanks for two decades of baseball memories!

 

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AP

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