It was an emotional night in the Bronx on Thursday, as Yankees legend Derek Jeter played his final home game for the Bronx Bombers.
Jeter is one those rare stars that transcends sport. This writer was lucky enough to witness ‘Captain Clutch’ back in 2008, when the Red Sox were in town for the last series at the old Yankee Stadium. Although the Red Sox came out on top, Jeter was his usual reliant self.
But it wasn’t his performance that stood out, no. It was his ability to lift the crowd just by stepping up to the plate that made him different.
The mere appearance of Jeter led to a ferocious increase in noise levels from both sets of fans. This will undoubtedly be the case again this weekend when Jeter finishes his Yankees career at the iconic Fenway Park in Boston on Sunday.
Thursday night was a fitting end (sort of) to a career that has seen the shortstop win 5 World Series and 14 All Stars. The Yankees needed Jeter to step up, and he duly obliged, hitting a game-winning single in the ninth inning to give his side a 6-5 win over Baltimore.
It was the 3,463rd hit of Jeter’s career, and undoubtedly one that he will cherish for the rest of his life.
This image of Jeter’s nephew tipping his hat to his uncle after his game-winning hit would warm the coldest of hearts.
“I don’t know what to tell you. Write what you want and put my name at the bottom of it.”
It’s been quite a journey for Derek Jeter since his first appearance back in June 1995. 2,745 games later and he will go down as one of the greatest Yankees of all time.
When Jeter hangs up his bat on Sunday, the curtain will come down on one of the greatest sporting careers of our generation. You don’t want to miss it.
p.s. Jeter’s mother is of Irish descent, so we’re claiming him for now!