By: Ryan O’Toole ~Staff Writer~
With one out and a runner on second base in the bottom of the ninth inning in a 5-5 tie-game, time seemed to stand still at Yankee Stadium.
Derek Jeter crouched down in the on-deck circle, closing his eyes and bowing his head.
The fans rose to their feet, realizing the weight of the situation at hand. Jeter, in his final at bat in front of his home crowd, had a chance to do what he had done so many times before: win the game for his team.
“Well, the script is there,” Yankees television announcer Michael Kay said. “The last page is in Derek’s hands.”
Before anyone had time to realize what was happening, Jeter roped a first pitch fastball just past the outstretched glove of Baltimore’s Chris Davis.
The throw home from right field was not in time, and just like that, the game was over. Jeter had managed to end his legendary baseball career at Yankee Stadium in an absolutely perfect way.
Ever since I can remember, Derek Jeter has been the face of Major League Baseball. He has everything: the talent, the fame, the good looks, the charm and a position at shortstop for the winningest and arguably most storied baseball franchise of all time.
Retiring with no hit would not have tainted his legacy, but it definitely drove home the point that Jeter is one of the greatest Yankees to ever play, and he surely is a first-ballot hall of famer.
“To be honest with you, I don’t know how I played this game,” Jeter said. “I went up to my first at bat, I forgot my elbow guard. I was throwing balls away. I was giving signs to (Stephen) Drew at second base when there was no one on base. I was all messed up.”
Thankfully, Jeter was still able to get the job done, as he has so many times before.
As a fan of baseball, it was such a treat to see one of the greatest players of our generation bring it all back home with one swing of the bat.
It’s going to be weird to see someone new at shortstop next year for the Yanks, but Jeter has cemented himself where he belongs— among the baseball greats.
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