Yesterday proved to be a most fitting sendoff for New York Yankees Derek Jeter.
And, I’m not referring to Jeter’s third inning RBI infield single during his last Major League Baseball plate appearance.
My final memory of Derek Jeter in a baseball uniform will be the beautifully odd way a bitter adversary and its fan base sent off one of its hated divisional rivals’ legendary players.
The now officially retired 40 year-old played his last in pinstripes before a normally raucous and adversarial crowd at Fenway Park.
However, the usually expected hostile Red Sox nation showed the Yankees shortstop the same deserving RE2PECT recently acknowledged in an epic Nike ad as well as demonstrated at Yankee Stadium less than a week ago.
Boston’s genuine tipping of the hat to Jeter not only warmed the hearts of every baseball fan on the planet. It also revealed the heart, class and respect of Red Sox nation, the Yankees’ avowed antagonist that Jeter battled during his entire MLB career.
In a pre-game ceremony, Beantown sports legends Carl Yastzremski, Paul Pierce and Bobby Orr publicly declared their admiration for perhaps Major League Baseball’s most beloved player.
Red Sox management took the Jeter adulation a step higher by donating $22,222,22 to the certain Hall of Famer’s Turn Two Foundation.
Baseball historians will etch in MLB annals Jeter’s .310 career batting average, 3,465 hits and multiple World Series titles.
However, as a lifelong New York Yankees basher, today I will choose to remember legendary Mr. November in the same way Boston Red Sox fans did yesterday at Fenway Park by earnestly and enthusiastically chanting the name of famous #2.
Derek Jeter! Derek Jeter! Derek Jeter! Derek Jeter! Derek Jeter!
MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!