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Derek Jeter Night at Yankee Stadium

Derek Jeter Night New York YankeesDerek Jeter had his number retired by the New York Yankees on Sunday evening. While the Yankees won the first game of a double-header, they couldn’t pull off the sweep to send the fans home 100% happy. The best part of the day though was the ceremony in-between games that honored Jeter.

The Yankees and the Houston Astros had front row seats from the dugout as a handful of people close to Jeter took the opportunity to share the big day with The Captain. His mother and father, sister and nephew, and his wife and grandmother were immediate family members on hand. Numerous former Yankees also joined in the festivities including Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neil, and Joe Torre. It might not have been Legends Day at Yankee Stadium, but it sure felt like it.

There has been an abundance of interviews with Jeter over the last few days – reminiscing about his career, top plays that stand out, how he ended up with the number 2. I have never been a Yankee fan, but Derek Jeter was one of those players that just commanded respect from everybody from players to coaches to fans. He did things the right way and managed to have a great 20-year career in pinstripes.

Derek Jeter Night New York YankeesIt’s apparent that Jeter was one of the best to play the game, but there were a handful of articles and debates in his final season as to whether Jeter would be a part of the New York Yankees’ Mount Rushmore. Maybe it was the sentimental feelings from the broadcast, but I think Jeter can definitely be put in the top 4 of Yankee greats. It is especially appealing that he had such success in the Steroid Era when so many players were juiced up and inflating baseball statistics.

Jeter had a commercial commemoration from Budweiser. He also had one from Nike and the Jordan brand during his Re2pect retirement tour. It is hard to recap a career as illustrious as Jeter’s into a one or two minute commercial.

As I looked through my library of baseball titles, it didn’t take long to focus on one in particular: The Life You Imagine by… Derek Jeter. I bought it from a book fair when I was in middle school, and it became my favorite book right away. Like I said, I wasn’t a Yankee fan, but that’s just the type of player Jeter was from the start. This book came out in 99-00 when Jeter was only in the league for a few years. Not many players today would even think to write a book at such a young age, but few have had as much early career success as Jeter did. If I were to buy a jersey of some of my all-time favorite players, Derek Jeter would be one of two Yankees I would want – the other being Mickey Mantle.

Derek Jeter Night was a great success in terms of honoring Mr. November. He got to unveil his retired number and his plaque for Monument Park. There were flowers and gifts and speeches galore. A star-studded history of Yankees helped celebrate. And 40,000 of Jeter’s closest friends were there to chant his name numerous times during the game.

Major League Baseball might be looking for the new face of baseball, but it’s a shame that Derek Jeter isn’t around to claim that honor. No matter what team you cheer for, it’s hard not to like (or at least respect) Jeter. He was good and he won championships. When asked what player he would want to change places with, Jeter responded with, “Nobody.”

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