MLB: Derek Jeter’s Farewell Tour
Last year, everyone celebrated Mariano Rivera and his baseball accomplishments made over the years as a sensational closer. Now it’s Derek Jeter’s turn. The Yankees’ 11th captain, and final member of the Core Four, announced shortly before the 2014 season began that this would be his final year in pinstripes.
The Captain is enjoying his farewell journey as he completes his final season as an MLB player, and Yankee. So far, Jeter has made four stops along his retirement tour. Each time the ceremonies end, Jeter begins his usual pregame routine and completes his running and stretching in the outfield before the game.
The first farewell gift came from the Houston Astros. Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte were in attendance to watch the captain kick off his retirement tour. Jeter was presented with golf clubs, a ten-gallon hat and number two cowboy boots, which only seem fitting while in Texas. The tour got off to a rocky start after getting hit by a pitch in his first at bat, and losing the first game of the season at the Astros home opener. Fortunately, the Yankees would go on to win their own home opener the following week.
Jeter’s second farewell gift was given to him at Angel Stadium. He was presented a standup paddleboard, decorated with pinstripes. To top of Mr. November’s night he hit a home run in his second at-bat, marking his first of the season.
The third stop on the farewell tour took place at Miller Park. The Brewers gave Jeter a golden bat and a $10,000 dollar check for his Turn 2 Foundation. The Turn 2 Foundation encourages children to avoid drugs and alcohol, and strive toward healthy lifestyles.
Before taking part in what was probably his final regular-season subway series, Jeter received a generous and fitting gift in a news conference before the game. He was given a subway-series themed cake from Carlos Bakery in Hoboken, as well as a subway-tile mosaic and check worth $22,222.22 to go towards the Turn 2 Foundation. The mosaic was decorated with a giant number two and pinstripes in each of the team’s colors. The only on-field ceremony held was a video tribute.
One thing each ball park has in common is the respect given to Jeter as his baseball career slowly comes to an end. Wherever he plays a standing ovation is always present, paying respect to a player whom many consider to embody the game of baseball, both on and off the field.
Accomplishments Over the Years
Jeter made his Major League debut May 29, 1995. This year he became the 14th position player to spend an entire career of 20-plus seasons with one franchise.
Jeter earned the title Rookie of the Year in 1996, hitting .314 and .361 in the postseason. To top off his rookie year, Jeter earned his first World Series ring, which would be one of five.
He boasts a majority of all-time records. He’s ranked eighth in hits with 3349, and holds the Yankees’ all-time records in games, at-bats and stolen bases. When narrowing down the stats to shortstops, Jeter ranks first in runs, third in homers, fourth in doubles and average, and sixth in on-base percentage.
The Captain is a five-time Gold Glove recipient, has four Silver Slugger Awards and in 2000 became the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player and World Series MVP.
He has been able to shine in the postseason as well, starting 157 playoff games, which is more than any other shortstop in MLB history. This has allowed him to become the all-time leader in games, hits, runs and doubles.
As a future Hall of Famer, Jeter is sure to make an impact during his final season playing Major League Baseball.