MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Fresh on the heels of “Derek Jeter Day,” at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, Sept.7, to celebrate the longtime shortstop, Mount Vernon residents reminisced about some of their fondest memories of the captain.
Dignitaries that included Yankee legends Joe Torre, David Cone, Bernie Williams and Hideki Matsui, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, once again joined Jeter on the field, as his career winds to a close after a dazzling two decades with the Bronx Bombers.
In an emotional speech, Jeter thanked his teammates, coaches and especially the fans that have supported him. In exchange, the capacity crowd roared its appreciation as he got ready for the game, a 2-0 loss to the Royals in which he had a hit and walk.
“In my opinion, I’ve had the greatest job in the world. I’ve had the chance to be the shortstop for the New York Yankees, and there’s only one of those. I always felt as though my job was to try to provide joy and entertainment for you guys.”
Whether it was Jeter launching himself into the stands to make a catch, his backhanded flip to nab a runner at the plate in the 2001 American League Division Series or his five World Series rings, Mount Vernon Yankee fans were not at a loss when asked to describe their favorite memories of Jeter.
“He had some down years, but when the playoffs rolled around, you knew he would pick it up and lead the team. He’s the one you wanted at the plate, no matter what,” Mike Moore, who was practicing with his son Caleb, said. “I’ve been a Yankee fan for about 30 years, I’m curious who their next leader will be.”
While the Yankees are enduring a lean year as they struggle to stay in the playoff race, Jeter has been a focal point throughout the league as he makes his goodbye tour. At each of his final stops at ballparks in the league, teams have been showering him with attention and occasionally lavish gifts.
“It’s the end of an era. Next year will be the first in my life without Jeter or any of the old guard. It’s going to be weird,” Mac Sherwin said in Mount Vernon on Monday. “There have been some great Yankees over the years, but Jeter will always be my favorite, I think.”
What do you think about Jeter’s farewell tour? How do you think the Yankees will fare without his bat, glove and leadership next year? Continue the conversation in the comments section below.
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