How lucky can anyone get you ask………well, very lucky to be at Yankee Stadium last Thursday night to watch the walk-off hit by Derek Jeter on his last at-bat in his last game at Yankee Stadium. Walk-off means the Yankees WIN! He’s all about winning. The Yankees are not in the playoffs this year but in his 20 year career playing shortstop for only one team, Jeter has played on a winning team every single year…..made the playoffs 17 out of 20 years. What a run…..WOW!
He sure has a flair for the most electrifying kind of sports drama and this night was destined to be no different than so many other memories:
- MR. NOVEMBER
- THE FLIP
- THE DIVE
- HISTORY WITH AN EXCLAMATION POINT
- yes even THE JEFFREY MAIER HOMERUN
- and now THE WALK-OFF
I joined thousands of No. 2’s filling the seats, oh, that doesn’t sound right……..whatever, it will be the last single digit number to ever be worn by a Yankee. In the top of the ninth inning and with the Yankees leading 5-2, it appeared as though the moment was sinking in for the Captain and it was likely that Jeter had already taken his last at-bat. We all took turns predicting the best way for Joe to take him out of the game. Then the Orioles hit two more home runs and tied the score. Unbelievable…… The Yankees had to play the bottom of the ninth and maybe beyond. Single, sac bunt, and then comes Captain Derek Jeter with a chance to win the game. Did I say, he was all about winning? Well, on the first pitch, his classic inside-out swing shot a line drive hit to right field. The Yankees had a walk-off win. Jeter went out the way he was supposed to and all was right with the world even if it was for just one shining moment.
One last thing from me: it wasn’t just the longevity that made him special. Yes, it was all the hits, Gold Gloves, clutch plays but it was his class too. Jeter floated above the scandals and tabloid headlines that claimed so many stars of his generation. That’s why his retirement year turned into a national love fest.