Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jeter departs with one last RBI

Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees leaves the field after his last career game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on September 28, 2014© Getty/AFP Al BelloDerek Jeter of the New York Yankees leaves the field after his last career game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on September 28, 2014
Boston (AFP) - After a week packed with celebration and sentiment, iconic Yankees captain Derek Jeter played his last Major League Baseball game on Sunday, a contributor up to the last.
Honored by the Boston prior to the season finale between the bitter American League East rivals, Jeter played as designated hitter in the Yankees' 9-5 victory over the Red Sox.
In his first at-bat he smacked a line drive off Boston starting pitcher Clay Buchholz in the first inning, but it was straight to shortstop Jemile Weeks.
In the third frame, with a runner on third, Jeter chopped a ball toward third and legged out the infield single that scored Japan's Ichiro Suzuki.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi motioned toward Jeter at first to see if he wanted to exit for a pinch runner, and the Yankees captain jogged off the field for the last time.
"It's the end of an era," Girardi had said before the game.
As he departed, Jeter received a thunderous ovation from Boston fans.
Many had thought he might skip the final three games of the season in Boston, after delivering the winning single for a storybookd finish to his emotional last home game at Yankee Stadium on Thursday.
But Jeter said he wanted to play, in deference to Boston fans and the storied rivalry between the teams.
The Red Sox thanked him with a thirty-minute pre-game ceremony that included such Red Sox greats as Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, Fred Lynn, Luis Tiant, Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield.
A trio of Boston legends from other sports -- Bobby Orr of the NHL's Bruins, Paul Pierce of the NBA's Celtics and Troy Brown of the NFL's Patriots -- also took part in the ceremony, in which the entire current Red Sox team came out of the dugout to shake hands with Jeter.
Jeter finished his 20-year career with 3,465 hits -- sixth on Major League Baseball's all-time list.
A five-time World Series champion and 14-time All-Star, he finishes his career as a .309 lifetime hitter in 2,747 games.