The Captain Retires From The Game He Loves
By, Nick Morgasen
By, Nick Morgasen
The end of an era is coming in 2014 for the New York Yankees. On Wednesday, Derek Jeter announced on his Facebook page that he is going to retire. According to espn.com Jeter said, "The 2014 season will be my last year playing professional baseball." The captain of the New York Yankees has had a storied career as he enters is 20th and final season. Jeter has accomplished everything in his MLB career. According to espn.com, Jeter is “A five-time World Series champion and the 1996 AL Rookie of the Year, the 39-year-old Jeter would be eligible for the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot.” Derek is a classy individual who hasn’t had a single blemish on his record. He has also had some amazing statistics, according to espn.com, “Jeter has 3,316 hits (ninth all time), a .312 batting average and 256 home runs. He ranks first in Yankees history in games played, at-bats, hits and stolen bases.”
So with Derek Jeter retiring he is the last of “The Core Four” to retire. Mariano Rivera had some kind words to say about Derek Jeter, “Just enjoy it. Be ready to enjoy everything, I think he deserves it, I think he has earned it." When Mariano announced his retirement he went on a good-bye tour which he enjoyed, but it was emotional at the same time. Mariano had been with the Yankees from 1995 to 2013. It was fun to see the different gifts he got at each ballpark including the rocking chair made out of broken bats at Target Field from the Minnesota Twins. Now it will be interesting to see if Derek Jeter’s final season will be treated the same way as Mo. Derek doesn’t like the spotlight and he would rather just focus on baseball and winning. I don’t blame him this is typical Derek Jeter putting other people before himself and that makes him a true gentlemen.
You don’t want to forget some of the cool and amazing moments that Derek Jeter has had throughout his career. The first one I looked at is “The Flip” play he made in the 2001 American League Division Series against the Athletics. With Jeremy Giambi on first, Terrence Long hit a double into the gap and when outfielder Shane Spencer got the ball he overthrew the cutoff man, but Jeter moved from the normal cutoff position got the ball going up the first baseline and got the ball to Posada to get the out at home. This was an unbelievable play and it shows that Derek Jeter would never give up and this proved to be true throughout his career. Another great moment that I remember was also in the 2001 post season in the World Series. The Yankees were behind in the series 2-1 and Arizona closer Byung-Hyun Kim got two quick outs. The Yankees were on the verge of going back to Yankee Stadium down three games to one. Then Jeter worked a tough at bat as the count was 0-2 and on the ninth pitch of the at bat he hit an opposite homerun which led the crowd to go crazy. This led to Jeter getting the nickname Mr. November. This was an unbelievable moment that Yankee fans will never forget. Another amazing Derek Jeter moment took place on July 1st, 2004 against the Red Sox. This game was an extra innings marathon and the moment happened in the 12th inning when Tanyon Sturtze faced Trot Nixon. Sturtze threw a pitch that Nixon popped up over near the left field stands and Derek Jeter didn’t give up, on the play and he managed to catch the ball and ended up flying into the stands. It was an unbelievable play and the Yankees ended up sweeping the four game series from the Boston Red Sox. Derek managed to get a huge hitting milestone and that is the next great moment to share. On July 9th, 2011 Derek got to 3,000 hits. He needed two hits that day and he managed to single to lead off the game. In his second at bat he got his 3000th hit with a bang. He homered into the left field seats off David Price. What people don’t remember from that game is he managed a perfect day going 5-5 in his at bats and at the time it was only his fourth four hit game. Finally, my all time favorite Derek Jeter moment was when he passed Lou Gehrig for all-time hits in a Yankee uniform. On September 11, 2009 he passed Gehrig with 2,722 hits and in my opinion at that point he cemented his name for the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Derek Jeter has had some great moments throughout his career and now we need to give him the spotlight that he never wanted throughout his whole career. He deserves to have it because he is a classy, respectful and humble individual. For Yankees fans it is an emotional day because he has been the shortstop since 1996. He will be greatly missed by Yankees fans including myself who has been a fan of his forever. Good luck in your future endeavors and hopefully in some capacity you will stay with the Yankees. Farewell to the Captain, it has been fun and we will never forget you!!!!!