Chip Scoggins: A fond farewell to Derek Jeter

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 18, 2014 - 12:53 AM

Derek Jeter’s last All-Star appearance produced ovations, hugs — and a couple of hits.

The voice of the late Bob Sheppard came over the public address to introduce Derek Jeter’s at-bat, as it always does at Yankee Stadium, a surprise gesture that seemed to make Captain Cool pause.

As 41,000 fans rose as one and serenaded Jeter with a standing ovation, time froze for one of those perfect sports moments that we’ll remember fondly 20, 30 years from now.

National League starter Adam Wainwright placed his glove on the ground, stepped off the mound and joined his teammates in applause. Fans chanted “De-rek Je-ter” over and over. Target Field felt alive.

Jeter smiled, doffed his helmet, waved to the crowd. Then he dug in for his first at-bat in his final All-Star Game and smoked a double down the right field line.

Wainwright later admitted that he grooved the pitch, a statement that he undoubtedly regrets, but that shouldn’t obscure the genuine emotion on display Tuesday night.

The 85th All-Star Game will forever be remembered as a tribute to Jeter, his game, and the future Hall of Famer, at age 40, delivered a vintage performance in a 5-3 victory by the American League.

He began with a dazzling defensive play on a diving stop in the first inning that leadoff hitter Andrew McCutchen beat by a whisker. He doubled in his first at-bat and singled in his second to raise his career All-Star batting average to .481, fifth-best in MLB history.

And then his final exit. What a moment that was.

Jeter took the field for the fourth inning, only to be replaced by Alexei Ramirez. Jeter left to a third standing ovation — this one lasting more than a minute — as Sinatra’s “New York, New York” played over the loudspeakers.

Jeter hugged teammates in the dugout, as the ovation continued, and then climbed the steps for a curtain call.

“It’s a wonderful moment that I’m always going to remember,” he said. “It was unscripted.”

The entire All-Star gala served as a celebration of Jeter’s career, his legacy, one extended tip of the cap by baseball and its fans before the Yankees shortstop retires after the season.

Fans smothered Jeter in adulation from the moment he arrived in town, and while he sounded genuinely appreciative and touched by that outpouring, his stoicism never failed him. He didn’t want this to be solely about him, as if that was possible.

“I felt the focus should on everyone that’s in this game,” he said.

The idea of a farewell tour makes Jeter squeamish, but the reaction of baseball fans from all over the country at this event felt authentic. It originated from a place of respect.

Respect for Jeter’s unique ability to play the game with grace and dogged competitiveness. Respect for him as a five-time World Series champion. Respect for the way he’s conducted himself with class for two decades while conquering a pressure-cooker market.

“I try to be respectful of everybody I deal with, players, fans, media,” he said.

The best reflection of Jeter’s influence on baseball could be measured in the reverence of the other All-Stars. Numerous teammates used the word “legend.” Another admitted that he referred to Jeter as “Mr. Jeter” the first time they met during a game.

  • related content

  • Highlights of Derek Jeter's last All-Star Game

    Wednesday July 16, 2014

    Derek Jeter appeared in his 13th and final All-Star Game and his ninth as a starter.

  • All-Star red carpet rolls up, leaving memories behind

    Wednesday July 16, 2014

    Since Mayor Betsy Hodges has given Minneapolitans license to brag, it won’t seem immodest to point this out: We really know how to stage a parade.

  • All-Star notes: Neshek has rough outing

    Wednesday July 16, 2014

    Pat Neshek was the losing pitcher in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game, but the Park Center graduate and former Twins reliever...

  • All-Star Game, inning-by-inning

    Wednesday July 16, 2014

    The AL jumped ahead right away, then reclaimed the lead after the NL tied it up.

  • Derek Jeter acknowledged the crowd after being taken out of the game in the fourth inning during the MLB All Star Game.

  • Derek Jeter sprinted to first after his first-inning double Tuesday night at Target Field.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Top 2nd123456789RHE
Detroit22       450
Minnesota3        340
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
HR: DET- None MIN- None

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - LP: C. Frias 2 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. De La Rosa 16
San Francisco - WP: S. Romo 4 FINAL
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 2
Boston 1 Bottom 5th Inning
Pittsburgh 5
Toronto 0 Bottom 5th Inning
Baltimore 4
Washington 1 Bottom 6th Inning
Atlanta 0
Miami 3 Top 6th Inning
NY Mets 2
NY Yankees 2 Top 6th Inning
Tampa Bay 1
Cincinnati 1 Top 3rd Inning
Chicago Cubs 2
Chicago WSox 0 Top 3rd Inning
Kansas City 0
Cleveland 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Houston 0
Detroit 2 Top 2nd Inning
Minnesota 3
Milwaukee 0 Top 3rd Inning
St. Louis 0
Seattle - J. Paxton 9:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Wilson
Texas - D. Holland 9:05 PM
Oakland - J. Samardzija
Philadelphia - C. Hamels 9:10 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close