New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter recorded an RBI single in his last-ever game, a 9-5 win over the Boston Red Sox, on Sept. 28. Jeter played designated hitter during the game.
Derek Jeter recorded an RBI single in his last-ever MLB game in a 9-5 win over the Boston Red Sox on Sept. 28.
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The hit was Jeter's 3,465th which upped his 20-year career batting average to .310, per MLB.com's Bryan Hoch:
"Derek Jeter's final morning in a big league uniform started by fielding a housekeeping question and then absorbing an interesting factoid. The first part was obligatory: yes, of course he planned to be in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Red Sox.
"That was the response Joe Girardi expected, and so the Yankees' manager nodded, then fired his follow-up. Jeter's plan was to have two at-bats -- no matter the results -- and then exit. Girardi noted that two more hits would give Jeter an 18th season of 150 or more hits, tying an all-time record. Did he care?
"'It didn't mean a whole lot to him,' Girardi said. 'He's all about winning. Obviously, we're going home and he's very sad and we're all sad, but it's never been about him. It's been about the rings, and going out and playing winning baseball.'
"Or, as Jeter put it: 'I never played this game for numbers, so why start now?'
"So Jeter's career ended in the third inning as he slapped a 93-mph Clay Buchholz fastball off home plate to the left side of the infield, with the Yankees' captain running hard down the first-base line, just as he has done countless times before.
"The ball 'hung up in the stratosphere,' according to third baseman Garin Cecchini, who tried but was unable to bare-hand the ball. Ichiro Suzuki scored as Jeter reached safely without a throw, then motioned to the dugout that it was time to go.
"'I would have loved to hit a home run like everyone else, but getting hits is not easy to do,' Jeter said after the Yankees' 9-5 victory. 'I don't care how far it goes, where it goes. I have no ego when it comes to hits. It's either a hit or an out. I've gotten a lot of hits like that throughout my career, and they all count the same.'
"Jeter finished with 3,465 hits, sixth all-time and the most ever by a Yankee, and that stat Girardi spoke about will continue to belong to Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker and Pete Rose. But Jeter has 17 seasons of at least 150 hits, and that keeps him in some good company.
"'I'm tied with Hank Aaron. That's enough for me,' Jeter said.
"Jeter also walked out of Fenway Park as the Yankees' franchise leader in games played (2,747), at-bats (11,195), runs (1,923), doubles (544) and stolen bases (358), owning a lifetime batting average of .310.
"'I've had a blast,' Jeter said. 'Listen, I got an opportunity to do what I wanted to do -- the only thing that I ever wanted to do. I know that not a lot of people can say that. I've been fortunate, but I've had fun. There isn't a thing that I would change.'"
Jeter's last game in Boston united Yankees fans and Red Sox fans like nothing else could, says ESPN New York's Ian O'Connor:
"As grand exits go, this was not in the same ballpark with Thursday night in the Bronx. In the middle of a football Sunday, Derek Jeter was playing the Pro Bowl at Fenway Park three days after he was named Super Bowl MVP.
"That's how it felt, anyway. For the first time in his life, Jeter didn't want to spend a couple of sunshiny days playing baseball games.
"He was there in body, but not in spirit. He only put on his New York Yankees uniform and took his final four at-bats over the weekend out of respect for the game, the Red Sox rivalry, and the fans who had paid their hard-earned money to see him.
"Fans on both sides of the aisle.
"'A few people thought I shouldn't play here,' Jeter said. 'I said I was going to play, so that's why I played.'
"The full house chanted his name throughout the day, and no, the ovations weren't driven only by the New Yorkers who had made their way up I-95.
"Fans in Red Sox jerseys and caps were fully engaged in the celebration too, joining in the rhythmic clap-clap-clapping in between the four-syllabic chants of the Yankee captain's name.
"It was a surreal scene for sure, given the barroom nature of the slugfests between these two franchises over the decades. (Thurman) Munson and (Carlton) Fisk. Sweet Lou (Piniella) and everyone. (Greg) Nettles and Spaceman Lee. Pedro (Martinez) and (Don) Zimmer. (Jason) Varitek and A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez).
"On one playoff night in 1999, after the Fenway fans hurled bottles and cups and coins onto the field to express their displeasure with the Yankees and the umps, Jeter was left rattled to the core.
"'Man,' he said, 'people were animals out there.'
"He defanged them over the years. They weren't chanting 'Nomar's better' anymore, and they weren't mocking him with garden-variety profanity. On Sunday, as a postscript to the ninth-inning fairy tale that was his Yankee Stadium goodbye, Jeter managed the impossible:
"He buit a bridge from the Bronx to Boston.
"'I don't know how many people could really unite a crowd like he did,' Joe Girardi said. The Yankees manager said it felt like one team was playing at Fenway, not two.
"'Obviously I got a lot of great stories to tell my kids and grandkids,' Girardi said before the emotion overtook him.
"This was one of those great stories, the day Fenway treated Jeter the way Madison Square Garden treated Michael Jordan at the end. Times two."
In addition to his 3,465 hits and .310 batting average, Jeter also amassed 260 home runs and 1,310 RBIs during his storied career with the Yankees, per ESPN stats.
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