Derek Jeter's final homestand will be met with many emotional goodbyes from fans over the next week. But before he even made it to the ballpark Thursday, a Gatorade commercial anticipating and celebrating the Yankees captain's farewell already had made its way onto the Internet. Jeter then thanked the fans with his bat in a way he hadn't the entire season, belting his first homer at Yankee Stadium in the sixth inning.
The Rays have been there for Derek Jeter's moments, of course. There've been plenty over his 20-year MLB career -- like when he hammered a home run off Tampa Bay ace David Price for his 3,000th hit. But Jeter's been there for the Rays' moments, too.
About three hours before the scheduled first pitch, Derek Jeter walks into the clubhouse, a coffee cup nestled in his right hand. The Yankees captain approaches the laptop computer set up for ticket requests, punches in a few names, slings a pair of white sanitary socks over his shoulder and begins to prepare for the nine innings ahead. While he does, Jeter's java is a constant companion.
Derek Jeter has been a formidable rival for many teams around the league over the years, but there is a different sense of the retiring Yankees captain around these parts. To the Rays, he is also a neighbor.
When the season ends, Derek Jeter will hang up his pinstripes and begin life as a retired baseball player in Tampa, Fla., He's already got a cozy little place set up over on Davis Islands -- that 30,875-square-foot mansion on Hillsborough Bay a few minutes south of downtown, the one often referred to around these parts as "St. Jetersburg."
Derek Jeter said that it has been "an odd situation" to fight for playoff position while being constantly reminded that his own personal finish line is approaching, but the Yankees' captain said that he is not stressing about his recent results at the plate.
The Orioles paid tribute to Derek Jeter's career in a pregame ceremony on Sunday evening at Camden Yards, and Jeter reflected on competing against the O's and his time playing for Buck Showalter in New York.
Derek Jeter already had been honored at ballparks across the country throughout this season, the last of his legendary career. On Sunday afternoon, it was Yankees fans' turn to celebrate the future Hall of Fame shortstop on "Derek Jeter Day" at Yankee Stadium.
On Sunday, the Yankees and their fans said thanks to Derek Jeter, an icon who delivered again and again, and who was beloved as much for his decency off the field as his greatness on it.
Michael Jordan was one of the surprise guests for Derek Jeter's on-field ceremony on Sunday, walking out of the first-base dugout after Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr. and Dave Winfield were introduced. Having tracked Jeter's career over the past two decades and enjoyed common ground as a leading Nike pitchman with the captain, Jordan has grown to become a big fan of Jeter's.
Since its launch in 1996, the Turn 2 Foundation has awarded more than $19 million in grants.
Social Change Project
The Project is an event created to share one of the Foundation's principles with communities.
Turn 2 Foundation Dinner
The 18th Annual Turn 2 Foundation Dinner raised more than $1 million for youth initiatives.