NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Derek Jeter put on New York’s navy pinstripes for the last time Thursday night, for a game that culminated in a fairytale ending.
He would have received a hero’s reception no matter how the Yankees played. But instead, he ripped a single in the bottom of the ninth inning, leading the Yankees to a 6-5 victory and saving the team from extra innings against the Baltimore Orioles.
Serenaded with adoring chants that echoed through the Bronx night, Jeter tipped his cap several times at shortstop and drove in three runs. He launched an early double off the wall, but saved the best for last in his sharp, opposite-field single to right that knocked in the winning run.
And he did it in front of teammates, friends, family and fans who were all there for only one reason: to thank the captain.
But the captain’s final home game was a momentous event no matter what was to come next. Everyone knew that even before the game.
“I think (Thursday) will be the culmination of all the love he has been shown and all the appreciation he has been shown this year and his career,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I think it’ll be something we’ll remember for a long time.”