The first day of the Derek Jeter farewell tour kicked off on Wednesday night, as a collection of Texas-themed gifts from the Houston Astros began what will be an interesting year of off-beat presents to the captain.
The Astros honored Jeter before the start of Game 2 of the series against the New York Yankees by presenting him with a Stetson cowboy hat and what is probably his first pair of cowboy boots. But these aren’t just any cowboy boots; these boots are one-of-a-kind Lucchese’s, covered with Yankee pinstripes, featuring the interlocking NY on the front and No. 2 on the back.
Mariano Rivera was also honored by Houston in his farewell tour last season, but the Astros certainly stepped up their farewell gift game by going the city-themed route. Rivera was given a collage painting when the Yankees visited Houston, but this year, they definitely did their homework on farewell gift-giving.
The most memorable gifts from Rivera’s tour were the ones that represented the culture of the city. The San Diego Padres awarded him a beach cruiser bicycle, the Oakland Athletics gave him a surfboard, and the Texas Rangers also went with the western theme with boots and a hat. However, Rivera embraced the Rangers’ gift a bit more than Jeter, when he actually donned the hat for a photo. As much as I would love seeing Jeter pose in a pair of pinstripe boots, a simple chuckle and handshake was all that was returned from the always professional shortstop.
Along with the western threads, Jeter received a set of Titlist golf clubs and professional golf lessons. I guess it’s fitting, as every team would love to see him play another sport, and who doesn’t need help on their golf game? The Yankees would drop the game 3-1, but all in all, the Astros put on a respectable ceremony for the 20-year veteran, and began the trend of wacky gift-giving that will be fun to watch all season.