Leading off the American League in his last ever MLB All-Star game after a hefty ovation would be enough to rattle the average individual, but Derek Jeter reminded the world that he is no average individual. The Captain launched a double to lead off the game and he followed that with a classic Jeter-opposite-field flair in his second and final All-Star at-bat.
By “critics” who thought he shouldn’t be starting the All-Star game, I’m including myself. When he was one of the top vote-getters based almost entirely on respect, I was a little hesitant. I thought the fans clearly didn’t know what was best for their team.
Well, I was wrong.
Jeter did exactly what he’s been doing for his entire career — succeeding. Almost more entertaining than his performance during the game was his interview after he’d been taken out. If anyone, for any bizarre reason, ever had any doubt that Jeter isn’t a great player and a great guy, those reason had to have been buried six-feet under after this All-Star game that will be forever remembered as The Captain’s last hurrah.
When Alexei Ramirez came out to relieve Jeter in the fifth inning, I really didn’t want to see him go. As he was hugging all of the best players in the league and tipping his cap to the adoring fans, all I could think was “that’s just too cool.” It’s one of those moments you’ll never forget and you’ll be able to share with generations to come.