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I Witnessed History:
Derek Jeter's last game at Yankee Stadium

November 17, 2014
By MAX TRINK
 

Way back in February when my mom told me she had purchased tickets to the last Yankee home game of 2014, I wasn’t that excited. That would likely be Derek Jeter’s last home game before his retirement at the end of the season. I was, after all, a huge Mets fan and baseball seemed light years away in the cold and snow of the winter. Well, winter ended and baseball returned.

I love all sports, but baseball is by far my favorite. I love everything about it, especially its rich history. Players like Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig and miracles like the ground ball past Billy Buckner in World Series Game 6 and Don Larsen’s World Series perfect game. As the season wore on, I was hoping that Jeter would make it through without injury so that we could see him play that night. Throughout the year, many teams made tributes to Jeter and gave him gifts to acknowledge his impact on their teams and baseball in general. He was honored at the All-Star Game in Minnesota. It became very apparent that he was one of the all time greats in the game of baseball.

Why do I feel Jeter was so important to baseball? Maybe it was the fact that he played for one team his whole career. This was done frequently in the past, but in modern day baseball, this almost never happens. It could also be that he was a great representative for the game. While I love the fun-loving style of modern day baseball, there is still something to be said for someone who takes the job very seriously and makes an impact on the lives of others both on and off the field.

As the season wound down and it became apparent that the Yankees would not make the post-season, I was greatly anticipating this last game on September 25, 2014. Would it rain? Would Jeter play the whole game? There was so much media speculation. I was just so glad when we settled into our seats and the game got underway.

The rain ended and the game started on time. My Dad even took a picture of the huge rainbow over Yankee Stadium that seemed to come out for Jeter’s last game. Jeter got standing ovations for every at bat. I met the people sitting around us who had travelled from Arizona and Canada to see this last game. I realized the importance of this moment. The inning before everyone thought the Yankees would win because their closer, David Robertson was coming out for the save but he then gave up two homers and the game was now tied. Antoan Richardson then went up and got a single. After that Brett Gardner bunted him over to second base. Finally Jeter’s moment was there, he had a man in scoring position and Mr. November was ready to do what he did in November toward the beginning of his career. Jeter’s first pitch he sees rockets out into right field and Nick Markakis threw the ball home, but it didn’t come on time and Jeter did what he has done throughout his career, be clutch when he needed to be. I witnessed how much this one man meant to so many people. I saw my brother, who has only worn number two to honor Jeter on all of his little league uniforms, say goodbye to his idol. I realized an era had just ended and I was able to witness it in person.