All eyes were on Derek Jeter tonight playing in his final All-Star Game. As the game started, the spotlight never shifted. Batting first for the National League, the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen drove the ball up the middle of the field. Jeter made a diving grab to his right and threw to first base, but the speedy McCutchen barely beat Jeter’s throw. Yet, Jeter was not done in the first inning.
“Now batting for the Yankees, No. 2, Derek Jeter, No. 2.”
The late Bob Sheppard’s voice introduced the Yankee’s shortstop who led off for the America League in the bottom of the first inning. Jeter was greeted by a roar of applause from fans and players alike. Getting back to the game, Jeter proceeded to hit a double to right field and score the first run of the game on a triple by the Angels’ Mike Trout.
Tonight, Jeter stepped onto Target Field in Minneapolis for one last Midsummer Classic. Included in his Hall of Fame career are 14 All-Star Game appearances. Jeter has started seven times and, with two hits tonight, is now hitting .481 with 13 hits, six runs and three Runs Batted In. In 2000, the Yankees’ shortstop won the All-Star Game MVP Award.
Jeter was replaced as shortstop by Alexei Ramirez of the Chicago White Sox in the fourth inning.
Although Derek’s two hits and one run did not earn him MVP honors for the All-Star Game, Jeter may be happy to see Mike Trout, a player who idolized Jeter growing up, win the award.
Halfway through the season, the New York Yankees have 47 wins and 47 losses. They are third in the AL East behind the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays. Jeter has a .272 batting average and 25 RBIs.
Just one half season remains until the end of an era in the MLB. Jeter will be gone, but the legacy he leaves will never be forgotten.