September 25 should be Derek Jeter’s final game

Derek Jeter New Yorker
Ted Williams‘ final game was Wednesday, September 28, 1960 at Fenway Park.

On Friday, September 30, 1960, the Red Sox, without Williams in the lineup, went to New York and were swept in a three-game set against the Yankees, who ended their regular season with a 15-game winning streak.

Mariano Rivera‘s final game was Thursday, September 26, 2013 at Yankee Stadium.

On Friday, September 27, 2013, the Yankees, without Rivera in the bullpen, went to Houston and swept a three-game set against the Astros, who ended their regular season with a 15-game losing streak.

Iconic players should end their great careers at home

Great players should be given the opportunity to be honored in their final game by their fans, teammates, and even their opponents.

On October 6, 2001, the Red Sox and Orioles, both eliminated from postseason contention, were playing their final game of the season. But, if you weren’t watching football (which I wasn’t) you were watching the final innings of this game (which I was), for one reason. It was not a no-hitter, nor a close game, the Sox were winning 5-1 with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning. You were watching because you wanted a moment. A final moment.

On the mound for Boston was the ignominious Ugueth  Urbina and at the plate was Brady Anderson,with a 3-2 count. Urbina threw some breaking pitch, Anderson struck out swinging, Urbina pumped his fist as the season came to an end.

The moment was missed.

In the on-deck circle was Cal Ripken. An Urbina pitch high and outside to Anderson, would have given the Baltimore fans one last time to honor their hero. Even if Cal had whiffed, he would have felt their love one more time and baseball fans would not have felt cheated of their moment.

But Ugie needed to pump his fist striking out Brady Anderson.

A final moment is coming

On Thursday, September 25, 2014, the Yankees play their final regular season home game against the Baltimore Orioles.

If the Yankees are eliminated, that should be Derek Jeter‘s final game.

On Friday, September 26, 2014, the Yankees without Jeter in the lineup, will travel to Boston for their final three-game set of the season, facing the Red Sox at Fenway Park, as both teams face an idle October for the first time since 1993.

Like the Astros and Rivera, the Red Sox must celebrate Derek Jeter

The Red Sox, under the leadership of Dr. Charles Steinberg, is renowned for his (often excessive) celebrations of Red Sox successes. Last season, I felt the organization embarrassed itself in their final salute to Rivera, who always showed nothing but class to the Boston fans, by repeatedly showing video of the 2004 postseason Red Sox defeats of Mariano. It was self-serving, and showed poor judgement and lack of class and was totally unnecessary. The equivalent would be if the Yankees had repeatedly shown a video of Carl Yastrzemski popping out to third baseman Graig Nettles on October 2, 1978 for the final out in game 163 of the season giving Bucky Dent and the Yankees a 5-4 win and the AL East title.

But Mariano took it with a smile, because Mariano is, well Mariano.

The eyes of the baseball world will be on Boston for this final three-game series, let’s hope that the Red Sox salvage something from their awful season by making Derek Jeter’s final farewell the best outside of Yankee Stadium.

Comments

  1. Josh Labadie says:

    It would be a disservice to baseball if he skipped the final series. Cal was supposed to retire in Boston, except September 11 altered the remaining schedule in 2001 and he ended up finishing in Baltimore. But I’m sure he would have played no matter what because that’s simply what Cal and Derek do; if they’re in the lineup, they play. It’s not any more complicated than that.