Not much about baseball makes me nostalgic anymore; I just don’t love the sport like I used to. I go to far fewer games, watch hardly any baseball on TV, and follow the sport only casually.
But Derek Jeter playing his farewell season with the Yankees definitely required one final trip to the giant museum that contains a baseball field in the Bronx, so Monday night my wife, father-in-law and I went to the Stadium to see No. 2 one final time.
And it stirred up lots of feelings and thoughts about the guy who’s been manning shortstop for the Bombers since 1996.
Mostly, I felt grateful that Jeter brought so much joy and life back to the Yanks. You have to remember, for most of the 1980s and early ’90s, my childhood Yankee-loving was filled with misery. George Steinbrenner spent way too much money on mediocre free agents, and traded away so many good young prospects that it became a joke.
Only, Jeter was drafted and developed at a time Steinbrenner was suspended from baseball and couldn’t interfere in the team, and thank God for that.
Because Jeter was special pretty much from Day 1. He was the starting shortstop on the ’96 Yankees team that won their first World Series, and he was way too calm for a 21-year-old. Throughout his career he’s always been unrattled in the clutch, and has looked so much like a leader that it’s almost a cliché to say he’s “the ultimate leader.”
Every Yankee fan has their favorite Jeter memory; mine will always be the “flip play” against Oakland that nailed Jeremy Giambi at the plate.
Jeter exuded class on and off the field (if he ever gets busted for steroid use, I’m pretty sure the Internet would explode), and while sure, many Yankee haters insist he’s always been overrated (never a great fielder, his range has gotten less and less over the years), he represented the pinstripes in a classy way.
When he came up to bat for the first time Monday, the crowd rose and gave him a big hand, and chanted his name. Not sure if that’s happening every game at home this year, but it was a cool thing to see.
When Jeter goes, the last link to the Yankees’ dynasty will be gone. But it sure was damn fun to watch No. 2 play.
**Next up, most of these prank videos you see on Facebook and YouTube are pretty lame, but this one made me laugh out loud, even though its fairly juvenile.
At the entrance to the Clemson football building there are mannequins dressed in Tigers uniforms greeting players and visitors. Current Clemson QB Cole Stoudt decided to have some fun by dressing up as a mannequin and scaring people who walked in.
The hilarity starts at the :50 mark, though my favorite reaction is at 1:50.
**And finally, this guy from Australia goes through an awful lot of trouble to sell his used car. But it’s definitely way better than just putting an ad in the paper, don’t you think?