Derek Jeter’s Fare-Thee-Well Finale

It was a moment months in the making.

For nearly two decades Derek Jeter has been the face of the New York Yankees, the winningest and most storied franchise in American sports—whether you like it or not. After the most celebrated farewell tour in baseball history, on Thursday Jeter played his final game before the home crowd at Yankee Stadium.

There was something in the Bronx air all night, but the real farewell from fans, some of whom paid upwards of $10,000 for seats close to the action, began in the eighth inning. The emotional crowd remained largely on their feet through Jeter’s final act.

And what a final act it was.

In his final at-bat in the ninth inning, Jeter smacked that trademark single of his into right field. The walk-off single drove home the game-winning run against the Baltimore Orioles and Jeter raised his arms in triumph as he rounded second base.

It was a storybook ending like only Jeter could write.

Yankees fans weren’t the least bit concerned that the team had been eliminated from postseason contention—how could they be while saying goodbye to a man so integral to their last five championships?

The celebration of Derek Jeter and his Hall of Fame career in pin stripes was on par with any World Series he’s won in New York.

For the first time in his storied career Jeter was finally overcome with emotion.

“I don’t know how I played this game,” Jeter said. “I went up the first time and forgot my elbow guard. I was throwing balls away. I was giving signs when no one was on base. I was all messed up.”

He added that “these last few weeks have gotten tougher and tougher. But it’s been all worthwhile. This was a lot of fun,” he said.

It was a lot of fun. For all of us.

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