On a Field of All-Stars, All Eyes Will Be On Derek Jeter For Final Time
For the final time, Derek Jeter will take the field to participate in a Major League Baseball All-Star Game. It’s hard to imagine one single player being the focus during a game full of superstars. It happened in 2001 when Cal Ripken Jr played his final mid-summer classic, and again last year as Mariano Rivera came in from the bullpen.
It will happen again this year at Target Field in Minnesota.
Jeter, never a player that wanted the focus on himself, always just wanted to play the game and help his team win. Ironic how often he did that, help his team win, which caused the bright lights to shine directly on him most of the time. Despite never comfortable with a show, Jeter seems to be enjoying his final season and the notoriety that has come along with it as teams shower him with gifts.
Tonight, the world will watch one of the greatest shortstops of all time, take an All-Star game field for the 14th and final time. He will run out as the starting shortstop for the American League in the top of the first. In the bottom half, he will lead off for the AL squad, and how fitting will that be.
By now you’ve heard it all…will National League starting pitcher Adam Wainwright groove a fastball to Jeter, who will by all likely hood swing at the first pitch if he can hit it? Before that first pitch, when he is announced as the batter, will Jeter allow the crowd to give him the loud, and long ovation he deserves? How will he be removed from the game by AL manager John Farrell, and when?
If you ask Jeter, he will tell you it’s an honor to participate in this game, and it is. However, what he may not completely realize, is, it’s an honor for any baseball fan across the country, to watch the Yankees captain play this sport.
Many of his fellow all-stars have said how honored they will be to take the field with this baseball icon.
“I know I’m going to have to hold in some emotions,” AL third baseman Josh Donaldson says. “As a kid, you don’t even fathom playing with a guy at that level. Now, I’ll be playing in the same infield with him.”
NL shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said, “He’s everything I always wanted to be. He’s why I play shortstop. He’s why I wear No. 2. And to be starting across the opposite side of him, in his final All-Star Game, will definitely be cool.”
While Jeter rarely get’s emotional and swears he won’t tonight, he may be one of the few in the ballpark. This is a player that has always played the game the way it was meant to be played, and kept the focus on the team (the best he could anyway) and never wanted anything to distract himself and his team from the task at hand.
Now we must wait to see what happens tonight. How great would it be to see some of Jeter’s iconic moments come back to light. A lead-off home run? A jump and throw from shortstop to get an out at first? How about a inside-out single to right to score a big run?
This is one All-Star spectacular, any baseball fan will not want to miss.
Derek Jeter – A true All-Star.
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