11 years ago this month, New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter dove into History
Spectacular play by Jeter was 11 years ago.
11 years ago this July, Derek Jeter showed Yankees fans once again why his nickname is “The Captain.”
Yup 11 years ago, feel old yet?
On July 1, 2004 the Yankees started the conclusion of a four-game series with the rival Boston Red Sox. The game seemed like a normal one to start as the Yankees and Red Sox exchanged runs and ended up going into extra innings.
It was inning number 12 when a Trot Nixon pop-up to short leftfield gave fans of baseball a highlight they have seen for the past 10 years. Yankees right-hander Tanyon Sturtze was on the mound when Nixon delivered a one-two count pitch over Alex Rodriguez’s head into short left. Jeter, charged full speed ahead and made the catch just before diving and descending into the third base seats. The ball would’ve dropped and would have scored two runs, but Jeter had other ideas.
The face of the Yankees held on to make the catch and end the top of the 12th inning. The play was so special because at the time, the Yankees were up seven and a half games on the Red Sox, and one game wouldn’t have made a huge difference, but that’s how Jeter played. When Jeter reappeared out of the stands, his face was cut up and bruised.
Jeter’s catch on pinch-hitter Trot Nixon’s popup with runners on second and third stunned the 55,265 fans and also scared them. They gasped when the replay was shown on the video board of him flying over the photographers’ pit and into the seats.
Jeter left the ballpark with a bloodied chin and a red, swollen cheek. He also had a bruised shoulder. X-Rays were negative, and Jeter was in the lineup against the Mets the next night. The Yankees went on to beat the Red Sox on a pinch-hit double by Yankees back-up catcher John Flaherty.
Jeter surely made greater plays, he just didn’t make them against the Red Sox, and he didn’t just make them in regular season games in July, but on a July night in the Bronx, Derek Jeter did what he did best, he amazed Yankee and baseball fans everywhere.
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