Yankee fans came out today to bear witness for an historic moment – Derek Jeter’s last opening day at the stadium and the beginning of the end of his almost 20 year career.
Jeter began playing for the Bronx Bombers in 1995 and since his debut, he’s been a one of the most popular players ever. Known as a consummate ball player, ESPN wrote about Jeter last year,
“The Yankees’ Derek Jeter has defied the impact of the two most influential elements of his time: the institutional shift toward quantitative analysis and the cynical lust for home runs, fueled by performance-enhancing drugs. For now, he’s stuck at 3,304 hits, sidelined until after the All-Star break with an ankle injury. But with Jeter, the visual has always been better than the numerical — and there’s never been a better time to appreciate that than in his absence, which only underscores his longevity.
For years, most stats guys never liked him as much as his All-Star rivals at shortstop: Alex Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra and Miguel Tejada. Jeter, now 38, has outlasted them all at the position and created a more compelling legacy. (Rodriguez and Tejada will always be drug-tainted, and Jeter likely will finish with twice as many hits as Garciaparra’s 1,747.)”
Check out more from the New York Times’ Live Analysis: Jeter’s Last Yankees Home Opener.