Today’s installment is going to be a different kind of About Last Night post.
Instead of displaying heat maps and spray charts from Derek Jeter‘s last All-Star Game, I’m going to post video of what happened during the game so we can relive the magical moments. Yeah, I know, that’s pretty mawkish of me but I cannot help myself. I am feeling a little emotional about all of the “lasts” Jeter is experiencing, especially now that the season is closer to the end than it is to the beginning and because everything will be winding down soon.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Here’s Jeter’s double in the first inning. The best part about this, at least for me, is that it comes right after some jackhole in the stands starts chanting, “Over-rated!” at him.
It made me do a Jeter-esque fist pump in my house. I also may have yelled an expletive (or four) as well.
After all of the complaining about him being in the All-Star game to begin with, after all of the squawking about him leading off for the American League, and after all of the discussions about him being the weakest link in the lineup, with the lowest OPS, wRC+ and every other metric you can name, he hits a double on the second pitch of the game. And it wasn’t a cheap double, he laced it down the right field line. Jeter basically told the haters where to go and it was glorious.
This next video is from Statcast, MLB’s really cool new tracking system which shows you a lot of different measurements and metrics including speed and distance of both balls and the players themselves. This clip tracks Jeter’s speed running to second on the double which turns out to be not too shabby for a washed up 40 year-old shortstop nearing the end of his career. (Yes, I’m being sarcastic.)
Now, this next video shows both of Jeter’s hits because for some reason, MLB didn’t have a video of just his single up at the time I wrote this (3:00 A.M. just in case you were wondering) so if you want to see the single, fast forward to 1:56 in. I don’t know if it was the angle or what, but I didn’t know what that ball was actually doing when he first hit it. It almost looked like it was going foul to me so I was both surprised and very happy that it dropped in for a single. I felt like the angles were weird all night on Fox’s broadcast but I was also sitting pretty far away from a TV that isn’t very big so maybe it was just me.
And finally, here’s his exit from the game. American League manager John Farrell, told reporters his plan before the game. He said he’d have Jeter go out to the field for the top of the fourth and then replace him so he could walk off to a nice ovation from the crowd. After the game, Jeter claimed that he didn’t know it was going to happen. I guess no one spoiled it for him which in this day and age is quite an accomplishment.
- It’s funny that the video boards were telling the Target Field crowd to clap as Jeter was leaving the field. And it wasn’t just the big boards, even the ribbon boards said it out in left field.
- Jeter’s three year-old nephew clapping for him as Derek made his way through the dugout hugging his teammates was pretty adorable. What a cute child.
- I may have shed a tear or 30 as Jeter made his way to the dugout, tipping his hat to the crowd and the other players. This whole getting older thing is very strange. It feels like yesterday when I was still able to say that I was younger than a lot of guys playing baseball and now, just like Jeter, I am older than about 99.6% of them. I don’t like it at all and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t like it either. It’s probably why he’s retiring now. If you watched the broadcast, you heard how many times Harold Reynolds brought up Jeter’s age. Both Reynolds and his booth partner Joe Buck were acting as if being a 40 year-old and playing baseball was completely out of the ordinary. Did everyone forget how old Mariano Rivera was last year?
Jeter finished the game 2-2 with a run scored which makes him the oldest player to have two hits in an All-Star game. The previous record holder was Carl Yastrzemski who was 39 when he did it way back in 1979.
Jeter’s overall All-Star numbers now stand, and will remain at .481 BA (13 for 27), one home run, two doubles, three RBI and six runs scored.
It was a really nice performance for Jeter in his final All-Star game and it was the kind of showing that gives Yankee fans everywhere yet another event to talk about when rattling off his career highlights to their kids and grandkids.