Jeter repays Yankee sendoff with storybook finish
By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Yankees fans bid an emotional farewell to "the Captain" on Thursday and Derek Jeter responded with a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth in his last home game.
The retiring 20-year veteran was serenaded throughout the game with chants of "Der-ek Je-ter" that nearly moved the shortstop to tears as he played in his 1,391st and last game at Yankee Stadium as he contributed to a fairytale send-off.
Jeter drove in the first run of the game with an opening-inning double off the fence in left-center, snapped a 2-2 tie with an RBI grounder in the seventh and broke a 5-5 deadlock with a single to right for a game-winner that sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Jeter was mobbed by team mates near second-base after his game-ending hit as the stadium rocked to the 6-5 victory.
He hugged each one before heading toward the dugout where his former 'Core Four' team mates -- Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada, who won five World Series together -- waited to congratulate him.
He then walked out to his shortstop position, and with the crowd still roaring and opposing Orioles players applauding at the railing in front of the visitors' dugout, he acknowledged the crowd and took some time for personal reflection.
"I never dreamed of an ending like this," Jeter said. "I wouldn't have believed it myself."
All-day rain had threatened to spoil the party, but it came to a stop an hour before game time and the grey skies brightened for the 48,000 fans that packed Yankee Stadium for the 40-year-old Jeter's final home performance. Continued...