Jeter closes career with hit against Boston rivals

Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:59pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

BOSTON (Reuters) - Derek Jeter fittingly ended his Major League Baseball career with a hit, chopping a high-hopper and beating it out for a third-inning, RBI-single on Sunday in the last at-bat of a 20-year career with the New York Yankees.

Jeter, who strained a hamstring legging out an infield hit on Saturday, was replaced by slow-footed pinch runner Brian McCann and given a thunderous send-off with the Fenway crowd chanting "De-rek Je-ter" and the Red Sox players applauding him.

The Yankees captain, celebrated by his Boston rivals in a classy pre-game ceremony, waved his cap to the crowd drawing one last roar of tribute before he was greeted with hugs by each teammate at the dugout.

The base hit, which Boston third baseman Garin Cecchini was unable to grab with his bare hand, gave Jeter 3,465 for his career -- sixth best on MLB's all-time list -- as the 14-times All-Star left the game and began life as a spectator.

Jeter, 40, could have called it a career on a Hollywood high note after stroking a ninth-inning, walk-off winning single in his last at-bat at Yankee Stadium on Thursday.

But there was one last series left in the season, and the Yankees captain said that out of respect to Boston, the fans and the Red Sox rivalry he wanted to be in the lineup at Fenway Park.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said before Sunday's game that he was not surprised.

"It’s similar to the way I've seen him handle everything else that’s gone on in his career," Farrell told reporters.   Continued...

Sep 28, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (2) is congratulated by right fielder Ichiro Suzuki (31) after being replaced by a pinch runner during the third inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports