4. Jeter Walks Off the Orioles
Derek Jeter walking off the Baltimore Orioles in his last game at Yankee Stadium was magical.
This was magic. Magic! M-A-G-I-C.
You remember where you were, you remember how you got there, you remember how you felt. How your body shuddered. You probably started filming your TV? Why? Who knows.
Downgraded slightly because O’s reliever Evan Meek grooved a fastball a bit, and because the 2014 Yankees were stuck in the mud and playing out what felt like a Memorial Campaign instead of a baseball season (Antoan Richardson scores?!), but it was hard to believe everything that authentically fell into place to make this happen.
First, Jeter reached base on a two-run error in what was likely his final at-bat (under normal circumstances) in the seventh. Coming back from a comedy show, I ducked into a random bar to watch it, got appropriately emotional, and bounded down into the subway, assuming everything would be done and dusted by the time I got home. Then, David Robertson blew a three-run save chance (the easiest type of save chance!) on home runs by Adam Jones and…Steve Pearce. Of COURSE. Of COURSE it was Steve Pearce.
But, none of it mattered. It was just window-dressing. The spotlight found the man of the hour yet again, and he flicked one into the gloamin in Jeterian fashion. One more time.
Sidenote: what a hideous injustice that Jeter was forced that season to play his final games in Boston, a city where they’ve now unilaterally claimed they’ve “always respected him,” despite selling graphic NSFW Jeter-A-Rod shirts on Yawkey Way for a decade. Don’t let ’em get away with it.