NEW YORK — Derek Jeter returned to Yankee Stadium for the first time in five years and was honored two years ago for being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
With his Hall plaque on a pitcher mound stand, Jeter spoke at the end of a 27-minute ceremony for Friday night’s game against Tampa Bay.
“I was born in New Jersey. I grew up in Kalamazoo. I now live in Miami,” he said at the end of his 4-minute speech. “But here for you, with you, is where I really feel at home.”
Jeter led the Yankees to five World Series titles and was a 14-time All-Star in a 20-season career ending in 2014. He was inducted into the Hall in Cooperstown after being elected on 396 of 397 ballots.
jeter’s no. 2 was retired by the Yankees in a ceremony in May 2017 when a plaque in his honor was unveiled in Monument Park. He was CEO of the Miami Marlins from September 2017 to February 2022
Ex-teammates CC Sabathia, Tino Martinez, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera were each announced separately, followed by Jeter’s former manager and fellow Hall of Famer Joe Torre.
“When they were kids, this was one of the faces of baseball on its most iconic team,” said current Yankees manager Aaron Boone.
After the guests were introduced, a video narrated by actor Billy Crystal was shown in the midfield of the pitch. Accompanied by his wife and three daughters, Jeter emerged from the tunnel behind the field wall at center left on a cart that followed the warning track along the right field line toward the Yankees dugout before turning onto the field.
During the ride, Jeter and his two oldest daughters, 5-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Story, waved to the crowd as 9-month-old River sat on Mother Hannah’s lap as the guest of honor said, “Thank you.” grind. The vast majority of the fans on the fringes stayed on their feet the entire time, chanting “De-rek Jeter!”
“As the crowd chanted my name, I tried to explain to my two elders, obviously not the nine-month-old, but I tried to explain to them what was going on, thinking they might be a little scared or intimidated. … because of the noise,” Jeter said.
As Story and Bella stood behind him, hopping around and kicking the dirt, Jeter addressed his daughters by saying, “I told you this place was special.”
Jeter later said he told the couple they would get ice cream if they stayed in their seats during the speech.
“They lost a deal,” he joked.
Managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, booed by the crowd, handed Jeter a check to the Turn 2 Foundation for $222,222.22.
“They booed everyone here. I’ve been booed before,” Jeter said later. “Yankee fans, we’re all spoiled, right? I mean a lot of success that we’ve had over the course of my career, over the past 20 years, there’s been a lot of success and Yankee fans expect excellence.”
At the old Yankee Stadium across 161st St., Jeter told then-President George W. Bush to throw his ceremonial first pitch from the rubber or the crowd would cheer. Now 48, Jeter ignored his own advice by throwing his first pitch from in front of the mound.
“They started yelling at me as I walked in front of the mound. I haven’t thrown a baseball since I threw the first pitch in 2017,” Jeter said. “I was a little worried I’d bounce.”
#Yankees #Honor #Jeter #Hall #Fame #Induction