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Rain had started to fall at Kauffman Stadium as the echoing roars finally faded into the night. Eric Hosmer popped out of the dugout one last time, looked to the sky and let it soak in.

It had been 29 years since the Royals played a post-season game — nearly three decades spent mostly as a laughingstock. But on Tuesday night, already drenched in victory champagne, the young first baseman felt as if the whole world had watched their coming-out party.

“This team showed a lot of character tonight,” Hosmer said. “We weren’t going to quit.”

Salvador Perez singled home the winning run with two outs in the 12th inning, capping two late comebacks that gave Kansas City a thrilling 9-8 victory over the Oakland Athletics in the American League wild-card game. (Photos: Ed Zurga/Getty Images, Jeff Roberson/The Associated Press, Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Cutting back musical montages just one of the changes Rogers will introduce to Hockey Night in Canada: Rogers Sportsnet unveiled its new Hockey Central Studio on Tuesday. It features nine sets and includes the largest television studio monitor in Canada.Rogers has already introduced a handful of changes in the way it will deliver hockey to Canadians. In March, the company announced it was nudging long-time Hockey Night host Ron MacLean into a secondary role to clear room for George Stroumboulopoulos.Musical montages will not feature as prominently on Hockey Night in Canada this season as editorial control of the show shifts to Rogers Communications Inc., though executives with the company say the pre-game features will not disappear entirely. (Photo: CNW Group/Sportsnet)

Cutting back musical montages just one of the changes Rogers will introduce to Hockey Night in Canada: Rogers Sportsnet unveiled its new Hockey Central Studio on Tuesday. It features nine sets and includes the largest television studio monitor in Canada.

Rogers has already introduced a handful of changes in the way it will deliver hockey to Canadians. In March, the company announced it was nudging long-time Hockey Night host Ron MacLean into a secondary role to clear room for George Stroumboulopoulos.

Musical montages will not feature as prominently on Hockey Night in Canada this season as editorial control of the show shifts to Rogers Communications Inc., though executives with the company say the pre-game features will not disappear entirely. (Photo: CNW Group/Sportsnet)

Casey Janssen pitched one last perfect ninth inning, but this was not a save opportunity. It was a rave opportunity, and the fans delivered.

The Blue Jays closer came in to pitch the final frame of the season, and likely the last of his Toronto career, with his team trailing Baltimore 1-0. It took him six pitches to retire the side. Before each one, he held his glove in front of his chin and rocked from one foot to the other and blew out a big breath, just as he has done thousands of times in his eight-season career.

His job done, he walked off the mound, head down as usual, until the cheers started. Then he looked up and saw the fans standing and clapping. He waited a moment or two, and then he waved and soaked it all in.

“Gibby [manager John Gibbons] talked to me before the game and he said, ‘We’re thinking about giving you the ninth inning so the fans can honour you,’” Janssen said after that 1-0 score held up and the Jays finished 83-79. “I was like, ‘Really, you think they’re going to honour me?’

Photos courtesy of Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press;
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

'You can’t even dream this stuff up': Derek Jeter had a hard time stepping into the batter’s box in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from the fans over the past two weeks and all the final moments at home in a 20-season career, the always cool captain of the Yankees was about to break down.

“I almost started crying driving here today,” Jeter said Thursday night after New York’s 6-5 win over Baltimore. “I think I’ve done a pretty good job of controlling my emotions throughout the course of my career. … Today I wasn’t able to do it.”

What he was able to do was give New York one more amazing moment in a career full of them, driving in the winning run in the ninth with — what else? — an opposite-field single to right field.

Even though he was playing the first game of his career at Yankee Stadium with the team eliminated from the playoff race, Jeter leaped high with both arms raised after touching first base and was embraced by his teammates.

The 14-time All-Star then lingered on the field, seemingly not wanting to give up the only job he ever hoped to have — shortstop for the New York Yankees. (Photos: Elsa/Getty Images, Al Bello/Getty Images, Bill Kostroun/The Associated Pres, Julie Jacobson/The Associated Press)

A runner eases down after finishing at Newmarket racecourse on September 25, 2014 in Newmarket, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

A runner eases down after finishing at Newmarket racecourse on September 25, 2014 in Newmarket, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Athletic Bilbao midfielder Benat Etxebarria Urkiaga (R) vies with Rayo’s Portuguese forward Lica during the Spanish league football match Rayo Vallecano vs Athletic Bilbao at the Vallecas stadium in Madrid on September 24, 2014.  (Photo: Dany Pozo/AFP/Getty Images)

Athletic Bilbao midfielder Benat Etxebarria Urkiaga (R) vies with Rayo’s Portuguese forward Lica during the Spanish league football match Rayo Vallecano vs Athletic Bilbao at the Vallecas stadium in Madrid on September 24, 2014.  (Photo: Dany Pozo/AFP/Getty Images)

A swimmer from Macao competes in the free combination synchronized swimming event final during the 2014 Asian Games at the Munhak Park Tae-hwan Aquatics Center in Incheon on September 23, 2014. (Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images)

A swimmer from Macao competes in the free combination synchronized swimming event final during the 2014 Asian Games at the Munhak Park Tae-hwan Aquatics Center in Incheon on September 23, 2014. (Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S.A.! U.S.A.! Rickie Fowler of the United States shows off his new hairstyle during practice ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 22, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland.  (Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)

U.S.A.! U.S.A.! Rickie Fowler of the United States shows off his new hairstyle during practice ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 22, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland.  (Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)

For a Hall of Fame-bound star who authored so many of the most famous moments in recent baseball history, who shined so bright under an October spotlight, Derek Jeter also was defined by his everyday excellence throughout the summer.

His steady hands at shortstop. The feisty at-bat to spark a rally with an opposite-field single. The multimillion dollar icon who wouldn’t hesitate to bunt.

And then, of course, there were the highlights nobody will forget.

(Photos by: Alex Goodlett/Getty Images;AP Photo/Kalamazoo Gazette; AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File; AP Photo/Ed Betz, File; AP File)

Jose Bautista has tormented the Yankees this season. On Saturday, the Yankee Stadium fans returned fire, but the Blue Jays slugger got the last laugh.

And Marcus Stroman had a pleasant Saturday night too after boosting the Blue Jays to a 6-3 win in a solid start against his hometown team. The rookie earned his 11th win.

As the Jays snapped a season-high six-game losing streak, Bautista reached base five times, hit a homer and scored four runs. The seventh-inning homer inspired some hecklers and Bautista later admitted he blew kisses in return from his post in right field.

When he caught a fly ball for the final out in the seventh, he faked a toss into the seats, then kept the ball, prompting a torrent of boos.

When he came back out for the next inning, the taunting continued. Bautista tossed a warmup ball to the fans, but someone fired a ball back onto the field, and although it didn’t come close to hitting him, he figured it was time to ignore the hecklers and let his performance stand on its own.

(Photos by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)