'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)
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)
Unable to play in the U.S. Open a year ago because of a doping suspension, Marin Cilic is now the tournament’s champion.
Croatia’s Cilic won his first Grand Slam title by beating Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 on Monday at Flushing Meadows, using 17 aces — including four in one game — and the same powerful groundstrokes that helped him eliminate Roger Federer in the semi-finals.
“This is [from] all the hard work in these last several years — and especially this last year,” Cilic said during the on-court ceremony, when he kissed his silver trophy and collected a check for US$3-million. (Photos: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images, Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)
Kevin Ward Jr. was remembered as a “small-town boy” who loved his sport during Thursday’s funeral for the 20-year-old dirt-track racer whose car was hit by one driven by NASCAR champion Tony Stewart.
More than 700 mourners jammed the South Lewis Senior High School auditorium for the 90-minute service, a mix of tears and cheerful recollections of someone who began racing at a young age.
“Even if he had rough day, he always had a smile,” a tearful Dylan Swiernick said of his best friend and car-obsessed buddy. “We were just two small-town boys trying to make it in the big world. He was always working on something. It was unbelievable how smart he was.”
After the service, as Ward’s casket was taken to the hearse for the short trip to the cemetery, mourners let loose helium balloons in orange, white and black, his racing colours. (Photos: Mike Groll/The Associated Press, Rich Barnes/Getty Images)