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National Post Sports

'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)

Baltimore Ravens fans exchanged their jerseys of former running back Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on September 19, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. Following a video that surfaced of Ray Rice knocking his then fiancee Janay Rice unconscious in an New Jersey Casino elevator, the Baltimore Ravens cut Rice and the NFL suspended him indefinitely. The Baltimore Ravens offered fans an option for a free exchange of their Ray Rice uniforms for another Ravens player. (Photos: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ Phil Kessel poses during a photo shoot at training camp in Toronto on Thursday September 18, 2013. (Photo: Chris Young/The Canadian Press)As the Leafs open training camp, here are some key questions they’ll need to answer.

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ Phil Kessel poses during a photo shoot at training camp in Toronto on Thursday September 18, 2013. (Photo: Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

As the Leafs open training camp, here are some key questions they’ll need to answer.

It was only a question of when, and against whom, and with six home games this week, it was a safe bet the Baltimore Orioles would tie up their championship in a bow for the legions of orange-clad partisans who cheer them on at Camden Yards.A remarkably balanced and resourceful team, the Orioles won their 90th game against the Blue Jays on Monday night. On Tuesday, more than 35,000 expectant fans came out to experience a celebration. They started the party in the first inning and the merriment mounted apace. By the fifth, the fans were on their feet and cheering at the end of each inning, counting the outs required for the Orioles’ first American League East title since 1997.The final score was 8-2, and the suspense was minimal. Baltimore led 4-2 after two and held that edge into the seventh, but it never felt that close. The Blue Jays obliged a hometown script. (Photo: Patrick Semansky/The Associated Press)

It was only a question of when, and against whom, and with six home games this week, it was a safe bet the Baltimore Orioles would tie up their championship in a bow for the legions of orange-clad partisans who cheer them on at Camden Yards.

A remarkably balanced and resourceful team, the Orioles won their 90th game against the Blue Jays on Monday night. On Tuesday, more than 35,000 expectant fans came out to experience a celebration. They started the party in the first inning and the merriment mounted apace. By the fifth, the fans were on their feet and cheering at the end of each inning, counting the outs required for the Orioles’ first American League East title since 1997.

The final score was 8-2, and the suspense was minimal. Baltimore led 4-2 after two and held that edge into the seventh, but it never felt that close. The Blue Jays obliged a hometown script. (Photo: Patrick Semansky/The Associated Press)

The Miami Marlins lost much more than a game Thursday night. They likely have lost slugger Giancarlo Stanton for the rest of the season after a frightening scene at Miller Park.

Stanton sustained multiple facial fractures, dental damage and cuts that needed stitches after being hit in the face by a fastball from Milwaukee’s Mike Fiers.

Stanton’s father was at the game and came onto the field while his son was treated. Stanton was bleeding heavily from his mouth, then was driven away from the plate in an ambulance. His dad rode with him to the hospital.

It was ruled that Stanton swung trying to get out of the way of the 88 mph pitch from Fiers. Reed Johnson batted for Stanton and was hit in the hand by Fiers’ next pitch, triggering a bench-clearing brawl.

“I’ve never seen anything like that and I’ve definitely never seen two swings called on those two plays,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “I’ve never seen a guy get hit in the mouth and called for a swing. He’s out there bleeding at home plate and for the first base ump to say he swung at that pitch, what a joke.” (Photos: Morry Gash/The Associated Press, Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

Former Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu has announced his retirement.Koivu, 39, played for Montreal from 1995 through 2009 and was captain from 1999 on.During his time with the Habs, the Finnish forward was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and missed almost all of the 2001-02 season before making an emotional return.“Looking back at my 22 years of pro hockey first in Finland and then in the NHL I feel truly blessed and fulfilled,” he said in a statement released by the NHL Players’ Association. (Photo: Postmedia News)

Former Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu has announced his retirement.

Koivu, 39, played for Montreal from 1995 through 2009 and was captain from 1999 on.

During his time with the Habs, the Finnish forward was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and missed almost all of the 2001-02 season before making an emotional return.

“Looking back at my 22 years of pro hockey first in Finland and then in the NHL I feel truly blessed and fulfilled,” he said in a statement released by the NHL Players’ Association. (Photo: Postmedia News)