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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jeter finished with 310 batting average in regular season, 308 in 158 post season games-NY Times

9/28/14, "Derek Jeter Ends Yankees Career With Single Against Red Sox," NY Times, David Waldstein













"Derek Jeter played his last game Sunday, ending his career with a play typical of his time in the majors, in which he hustled out an infield single for his 3,465th hit.

As Jeter stood at first base, in the top of the third inning against Boston, Manager Joe Girardi made a slashing motion at his throat, asking with the hand signal if that was it for Jeter. Jeter nodded.

The fans had been standing from the moment he had come to the plate, but the cheering and the “Derek Jeter” chants grew louder. Jeter handed his arm and foot pads to the first-base coach, Mick Kelleher, and patted him on the helmet. He waited for Brian McCann, the pinch-runner, to arrive and gave him a heartfelt hug. Then he jogged across the diamond, stopping to shake hands with Clay Buchholz, the Red Sox’ starting pitcher, and hugged each of his teammates before he sat down in the dugout.

His 20-year career was over.

It began on the road, on May 29, 1995, in Seattle, with an 0 for 5 performance and ended on the road, here at Fenway Park. In between, there were five World Series championships, a Rookie of the Year award, 14 All-Star Game selections, five Gold Glove Awards and five Silver Slugger Awards.

He collected the sixth-most hits in history, scored 1,923 runs (the ninth most), hit 260 home runs and battled his way through 12,602 plate appearances. He was never ejected from a game.

His final hit, a high bouncer to third base, gave him a .310 batting average for his career. He also had 200 hits in 158 postseason games for a .308 batting average, remarkably close to his regular-season mark.

Over the course of his career, a flip play, a dive into the stands, a home run for his 3,000th hit, a leadoff home run, a home run in November and numerous other plays helped make him one of history’s most admired and adored Yankees.

One of the men he pushed down a rung on the career hits list, Carl Yastrzemski, was on hand as part of a pregame ceremony to honor him. Jeter stood on the grass behind shortstop, and one by one, past stars of the Red Sox and other Boston teams emerged from the Red Sox’ dugout.

First came Yastrzemski, followed by the likes of Rico Petrocelli, Fred Lynn, Jim Rice and Luis Tiant, who gathered near him. Then came the former Bruins star Bobby Orr, the former Patriots receiver Troy Brown and Paul Pierce, representing the Boston Celtics.

Behind them, on the hand-operated scoreboard in left field, workers spelled out, “WITH RESPECT 2 DEREK JETER.”

In his first at-bat, in the first inning, Jeter walked to the plate with the fans standing and cheering. He hit a sharp line drive that was snared by shortstop Jemile Weeks. The Yankees in the dugout began playfully taunting Weeks for taking the hit away. Weeks shrugged.

It ended up fine because Jeter got his hit in the third and the chance to wave goodbye to the fans, many of whom wore shirts with Yankees pinstripes and No. 2 on the back.

After Jeter left, the game was relatively meaningless. Neither the Yankees nor the Red Sox were in contention for a playoff spot. Jeter, after he was removed, stood at the railing next to Francisco Cervelli and watched.

Now that Jeter’s career is over, Cervelli has the longest tenure in the Yankees’ organization, having signed with the team on March 1, 2003. In his first major league spring training, Jeter gave him a pair of spikes.

“I hope he gives me another pair,” Cervelli said. “That was a long, long time ago. It was an honor to be with him for all this time. Not just me. It was an honor for all of us.”"

Image: "After a 20-year rivalry, Fenway Park tipped its collective cap to Derek Jeter on Sunday," Cj Gunther/European Pressphoto Agency 

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9/28/14, "Jeter addressing media for the last time ,"
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