Photo credited by Greg M. Cooper/Reuters
On Sunday, September 28, 2014 thousands of New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox fans filled Fenway Park to witness a memorable moment in Major League Baseball history. Fans teared up, sobbed and cheered as Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter played his final game of his 20-year major league career against the Red Sox.
Ironically, more than 40 years ago, Yankees center fielder Mickey Mantle played his final game on September 28, 1968, at Fenway Park. Mantle was an idol to millions and one of many baseball legends to ever put on a major league uniform. At the age of 40, Jeter became the next baseball iconic figure to play his last game in an epic Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.
“I don’t know how many people could really unite a crowd like he did today,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Such big rivals, so much history between the teams, but you would have thought it was one team today, and I don’t know how many people could have done that in any sport.”
Sunday was an eventful yet emotional day for everyone in baseball. Yankees and Red Sox fans alike tribute to Jeter by chanting his name throughout the course of the game. “My emotions were so all over the place…when I got here, I was ready. I was ready for my career to be over with. I’m happy I had an opportunity to come and play here in a couple games, but I’m ready for this to be the end” Jeter said.
After lining out in the first inning, Jeter was determined not to disappoint when he came to bat for the last time in his career. Jeter’s second at-bat appearance and perhaps his last came during the third inning. Jeter stared down Boston pitcher Clay Buchholz and hit an infield single to third base driving in a run. Though Yankees 9-5 victory over the Red Sox was a milestone finish for Jeter, but his infield single marked a perfect ending to a well-played career.