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Derek Jeter takes the field at Yankee Stadium with his pregnant wife to see his number retired three years after he left the game

On the ball to the end: Derek Jeter bids emotional final farewell to Yankees Stadium after a storybook game-winning hit {VIDEO}

Derek Jeter's number is retired at New York Yankee stadium

  • Derek Jeter's jersey number '2' was retired in a Sunday night game honoring him 
  • The Yankee Stadium serenaded him with cheers and 'My Way' by Frank Sinatra
  • he walked onto the field with his wife Hannah Davis, who is currently pregnant 
  • The team retired his number and put a plaque in Monument Park in his honor
  • He is the career leader in hits, games played, at-bats, doubles and stolen bases

Derek Jeter returned to the Yankee Stadium with his pregnant wife Hannah Davis to see his number retired on Sunday night.

The New York Yankees honored one of the greatest players of all time and serenaded him with cheers and Frank Sinatra's 'My Way' as he walked onto the field with Davis.

Announcers Michael Kay and John Sterling emceed the festivities, introducing his whole family with the crowd chanting a familiar roll call of 'De-reck Je-Ter!' 

The New York Yankees honored Derek Jeter at a game Sunday night where they retired his jersey number

The New York Yankees honored Derek Jeter at a game Sunday night where they retired his jersey number

The Yankee stadium in the Bronx serenaded Jeter with cheers and Frank Sinatra's 'My Way' as he walked onto the field with his wife Hannah Davis (right), who is currently pregnant with their first child

On the infield grass, the team unveiled a plaque for Derek Sanderson Jeter, with broadcaster Kay listing off his many accomplishments.

During his 20-year career as number two, Jeter served as the franchise's 13th captain and had 3,465 hits, 14 All-Star Games, and five World Series wins.

He retired in 2014, and is the team's career leader in hits, games played, at-bats, doubles and stolen bases, and retired as the team's longest run captain.  

Fans cheered and chanted the familiar roll call of 'De-reck Je-Ter!' as he came onto the field at Yankee Stadium

Fans cheered and chanted the familiar roll call of 'De-reck Je-Ter!' as he came onto the field at Yankee Stadium

Jeter smiles during a ceremony where his number, 2, was retired at Yankee Stadium on Mother's day

Jeter smiles during a ceremony where his number, 2, was retired at Yankee Stadium on Mother's day

On the infield grass, the team unveiled a plaque for Derek Sanderson Jeter, with broadcaster Michael Kay listing off his many accomplishments

On the infield grass, the team unveiled a plaque for Derek Sanderson Jeter, with broadcaster Michael Kay listing off his many accomplishments

Jeter's wife Hannah, who is pregnant with the couple's first child, was given a bouquet of flowers during the ceremony

Jeter's wife Hannah, who is pregnant with the couple's first child, was given a bouquet of flowers during the ceremony

'I got a chance to play for a first-class organization in front of the greatest fans in the history of sports,' he said to his screaming fans. 

'When you play here in New York for 20 years, I learned that the time flies, memories fade, but the family is forever. And I'll be eternally grateful to be a part of the Yankees family,' he continued. 

Along with retiring his number and putting a plaque in Monument park in his honor, the Yankees gave him framed replicas of both, plus a 14-karat white gold ring that listed his accomplishments. 

Late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner's children, Jessica, Hal and Jennifer presented Jeter with the plaques and ring at the beginning of the ceremony. 

George Steinbrenner's children, Jessica, Hal (center) and Jennifer presented Jeter with the plaques and ring at the beginning of the ceremon

George Steinbrenner's children, Jessica, Hal (center) and Jennifer presented Jeter with the plaques and ring at the beginning of the ceremon

Retired New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, poses with members of his family during the pregame ceremony

Retired New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, poses with members of his family during the pregame ceremony

Retired New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter poses with his wife Hannah and a replica of the plaque that will be installed in Monument Park

Retired New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter poses with his wife Hannah and a replica of the plaque that will be installed in Monument Park

Jeter also took a moment to wish his wife, who is pregnant with their first child, and his mom and any other mothers out there a happy Mother's Day. 

The Yankees and the Astros both wore pink-billed caps in honor of the holiday, and Jeter said that he chose this day to receive the honor to highlight his mother's and family's contribution to his success. 

During the ceremony Jeter took the opportunity to say just how thankful he is for the experience, saying that he would not want to be anyone else. 

During his 20-year career as a Yankee, Jeter served as the franchise's 13th captain and had 3,465 hits, 14 All-Star Games, and five World Series wins

During his 20-year career as a Yankee, Jeter served as the franchise's 13th captain and had 3,465 hits, 14 All-Star Games, and five World Series wins

He is the team's career leader in hits, games played, at-bats, doubles and stolen bases, and retired as the team's longest run captain

He is the team's career leader in hits, games played, at-bats, doubles and stolen bases, and retired as the team's longest run captain

'There isn't a person or player I would trade places with that's playing now or ever,' he explained.

Twenty of his former teammates, managers and coaches were all in attendance. Hall of Famer Joe Torre even called Jeter the greatest player he'd ever managed. 

Following the ceremony, Jeter threw the opening pitch in the Sunday night game against the Houston Astros.  

Following the ceremony, Jeter threw the opening pitch in the Sunday night game against the Houston Astros

Following the ceremony, Jeter threw the opening pitch in the Sunday night game against the Houston Astros

Hannah Davis outshines boyfriend Derek Jeter at 2015 ESPYs

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jeter

  • Derek Jeter capped his Yankee Stadium farewell with a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles
  • Tickets on the secondary market for the last home game of Jeter's career were going for almost $250 in the bleachers and on up to $10,000
  • A raucous send-off followed The Captain's game winning hit as a stadium of some 50,000 fans chanted his name into the night 
  • The game marked Jeter's 1,391th at Yankee Stadium

Derek Jeter capped his Yankee Stadium farewell with a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning, the latest storybook moment in a charmed and illustrious career, to give New York a 6-5 victory Thursday night over the Baltimore Orioles.

Serenaded with some 50,000 adoring chants that echoed through the Bronx night, Jeter tipped his cap several times at shortstop and drove in three runs. He launched an early double off the wall and saved the best for last - a sharp, opposite-field single to right that knocked in the winning run.

'It was above and beyond anything that I've ever dreamt of,' Jeter said. 'This was a lot of fun.'  

Scroll down for video... 

Farewell to The Captain: Derek Jeter's teammates send him off in raucous fashion after the 40-year-old ended his 20th and final MLB season home game with a game-winning, tie-breaking single

Farewell to The Captain: Derek Jeter's teammates send him off in raucous fashion after the 40-year-old ended his 20th and final MLB season home game with a game-winning, tie-breaking single

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Beloved Yankee: The 14-time All-Star with five World Series titles over 3,000 hits under his belt is one of the team's most legendary players to date

Beloved Yankee: The 14-time All-Star with five World Series titles over 3,000 hits under his belt is one of the team's most legendary players to date

Gatorade bath: The living legend shortstop got the traditional send off in the form of a bucket of electrolyte and sugar-enriched sports drink dumped over his head

Only hitting in last three games: 'I want to take something special from Yankee Stadium,' Jeter said in a news conference shown on the center field video board, with many fans still in their seats. 'The view from shortstop here tonight is what I want to take'

Only hitting in last three games: 'I want to take something special from Yankee Stadium,' Jeter said in a news conference shown on the center field video board, with many fans still in their seats. 'The view from shortstop here tonight is what I want to take'

During the raucous celebration that followed, Jeter said he's played his final game at shortstop, but he'll likely play in some capacity this weekend in Boston. 

Soon after his game-winning single in the ninth inning sent the Yankees over Baltimore 6-5 Thursday, Jeter said that he played his last game at the position. He said he would only serve as designated hitter in his final three games in Boston this weekend.

'I want to take something special from Yankee Stadium,' Jeter said in a news conference shown on the center field video board, with many fans still in their seats. 'The view from shortstop here tonight is what I want to take.'

 I want to take something special from Yankee Stadium

As if on cue, Jeter began his last game in pinstripes with a double and ended it with another amazing moment in a career full of them.

'You can't even dream this stuff up,' manager Joe Girardi said.

He was embraced by his teammates near second base as his Core Four buddies - Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada - came onto the field along with former manager Joe Torre.

'Sort of an out-of-body experience,' Jeter said.

Jeter pointed and waved to the crowd as he walked out to the position he manned for 20-seasons. In an image seen before nearly every one of his 1,391 games at Yankee Stadium, Jeter faced the outfield and crouched down for a moment of reflection. 

Raucous farewell: Jeter has always had a flair for the most electrifying kind of drama - and this night was destined to be no different

Raucous farewell: Jeter has always had a flair for the most electrifying kind of drama - and this night was destined to be no different

He was embraced by his teammates near second base as his Core Four buddies - Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada - came onto the field along with former manager Joe Torre

He was embraced by his teammates near second base as his Core Four buddies - Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada - came onto the field along with former manager Joe Torre

Respect: Jeter receives hugs from his teammate after his game winning hit in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankees Stadium

Respect: Jeter receives hugs from his teammate after his game winning hit in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankees Stadium

Touching: Derek hugs his father, Sanderson Jeter as the 50,000 strong crowd watch on monitors and in the flesh

Touching: Derek hugs his father, Sanderson Jeter as the 50,000 strong crowd watch on monitors and in the flesh

He then answered a few questions, said hello to his family who moved to the front row near the Yankees dugout for the final two innings, and greeted the teammates he won five World Series championships with.

Once more he took a slow walk across the diamond, covering his face with a towel several times and waving to the crowd as they chanted his name and 'Thank you, Jeter!'

All across the majors, players saluted the 40-year-old star. 

'Wow,' Boston slugger David Ortiz said, breaking into a grin and shaking his head after the Red Sox beat Tampa Bay. 'That's him. Perfect. It was unbelievable.'

Celebrity sighting: 19-time Grammy winner Jay Z was among the Yankees fans catching Jeter's final game wearing what appeared to be a T-shirt of his wife Beyoncé's silhouette

Celebrity sighting: 19-time Grammy winner Jay Z was among the Yankees fans catching Jeter's final game wearing what appeared to be a T-shirt of his wife Beyoncé's silhouette

Everyone wants a piece: The 44-year-old rap mogul - born Shawn Carter - was almost as popular in the stadium as the departing ballplayer

Everyone wants a piece: The 44-year-old rap mogul - born Shawn Carter - was almost as popular in the stadium as the departing ballplayer

Funnyman up front! The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon proudly donned his Yankees cap alongside his wife of seven years, Flower Films founder Nancy Juvonen

Funnyman up front! The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon proudly donned his Yankees cap alongside his wife of seven years, Flower Films founder Nancy Juvonen

Moments after Detroit beat Minnesota to move a step closer to winning the AL Central, the Tigers' clubhouse at Comerica Park came to a near-standstill in the aftermath of Jeter's winning hit. Many players simply stood in silence and watched the postgame scene unfolding in New York on TV.

'You could see it coming when the inning started,' reigning AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer said. 'We were sitting in the lunchroom. It was like, `Jeter's hitting third. He's going to walk it off.' We knew it.'

It appeared Jeter's tiebreaking grounder in the seventh would be the swing that sent the Yankees to a win when they built a 5-2 cushion against the AL East champions. 

Not bad - but not Jeter. 

Rare emotion: Jeter gave a rare glimpse of his soft side during a news conference after his final baseball game at Yankee Stadium

Rare emotion: Jeter gave a rare glimpse of his soft side during a news conference after his final baseball game at Yankee Stadium

It was above and beyond anything that I've ever dreamt of,' Jeter said. 'This was a lot of fun.'
It was above and beyond anything that I've ever dreamt of,' Jeter said. 'This was a lot of fun.'

It was above and beyond anything that I've ever dreamt of,' Jeter said. 'This was a lot of fun.'

Reasons to be emotional: Thursday's game against the Orioles was Jeter's 1,391th game at Yankee Stadium

Reasons to be emotional: Thursday's game against the Orioles was Jeter's 1,391th game at Yankee Stadium

Nope, he's always had a flair for the most electrifying kind of drama - and this night was destined to be no different.

As if it was planned all along, closer David Robertson gave up a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to Adam Jones and a tying shot to Steve Pearce with two outs.

That only set the stage for Jeter one more time.

Jose Pirela hit a leadoff single in the bottom half against Evan Meek (0-4) and advanced on Brett Gardner's sacrifice. Jeter lined the next pitch through a wide hole on the right side, and pinch-runner Antoan Richardson slid home ahead of Nick Markakis' throw. 

 It was above and beyond anything that I've ever dreamt of

An elated Jeter jumped and raised both arms between first and second. Yankees players rushed out to engulf him as former teammates such as Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, Tino Martinez and Hall of Fame manager Joe Torre lined up near the New York dugout waiting to greet Jeter.

Jeter hit a double off the top of the left-center field wall at Yankee Stadium in the first inning Thursday night against the Baltimore Orioles. 

'Did you expect any less?' former teammate Andy Pettitte said.

With a packed house cheering his every move from the moment he ran out to stretch, and some tickets going for $10,000 each, Jeter's farewell in the Bronx began on time after a dreary day. 

The retiring 40-year-old New York shortstop waved to fans in the box seats as he came to the on-deck circle in the first inning. After a standing ovation that lasted nearly a minute, he launched a long drive that just missed being a home run.

Sitting in a suite, Jeter's dad stood and cheered as the ball banged off the wall for an RBI double. 

Legendary ending: With a packed house cheering his every move from the moment he ran out to stretch, and some tickets going for $10,000 each, Jeter's farewell in the Bronx began on time after a dreary day. Here, he celebrates his walk-off single in the 9th inning in his final home game ever

Legendary ending: With a packed house cheering his every move from the moment he ran out to stretch, and some tickets going for $10,000 each, Jeter's farewell in the Bronx began on time after a dreary day. Here, he celebrates his walk-off single in the 9th inning in his final home game ever

Overcome: Jeter reacts after hitting his final ball at Yankee Stadium, a hit that won the game and will become yet another notch in the Hall of Famer's legendary career

Overcome: Jeter reacts after hitting his final ball at Yankee Stadium, a hit that won the game and will become yet another notch in the Hall of Famer's legendary career

A storybook ending: Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees celebrates after a game winning RBI hit in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles in his last game ever at Yankee Stadium on Thursday in New York

A storybook ending: Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees celebrates after a game winning RBI hit in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles in his last game ever at Yankee Stadium on Thursday in New York

Over the moon: Jeter celebrates his game winning RBI hit in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles

Over the moon: Jeter celebrates his game winning RBI hit in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles

Gatorade's spine-tingling tribute to Derek Jeter

The drive off Kevin Gausman, who was 4 when Jeter made his debut in 1995, was the 3,462nd hit of No. 2's career, good for sixth on the career list. Jeter wound up scoring on a grounder as the crowd roared once again. 

'It didn't surprise me,' Pettitte said on the Yankees' telecast. 

The final player to wear a single-digit number for the Yankees was coincidentally playing his final home game on the 46th anniversary of Mickey Mantle's last game in the Bronx, played across the street at the old stadium.

He's the greatest Yankee I've ever witnessed

The Yankees showed several tribute videos to Jeter on the center field video board and Led Zeppelin's 'Ramble On' played just before gametime. Many other former teammates gave video tributes between innings.

The captain led the team out of the dugout - as usual - and the cheering began in earnest - rarely letting up when Jeter was on the field. He took several deep breaths when he settled in at shortstop and waved to the crowd before the first pitch.

Not everything was perfect for the player with a charmed 20-season career and five World Series championships. 

The Bleacher Creatures roll call was interrupted just as they got to a thunderous chant of 'De-rek Je-ter!' That's when Baltimore's Nick Markakis led off the game with a home run, but Jeter still waved to the crew out in right-center field. Alejandro de Aza nearly silenced the crowd by connecting again.

 

A night to remember: New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter acknowledges applause from a stadium of nearly 50,000--most of them fans--as he takes the field for a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles

A night to remember: New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter acknowledges applause from a stadium of nearly 50,000--most of them fans--as he takes the field for a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles

Waving to fans: Tickets on the secondary market for home game number 1,391 of Jeter's career were going for almost $250 in the bleachers and up to $10,000 in section 19, right next to the Yankees dugout
Waving to fans: Tickets on the secondary market for home game number 1,391 of Jeter's career were going for almost $250 in the bleachers and up to $10,000 in section 19, right next to the Yankees dugout

Waving to fans: Tickets on the secondary market for home game number 1,391 of Jeter's career were going for almost $250 in the bleachers and up to $10,000 in section 19, right next to the Yankees dugout

Pay respect to the captain of the New York Yankees, Derek Jeter
The Yankees showed several tribute videos to Jeter on the center field video board and Led Zeppelin's 'Ramble On' played just before gametime. Many other former teammates gave video tributes between innings

The Yankees showed several tribute videos to Jeter on the center field video board and Led Zeppelin's 'Ramble On' played just before gametime. Many other former teammates gave video tributes between innings

Skin of his teeth: New York Yankees Antoan Richardson slides safely into home plate for the winning run against Baltimore Orioles catcher Caleb Josephin the ninth inning

Skin of his teeth: New York Yankees Antoan Richardson slides safely into home plate for the winning run against Baltimore Orioles catcher Caleb Josephin the ninth inning

Celebration begins: After his game winning hit in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankees Stadium in the Bronx, outgoing Jeter is embraced by the team

Celebration begins: After his game winning hit in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankees Stadium in the Bronx, outgoing Jeter is embraced by the team

But as they have throughout the Yankees' final homestand, nearly 50,000 fans stood in unison, with their camera lights shining and began cheering as a recording of longtime public address announcer Bob Sheppard's introduction of Jeter played ahead of his first at-bat. 

'I've been a Yankee fan since I was in second grade. I'm originally from New York. I was there for all of the World Series from the `90s through 2001 and then I moved to Denver,' said Jim Deak, 46, who flew in from Colorado. 'He's the greatest Yankee I've ever witnessed.'

That's him. Perfect. It was unbelievable

Jeter grounded to shortstop to end the second. In the field, he made a nifty grab to start a double play - with help from replay review. He ranged behind second base to field Adam Jones' bouncer and flipped to Stephen Drew to start the turn.  

Jeter later made a throwing error and struck out.

Tickets on the secondary market for home game number 1,391 of Jeter's career were going for almost $250 in the bleachers and up to $10,000 in section 19, right next to the Yankees dugout.

The packed house included Pettitte and stars such as injured New York Mets ace Matt Harvey.

There was interest around the world, too. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent Jeter his best wishes.

'I would like to pay my most profound respect to Mr. Jeter, retiring this year, for many years of fantastic play in the ballpark,' he said. 

Tugging the heartstrings: Derek Jeter's toddler nephew Jalen tipped his hat to his famous uncle at the end of the game just as camera's panned to the family

Tugging the heartstrings: Derek Jeter's toddler nephew Jalen tipped his hat to his famous uncle at the end of the game just as camera's panned to the family

In this photo taken with a fisheye lens, New York Yankees fans prepare to enter Yankee Stadium to watch Yankees' Derek Jeter's last home game, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in New York. The Yankees are playing their last home game of the season against the Baltimore Orioles. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

In this photo taken with a fisheye lens, New York Yankees fans prepare to enter Yankee Stadium to watch Yankees' Derek Jeter's last home game, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in New York. The Yankees are playing their last home game of the season against the Baltimore Orioles. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

A New York Yankees fan holds up a sign for Derek Jeter in the first inning as the stadium of 50,000 fans prepared to say goodbye

A New York Yankees fan holds up a sign for Derek Jeter in the first inning as the stadium of 50,000 fans prepared to say goodbye

Derek Jeter runs over to touch his girlfriend, Hannah Davis' hand after his game winning run at final Yankee Stadium Game ever. The 20 year veteran shortstop of the NY Yankees was first spotted saying a quick prayer while kneeling on his famed shortstop position on the grass for one final time

Derek Jeter runs over to touch his girlfriend, Hannah Davis' hand after his game winning run at final Yankee Stadium Game ever. The 20 year veteran shortstop of the NY Yankees was first spotted saying a quick prayer while kneeling on his famed shortstop position on the grass for one final time

Jeter tips his cap to fans as he leaves the field after hitting a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning

Jeter tips his cap to fans as he leaves the field after hitting a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning

Jeter arrived at the clubhouse pulling a suitcase about 3 1-2 hours before the start time. He was greeted at his locker by nearly 100 media and answered questions for about 8 minutes without revealing much about his mood. 

'It's tough for me to start getting all emotional and sentimental before I got to play. Why don't we play the game first?' he said.

The Yankees have been eliminated from postseason contention, and Jeter wouldn't talk about his plans to play at Boston this weekend in the last three games of the regular season.

'I would like to pay my most profound respect to Mr. Jeter': Even the Japanese Prime Minister had glowing words for the slugger for his 1,391st home game at Yankees Stadium

'I would like to pay my most profound respect to Mr. Jeter': Even the Japanese Prime Minister had glowing words for the slugger for his 1,391st home game at Yankees Stadium

Manager Joe Girardi had not planned how he would orchestrate Jeter's departure from the game, saying he would leave that decision until the last moment as he did with Mariano Rivera last season.

'It's the memories, not the momentous,' said Girardi when asked if he will keep something from the game.

Mementos should be easy to come by. Major League baseball had five authenticators on hand as opposed to the usual two for a regular season game. The ball Jeter hit for a double was immediately taken out of play.

Louisville Slugger has even retired the name of the bat Jeter used throughout his 20-year Major League Baseball career and renamed it in the retiring shortstop's honor, the company said on Wednesday.

The P72 bat used by Jeter, a five-time World Series champion who will retire following the 2014 MLB season sixth on the all-time hits list, will still be available but will be known as the DJ2, the company said in a statement.

'Derek has swung one bat model from one bat company his entire career,' the company said in a statement. 'With Derek's impending retirement, we thought it was fitting to retire his bat model in recognition of his brilliant career.

'We are grateful for his enduring and unwavering loyalty.'

It marks the first such move by the company, which has been supplying bats to major leaguers for 130 years.

Jeter has ordered more than 2,500 P72 model Louisville Slugger bats, which the company describes as having a medium size barrel, thin handle and balanced weight that make it good for getting the bat quickly through the hitting zone.

The bat is used by some current major league players and among the many who previously used it during their careers are Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr. and Robin Yount.

'HE WAS GOING TO CAPTURE NEW YORK': HE WAS NEVER A SURE THING BUT YOUNG DEREK JETER ALWAYS HAD FANS LINED UP TO SING HIS PRAISES

Charmed career: Now 40, Jeter is set to retire after this weekend. A five-time World Series champion and sixth on the career hits list, he spent two decades as the shortstop for the New York Yankees

Charmed career: Now 40, Jeter is set to retire after this weekend. A five-time World Series champion and sixth on the career hits list, he spent two decades as the shortstop for the New York Yankees

The 17-year-old kid from Kalamazoo drew all sorts of raves.

He was a 'young colt' with a 'perfect SS body' and was a 'top student' who planned to study medicine at the University of Michigan, too.

'This guy is special,' one big league scout even wrote.

But, could anyone back then have projected that Derek Jeter the high schooler would someday become Derek Jeter the future Hall of Famer?

Now 40, Jeter is set to retire after this weekend. A five-time World Series champion and sixth on the career hits list, he spent two decades as the shortstop for the New York Yankees.

Five big league teams bypassed Jeter in baseball's amateur draft in 1992 before New York selected him with the No. 6 pick. A year earlier, Yankees scout Dick Grouch had first spotted Jeter after his junior year.

'It was one of those serendipitous events,' Grouch recalled last week. 'I was going to cover a tournament on the other side of the state, and I knew they were having this talent identification camp at Mount Morris High School, so I stopped just to get a glance as to what was transpiring.'

This time, there was indeed something worth seeing.

'About 5 or 10 minutes in, he was taking groundballs at the time, and then he did things that caught my eye,' Grouch said.

With the short high school season, Jeter didn't play many games during the school year, so Grouch watched him with the Kalamazoo Maroons summer league team. And then Jeter injured an ankle early in his senior season, limiting his playing time.

But Jeter already had caught the attention of scouts for many teams, according to reports that later went to baseball's Hall of Fame.

Cincinnati scout Gene Bennett wrote in April 1992 that Jeter aimed to study medicine at Michigan, adding he 'has leadership ability with good makeup' and possessed 'skills similar to (Barry) Larkin as high school player.'

Larkin, who played college ball at Michigan, became a Hall of Fame shortstop with the Reds.

Nearly didn't make it to MLB: The five teams ahead of the Yankees didn't take Jeter. Not Houston, not Cleveland, not Montreal, not Baltimore, not Cincinnati. When the Yankees were up, Jeter was there for the picking.

Jeter signed for a $700,000 bonus (he would make $266 million from the Yankees), reached the major leagues for the first time in 1995 and quickly blossomed.

Jeter signed for a $700,000 bonus (he would make $266 million from the Yankees), reached the major leagues for the first time in 1995 and quickly blossomed.

The California Angels' Jon Niederer noticed Jeter was 'somewhat thin-chested and `pointy shouldered,'' saying he had a 'good face - very young looking' and was a 'top student from a high class family.'

Niederer said Jeter had 'all the tools to play the game at a high level.' He took note of his 'very quick hands and feet - so quick they can get him set up to make a play before the ball arrives and he looks out of synch.'

Ed Santa of the Colorado Rockies said Jeter had a 'perfect SS body' and projected him to have All-Star potential.

'You get excited just watching him warm up,' he wrote in May 1992.

Dave Littlefield, who scouted Jeter for the Montreal Expos and went on to become Pittsburgh's general manager, wrote a report that praised Jeter's body type and bode well for future success. 

Popping off: Jeter sprays fans with champagne after the Yankees defeated the Atlanta Braves 4-1 to win the World Series October 27, 1999. The Yankees won the series in four games

Popping off: Jeter sprays fans with champagne after the Yankees defeated the Atlanta Braves 4-1 to win the World Series October 27, 1999. The Yankees won the series in four games

'Hi butt, longish arms & legs, leanish torso,' he said. Among his other remarks was the 'young colt' description.

'I think I got most of that right,' said Littlefield, who now scouts for the Chicago Cubs. 'I wish in retrospect we had picked him.' 

Jeter says he never really focused on scouts and is pretty sure they first showed up to scout another player on his summer team. Grouch observed Jeter for about a year but tried not to interact with him.

'He always stayed away. He kept his distance,' Jeter said.

Grouch had a reason for his behavior.

Back in the day: A photo taken circa 1994 shows Jeterin a minor league uniform circa 1994. Jeter played for the New York Yankees from 1995-2014

Back in the day: A photo taken circa 1994 shows Jeterin a minor league uniform circa 1994. Jeter played for the New York Yankees from 1995-2014

'I did not want him to know that I was at the ballpark,' he said. 'I sat in my car. I was in the bushes. I was in the woods. I didn't want him to play for me, because I wanted to see how he handled failure. And every game that he played was the same.'

As the draft approached, Yankees' director of scouting Bill Livesey made the trip to Michigan to watch him play. But the entire organization avoided contact. Five other teams were ahead of New York.

'We pretty much zeroed in on him, but none of us wanted to get our hopes up,' Livesey said. And when Yankees executives met on the day before the draft, there was one last internal hurdle to overcome - and it was a big one.

'Mr. Steinbrenner was not real high on taking high school kids, simply because they were too long from the big leagues. So we had to convince him,' Livesey said, referring to late owner George Steinbrenner, who was suspended from baseball at the time.

'He asked me how long it was going to take for him to be in the big leagues,' Livesey said. 'It was a little bit of the fib: I told him four years.'

The five teams ahead of the Yankees didn't take Jeter. Not Houston, not Cleveland, not Montreal, not Baltimore, not Cincinnati. When the Yankees were up, Jeter was there for the picking.

Jeter signed for a $700,000 bonus (he would make $266 million from the Yankees), reached the major leagues for the first time in 1995 and quickly blossomed.

Grouch says he had a feeling.

'He's going to be able to play in the toughest venue in all of athletics, and that's Yankee Stadium,' he said.

'And this guy, he was going to capture this entire city. He was going to capture New York.'

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Comment by Sean G Felder on September 26, 2014 at 1:54pm

DJ sure did capture NYC for 20 illustrious years.5 WS Championships,7 trips to the World Series speaks for itself.Thanks for the memorires.

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