Jeter's Farewell Dominates Proceedings At All-Star Game, Seen As Storybook Moment
The MLB All-Star Game at Target Field last night "rightly became a celebration" of Yankees SS Derek Jeter's career, according to Steve Buckley of the BOSTON HERALD (7/16). In N.Y., Mark Feinsand notes Jeter "was greeted by a huge ovation when he stepped to the plate to lead off the bottom of the first, the familiar recorded voice of Bob Sheppard announcing his arrival." Brewers C Jonathan Lucroy backed away from the plate and Cardinals P Adam Wainwright "put his glove on the rubber and stepped to the back of the mound, giving Jeter his moment as the shortstop waved to the fans, tipping his helmet to them three times" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/16). NBC’s Joe Fryer reported the "line that separates American League and National League seemed to vanish when Derek Jeter took the plate" ("Today," NBC, 7/16). In Minneapolis, Chip Scoggins writes as Jeter came to bat, time "froze for one of those perfect sports moments that we’ll remember fondly 20, 30 years from now." Fans "chanted 'De-rek Je-ter' over and over" and Target Field "felt alive" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/16). In N.Y., John Harper writes Jeter's leadoff double "instantly made this final All-Star Game one to remember." It is what everyone in baseball "seemed to be hoping for, something that would help make this Jeter send-off feel like more than a Lifetime Achievement Award" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/16).
A FITTING FAREWELL: In Providence, Tim Britton notes when White Sox SS Alexei Ramirez came out to replace Jeter in the fourth inning, the crowd "stood and applauded for just over three minutes, as Frank Sinatra’s 'New York, New York' blared over the speakers and Jeter hugged each of his teammates in the American League dugout." Jeter: "I didn’t know what was going to happen. It was a wonderful moment that I’m always going to remember" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 7/16). In N.Y., Kevin Kernan notes as the crowd "called for a curtain call," Jeter "finally popped out, took off his helmet and saluted the crowd, his family," and NL players (N.Y. POST, 7/16). Also in N.Y., Tyler Kepner notes Jeter "pointed to the NL dugout as he left the diamond, pausing before the baseline and then stepping over it, like Burt Lancaster in 'Field of Dreams,' crossing a threshold and knowing he could not return" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/16). In L.A., Bill Shaikin writes Jeter's farewell was "not contrived." Shaikin: "Not manufactured. Not choreographed by a video board operator with his button on the oversized clapping hands, or by event planners with a budget fit for a royal wedding. ... Bless the Minnesota Twins for not intruding on the moment with a gaudy ceremony" (L.A. TIMES, 7/16).
MINNEAPOLIS DELIVERS: MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger reports fans "enjoyed all of the events at Target Field" related to the All-Star Game, as "evidenced by the massive crowds at the ballpark." Sunday's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game "had a crowd of 39,553, while 40,558 fans waited through the rain delay" for Monday's Home Run Derby. A crowd of 41,408 "filled Target Field on a beautiful night" last night for the All-Star Game. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig "was impressed by the show put on in Minneapolis, which was lauded for its vibrancy throughout the week and the convenience that came with hosting so many of the events within a close radius downtown." MLB, the Twins and the Pohlad Family Foundation "combined to raise an All-Star record" $8M for local charities. The Twins also "worked with the Reds throughout the week, and are now ready to make the handoff" to Great American Ball Park for next year's event (MLB.com, 7/16). Selig said that when it came to the All-Star Game, the state of Minnesota "responded even 'better' than he could have hoped." Selig: "This has been amazing. Everything has been so first-class, so good, that I can't tell you how happy I am" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 7/16). In St. Paul, Tom Powers writes everyone at the game "appeared satisfied with the day's events, including the pre-game parade during which everyone rode caravan-style in open vehicles to Target Field." A's 3B Josh Donaldson: "That was probably the neatest thing I've ever been a part of. For so many fans to show up, that was cool" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 7/16).
FIREWORKS FIRESTORM: MLB yesterday apologized for a fireworks display following the Home Run Derby that "started too late and was louder and longer than organizers expected." MLB in a statement said it was expecting a "light" display, but the vendor executed a longer, louder one (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 7/16).