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A Jeter moment in a Mets fans house.

POSTED September 27, 2014
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: Can’t say I have ever watched a New York Yankee game for as long as I did last night when Derek Jeter played his last game at the only place he called home for two decades.

Heck, I even taped the pre-game, the game and when it ran long, what was supposed to be the post-game.

Illegal in most New York Mets fans houses I know, but if you are a fan of baseball, a history buff or anybody who just appreciates and respects how Jeter has played under the brightest lights in the greatest city in world for 20 straight seasons.

There has been and always will be a special place in a sports fans heart for how a sport can transcend the moment and make us escape for a couple of hours and this was one of those occasions.

It’s been a tough couple of months for a couple of members of my family; two of my girls are going through some rough patches that they are bravely working themselves out of with support from the home base.

No need to get into details, everybody has something going on, but what happened last night took us away for the evening as you could feel the energy emitted from the big ballpark in the Bronx.

Jeter was never hard to root for, even as he was kicking our butts in the 2000 World Series or helping the Yanks sweep or win yet another Subway Series.

The guy simply went about his business, kept his life out of our lives, which I appreciate. I don’t want to know who he’s dating or if he got truck on Tuesday at a club in the city.

Got my own great life, I don’t need to pry into what this guy is doing.

One thing I do know is that his parents did a tremendous job in raising a young man who was able to withstand the pressures of what come with working for one George Steinbrenner.

It was much more of a pressure cooker in the old Yankee Stadium when the Boss was around. Used to have fun watching as certain players wilted under the weight of the George’s demands which were appropriate for the most part based on just how much he was paying his players.

What? You’re going to pay me 10 million dollar a year but I have to write 10 stories a day?

Where do I sign?

Most ballplayers say they zone out during games, don’t hear the crowd noise as much as we would. Last night, you would have had to of had industrial ear plugs built by NASA to not hear the love coming from the big crowd.

I went to Mike Piazza’s last game as a Met a few years back and that environment was electric but it was not nearly on the scale of what you heard and saw last night.

People enjoy being part of a collective group celebrating something great, it gives us a little ownership of the moment.

Like when the great Lou Gehrig said goodbye at the old joint, millions will eventual tell the tale that they were their last night, even though only 48,613 (plus stadium workers) had the actual privilege.

When it comes to Jeter, I don’t really care about the stats. I simply want that kind of player on any team I have. He competes, shows up and has done the hard work it takes to get to the Big Show.

Tell me all about his fielding woes; I still don’t care. He gets the job done.

Jeter flying face first into the stands to catch a foul pop up is all I need to remember about the man.

Giving it all, every time.

Doesn’t that define greatness?

The hit in the bottom of the ninth? Of course and he deserved that moment, he had done it so many other times over the 20 years.

As he made his way around the infield last night, using his hat to exhaustedly salute the gathering, you saw what made him so beloved and admired.

He didn’t think he deserved it.

Thanks for the memories # 2. Enjoy the next stage of what has already been a magical life.

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