Captain of the corn maze: Farm honors Derek Jeter
SOUTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) - As far as corny Derek Jeter tributes go, this one will be tough to beat.
A farm in central New Jersey carved an image of the New York Yankees captain and a thank you message to him into its five-acre corn maze. The VonThun Farm in South Brunswick is about 55 miles south of Yankee Stadium.
"Thanks Captain Clutch" is carved into the maze, along with a baseball with Jeter's No. 2 on it. Farm owner Cindy VonThun said the maze will be open from Sept. 20 through Halloween.
"This was just something totally different," she said. "To walk out in the field and to be on a path and to say, 'I'm in Derek Jeter's chin,' it's pretty cool."
Jeter is retiring after 19 seasons with the Yankees. He has been honored at Major League ballparks around the country this year, including by former President George W. Bush, who presented him with a photo from his presidential library last month in Texas.
But this is the first known instance of him being honored with a corn maze.
VonThun said the original idea was to do a design this year with a tractor carrying pumpkins. She said that the company in Utah that it contracts with to build the maze, The Maize Company, came up with the idea to honor Jeter.
"You're in the middle of Jeter Country, why wouldn't you be doing a tribute to this man, he's wonderful," she said of the company's thoughts. "Everyone's going to love that more than they're going to love a tractor pulling some wagons, pulling some pumpkins. We thought about it and thought why not."
She said that company maps out the image and then uses chemicals to prevent corn from growing in the spots that become the pathways of the maze, which can take an hour or longer to go through.
The farm celebrated its 100th anniversary last year and is known for its fall corn maze. The farm has previously carved a salute to Rutgers football into the maze.
The Maize Company also recently created a maze with "Today" show weatherman Al Roker's likeness on it for a farm in Iowa.