Jeter shows he's human in dramatic Yankee Stadium finale

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Jeter shows he's human in dramatic Yankee Stadium finale
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Fans hold up signs prior to Derek Jeter Day on September 7, 2014 before the game between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
An epic night for one of my favorite guys! Feel honored to have played beside him and to call him my friend. #RE2PECT #FarewellCaptain
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 27: A fan holds up a sign to honor Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on August 27, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Yankees defeated the Tigers 8-4. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - AUGUST 31: Toronto Blue Jays fans hold up a sign thanking Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees on his final game in Toronto during MLB game action on August 31, 2014 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Just fabulous, Jeter.
New York Yankees fans Taylor Pulliam, left, and his son Devin, 13, right, of Spokane, Wash., are made up to show their support of the Yankees and #2 Derek Jeter, Tuesday, June 10, 2014 before a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Jeter, you are awesome.
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 20: Fans cheer as Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees bats in the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on September 20, 2014 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Blue Jays defeated the Yankees 6-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
A Derek Jeter fan holds up a sign to get his attention before the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers game, Monday, July 28, 2014, at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. (Richard W. Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
New York bids the Kid adieu.
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: A fan holds a banner in reference to Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees during the eighth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on September 24, 2014 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Babe Ruth went out with 3 HRS, Ted Williams with a HR at Fenway, Jeter with an opposite-field RBI single. Perfect
TORONTO, CANADA - AUGUST 31: Toronto Blue Jays fans display a sign thanking Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees on his final game in Toronto during MLB game action on August 31, 2014 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Fans hold up signs prior to Derek Jeter Day on September 7, 2014 before the game between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Man. Way to go Jeet. Perfect ending
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 27: A pair of fans hold up signs to honor Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on August 27, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Yankees defeated the Tigers 8-4. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Of course.#DerekJeter
Fans hold a sign to honor New York Yankees shortstop and Michigan native Derek Jeter during a special pre-game on-field ceremony before a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Detroit Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 30: Fans hold up signs for Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees during his last game in Texas against the Texas Rangers before his retirement at Globe Life Park in Arlington on July 30, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
Jeter on why he is retiring: "I still feel as though I could play, I just don’t want to.''"...Perfect answer. RE2PECT
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 20: Fans hold a Respect banner when Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees bats against the Cincinnati Reds during their game at Yankee Stadium on July 19, 2014 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
#FarewellCaptain http://t.co/XmvCbiNhWd
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 14: New York Yankees fan holds a Derek Jeter sign before a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles on September 14, 2014 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Standing ovation for Jeter. Love it. #FarewellCaptain
BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 11: Fans hold up a sign for Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees during the first inning of the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 11, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
We all witnessed something very special tonight. Thank you Derek! #FarewellCaptain
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) A fan holds a banner in reference to Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees after a game against the New York Mets at Citi Field on May 14, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Mets 4-0. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Wow!! Couldn't have scripted it any better for one of the very best. Jeter with the walkoff in the Bronx! #RE2PECT #FarewellCaptain
ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 07: Fans of Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees wait before the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 7, 2014 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
no one ever looked better in pinstripes. #farewellcaptain
New York Yankees fans crowd the dugout in an attempt to catch a glimpse of Derek Jeter during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
A fan holds a sign in tribute to New York Yankees' Derek Jeter, who is also known as "The Captain" during a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees, Thursday, June 12, 2014 in Seattle. Jeter is retiring at the end of the season. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? DEREK JETER WALK OFF HIT IN FINAL YANKEE STADIUM AT BAT!! OMG. #FarewellCaptain
A fan holds up a sign for New York Yankees Derek Jeter during batting practice before a baseball game against the Texas Rangers Wednesday, July 30, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Whatever your opinion of Jeter, if you’re a fan of baseball, what is happening right now at Yankee Stadium is undeniably cool..
Fans Felicia Balschweid, left, and Eric Henderson, right, hold a sign in tribute to New York Yankees' Derek Jeter before a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees, Tuesday, June 10, 2014 in Seattle. Henderson said he saw Jeter play in Seattle during his first season in 1995. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
A fan holds up a picture of New York Yankees' Derek Jeter as he comes to bat during the third inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Instant iconic photo. http://t.co/1Rc4WUxw2j
Fans o New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (2) hold up signs before a pregame ceremony honoring the Yankees captain, who is retiring at the end of the season, on Derek Jeter Day at Yankee Stadium in New York, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. game (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 6: Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees signs autographs for fans before the game against the Minnesota Twins on July 6, 2014 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Yankees defeated the Twins 9-7. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
I thought I was too sick of everything Jeter to feel anything tonight but that was great and also awwwww, man.
A young Texas Rangers fan holds up a sign to get New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter's attention before the game Monday, July 28, 2014, at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. (Richard W. Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Fans hold up signs prior to Derek Jeter Day on September 7, 2014 before the game between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
What happened in NY tonight summed up what I love most about sports. You can't believe what you're watching. But that's what makes it great.
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 25: A fan holds a sign honoring Derek Jeter of the New York Yankeesbefore a game against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on May 25, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: A banner is seen in reference to Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees during a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on September 24, 2014 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 20: Flags honoring Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees fly over Yankee Stadium during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays on September 20, 2014 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Blue Jays defeated the Yankees 6-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: A groundskeeper carries a base on Derek Jeter Day between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium on September 7, 2014 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees looks on during Derek Jeter Day on September 7, 2014 before the game between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: The number two is painted on the field during Derek Jeter Day before a game between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium on September 7, 2014 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Travis Lindquist/Getty Images)
#Salute to the "Captain" as well as the #GOAT #YankeeLifer #CantReplaceHim #HOFNext
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By LARRY FLEISHER
XN Sports

BRONX, NY –- Three hours before the first pitch, Derek Jeter was putting up his usual stoic display when he faced a crowd of media normally reserved for playoff games. There was little that came out of the few minutes he spoke to many unfamiliar faces other than he did not know about playing in Boston, he did not know how he would feel about playing in a meaningless game, and that he hoped the weather would clear.

Exciting stuff.

It turns out the real excitement was saved for the game that under normal circumstances would be the Yankees playing out the string and the Orioles trying to improve their playoff position, a sentence that was often reversed due to Jeter.

Jeter wasn't sure how he would react, at least that's what he said. It turned out that Jeter was riding the tidal wave of emotions.

"These last few weeks have been very difficult and it's gotten more and more difficult as we've gotten to the end," Jeter said. "There was a couple of times where I almost lost it. I really thought I was going to break down, out-of-body experience is the best way to put it."

There were nearly tears on the drive up to the Bronx and when teammates presented him with gifts. There was the pounding heart hoping that the ball would not get to him.

It would have been a satisfying way to go out with an RBI double and reaching on an error that scored two runs. And that's what it seemed to be, which was fine for Jeter.

The fans sensed it with the loud "Thank You Jeter" chants. Then chants turned into shock when David Robertson gave up two home runs. Then shock became the realization that Jeter was due up third in the bottom of the ninth.

So from shock to realization and anticipation all in a matter of mere seconds where one thought was crossing anyone's mind "Of course Jeter's going to get a hit. All that was needed was to get a runner on, move him into scoring position and allow Jeter to do his thing.

One pitch later, Jeter did his thing, a single to right field. It was the same type of dramatic as the home run for his 3,000th hit, the home run that made him Mr. November, the flip play, and countless other plays and the type of moment that makes you say "Of course he did that"

"I wouldn't have believed it myself," Jeter said. "Everyone they dream of hitting a home run in the World Series or getting the game-winning hit, but I was happy with the broken bat. I was happy with that being the ending but I'll take this one."

"I think it's fitting because you think about all the big hits that he's had in his career and all the things that he's done to help this club win championships and divisions," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's been here since the run, the run that started in '96 and I don't think there's a more fitting way to end."

Suddenly anticipation turned to pandemonium, the kind of reaction that can overlook a team missing the playoffs for the second year in a row. Emotion had taken over from reality as he was embraced by teammates and former Yankees Tino Martinez, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Joe Torre, a group that with Jeter has a combined 29 World Series rings.

The ending was perfect in every way and so was Jeter's nearly 20-minute postgame press conference where he allowed people to see beyond the stoicism.

There had been some talk about being "Jetered out" with the gifts from the retirement tours, the commercials for Nike and Gatorade and the speculation about how Girardi would end Jeter's last home game. Then Jeter delivered a moment that made us realize why all of this had even started in the first place.

"I wanted to take one last view from short," Jeter said. "I was trying to take a last view in the top of the ninth and then they tied it, and I thought I would have to go back out there. I basically just said thank you, because this is all I've ever wanted to do, and not too many people get an opportunity to do it. It was above and beyond anything I'd ever dreamt of. I don't even know what to say. I've lived a dream, and part of that dream is over now."

The dream may be over and magical ride for Yankee fans may be over, but there are the memories and his final hit at Yankee Stadium was the fitting and most appropriate ending to the kind of plot that even a seasoned movie producer might have difficulty believing.

Jeter The Hero In Bronx Curtain Call

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