For the better part of 20 seasons as a Major League ballplayer, Derek Jeter was used to outsider treatment whenever he entered Fenway Park.
Not just outsider treatment, but "special" outsider treatment. The face of what Red Sox fans referred to as "The Evil Empire," Jeter caught his fair share of boo-birds and taunts when the Yankees and Red Sox got together in Boston.
The hostile relationship between the Sox and Yankees prompted some discussion as to how Jeter would be received in his final tour as a Major League Baseball player when he visited Boston to end it all. Those questions were answered on Friday night in a game he didn't even play in. And in his final game on Sunday, the Yankee captain faded away into a scene that Fenway Park may never see again.
New York fans dominated Boston's historic building on Sunday afternoon for Jeter's final game. And the Yankee supporters hooted and hollered until their beloved shortstop finally left the game for the final time in his career. Jeter, in the most classic fashion possible, chopped an infield single to the third baseman. The base hit scored Ichiro from third base and gave Joe Girardi the chance to lift his leader to a standing ovation and end his career on the heels of an RBI hit.
Love from Red Sox fans
Not only the New York fans, but even Boston's supporters on hand, gave Jeter a thunderous applause. It's been decided that a player with the reputation Jeter has developed over his 20-year career deserved recognition - even from the bitterest of rivals.
Even if they had wanted to boo the man who brought them so much heartbreak over the years one final time, they wouldn't have had much choice. During a four-run third inning, the Yankee fans began to chant "let's go Yankees" amongst the Boston fans. For a short while, the Sox fans tried to overpower their rivals to no avail. The New York passion persisted to eventually overpower the home fans. The scene may be routine at Tropicana Field, but not Fenway Park. You would need to find a Red Sox historian to confirm this ever happening before. My inkling is that it probably never has - at least in a game that saw a sellout crowd.
Hall of fame beacons
With the base hit in the third inning, Jeter finishes his career with a .310 batting average over 20 season, which is a mark that will certainly see him into the Hall of Fame in 2015. His Yankees did not make the postseason, however. New York finishes the season alone in second place in the AL East with 86 wins.
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