Derek Jeter received a large standing ovation in his first at-bat of his final All-Star Game on Tuesday night, as the fans at Target Field enthusiastically saluted the retiring Yankees captain.
Leading off for the American League in the bottom of the first inning, Jeter came to the plate introduced by a familiar voice: Bob Sheppard, the Yankees' longtime public address announcer. Sheppard died in 2010, but Jeter has been using his recorded introduction for all his at-bats at home since. As Sheppard's voice announced, "Now batting for the American League, from the New York Yankees, the shortstop, number two, Derek Jeter," the fans rose to give Jeter a long and loud ovation.
It wasn't just the fans saluting the future Hall of Famer. The players on the field, including National League starter Adam Wainwright, all stopped to applaud, as did all the players in the AL and NL dugouts. A smiling Jeter took off his helmet and tipped it to the crowd several times, as well as to the players, before stepping into the box for his first at-bat.
And in classic Jeter fashion, the shortstop took a Wainwright fastball — one the Cardinals' starter admitted later that he grooved — and used his inside-out swing to punch it into the right field corner for a leadoff double. The hit was Jeter's 12th in 26 at-bats and third extra-base hit in his All-Star Game career. He didn't have to wait long to return to the AL dugout, either, as Mike Trout, batting second, pushed him home with an RBI triple off the right field wall.
Jeter wasn't done, however, picking up a single to, where else, right field in his second at-bat in the bottom of the third inning, raising his average to .481 in the Midsummer Classic. That proved to be his final All-Star plate appearance, as AL manager John Farrell replaced Jeter with Alexei Ramirez in the top of the fourth. Jeter came off the field to another standing ovation and exchanged hugs and handshakes with everyone in the AL dugout as his teammates and NL counterparts applauded, then took a curtain call to the strains of Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York."
Before the game, Jeter also got a hearty ovation when he was introduced along with the rest of the AL All-Star starters.