So long, and thanks for all the hits: Gifts Derek Jeter should get on his farewell tour
By now, you've probably heard this is Derek Jeter's final season. If you haven't heard that, well, this is Derek Jeter's final season. Derek Jeter is playing one more season and then he will not be playing anymore. The Yankees' captain will be captaining retirement because this is the last season he is playing baseball for the New York Yankees.
Okay, now that that's settled, as part of his farewell tour – there's a merch stand in the back, we'll have CDs and posters and shirts and stuff – he's getting the Mariano Rivera treatment. Rivera was given gifts by 20 different teams, ranging from a rocking chair made of broken bats and a sand sculpture to beach cruiser bicycles and an oil painting. It's neat to celebrate a player's legacy and his impact on the game, but it's also kind of weird. So basically, it's a lot like baseball: Neat and kind of weird.
The Astros got it going in true Texas fashion, presenting Jeter with pinstriped cowboy boots, a Stetson hat, golf lessons, a trip to a golf resort and Titleist clubs.
Jeter seemed gracious enough. Via MLB.com:
"The guys were trying to get me to wear the boots and the hat," Jeter said. "I'll wear the boots and the hat when I golf. I can combine all of them. I thought it was nice. I don't have too many pairs of boots. I need lessons from a lot of people when it comes to golf. If they have lessons and want to give them, I'm more than happy to accept them."
This isn't going to stop. Every team is either going to give the Yankees' shortstop a trinket or trinkets, or they've at least thought about it. In the strange off-chance they haven't yet, don't fret. I did my best to guess which gifts Derek Jeter would receive at each MLB city throughout the season (even if New York doesn't play said team).
Arizona Diamondbacks: One of those ghost towns in Maricopa County so Jeter can pretend he's in the hit show Deadwood. (It's not TV, it's HBO). The Diamondbacks have also agreed to donate a number of volunteers to live in the town so Jeter can boss them around like he's Al Swearengen.
Atlanta Braves: A Waffle House. It's not like there's a shortage of them in Georgia.
Baltimore Orioles: The first special edition Blu-Ray copy of The Wire. People seem to really like that show. Also a Natty Boh shirt.
Boston Red Sox: An antique genuine Paul Revere silver serving dish dated back to 178—hahahahaha, psyche, you're not getting anything from the Sox. How do you like them apples?
Chicago Cubs: A lifetime supply of Italian sausage and beef, plus the rights to a future Intelligentsia coffee location and a super secret train stop that allows Jeter to get from Lakeview to Wicker Park without taking the Ashland bus.
Chicago White Sox: A few cases of Big Hurt Beer and a youth large Joe Crede jersey. No, we totally knew you were coming, Derek, this wasn't last minute at all. We don't like your tone. We go and try to do something nice for you and this is how you thank us?
Cleveland Indians: The head coaching job of the Cleveland Browns for at least a year (hopefully). And potholes.
Colorado Rockies: A mountain and a brewery.
Detroit Tigers: A key to the city. Not a figurative one, either, but an actual key to the city. Derek Jeter is now the owner of a certified pre-owned Detroit. Congratulations!
Kansas City Royals: Minor league prospects as far as the eye can see.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: The original Rally Monkey.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Money, probably.
Miami Marlins: The original sculpture Jeffery Loria had built by Red Grooms for centerfield. It's just a giant middle finger and it cost $15 million.
Milwaukee Brewers: The vat of beer Bernie the Brewer used to slide into.
Minnesota Twins: The secrets to a clean downtown, smart infrastructure and good public transit.
New York Mets: Two tickets to the Mets' concert series featuring 50 Cent, Huey Lewis & The News, Boyz II Men and somebody called Austin something or other.
New York Yankees: A $12-million contract in 2014. Before you say "Wait, that's not a gift," bear in mind that Derek Jeter is making more than all but three shortstops this season.
Oakland Athletics: The Coliseum. Please take it. Please. We'll throw in this old Borders gift card we never got to use too.
Philadelphia Phillies: [BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO]
Pittsburgh Pirates: A river of french fries and slaw and Jeter's picture hung at the Burgh Sportz Bar.
San Diego Padres: A boat so The Captain can really be The Captain. Do you get it?
San Francisco Giants: Some sort of startup – they said they're making an iPad app that involves teaching dogs to speak so they can review restaurants.
Seattle Mariners: To-scale replica of Jeter made out of Top Pot donuts.
St. Louis Cardinals: The rapper Nelly. He can be your butler, maybe.
Tampa Bay Rays: A retirement home made out of the metal from all the empty seats.
Cowboy boots and a Stetson hat Oh crap. Umm ... PASS.
Toronto Blue Jays: A series regular role on the new Degrassi reboot. Washington Nationals: A 600-square foot one-bedroom studio apartment conveniently located near the Metro and valued at $1.3 million.