Postcard from... New York

 

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The Independent Online

New York last week played host to a parade of prime ministers, presidents and potentates for the annual United Nations jamboree, but for most denizens of this town only one man rules – and his name is Derek Jeter, the most famous name on the roster of players at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

And no night was greater for Jeter’s fans than Thursday when, in Yankee pinstripe, he took the field for one last time after a career filled with triumphs and thrills that started a full 20 years ago. The baseball legend was expected to perform one last piece of magic.

He didn’t let us down. With the Yankees stuck drawing 5-5 with the Baltimore Orioles, the last hit of the game fell to the man himself. It couldn’t have been scripted more perfectly. All he had to do was connect bat with ball, which, of course, he did. The game was won and Jeter sank to his knees.

Thus with the final score at 6-5, Jeter had secured his 1,627th win, and it came with his 3,463rd hit. They say that altogether he took 342,000 swings over his career. How did it feel to be leaving his perch?

“An out-of-body experience is the best way to put it,” he told reporters when it was all over. With his usual dash of self-deprecation, he added: “Write what you want and put my name at the bottom of it.” Not likely.

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