Captain’s Last Stand
I bring Frankie out of his bedroom. It is 10:00PM, but he was not asleep. The Yankees play the Orioles in the Bronx. It is the top of the ninth inning; the home team has a three-run lead.
A fitting way for Derek Jeter, the Yankee Captain, to end his last home game.
closer’s warm up …
he nestles under my arm
watching the game
Roberson deals, and walks his first batter. Then Andrew Jones steps into the batter’s box. He hits a two-run homer on a hanging change-up. The Yankee’s lead is down to one.
Until Roberson gives up the tying run.
getting the last out …
the crowd chanting “Jeter”
Bottom of the 9th: Jeter is up 3rd. The first batter reaches 1st base. Brett Gardiner lays a sacrifice bunt to move the runner on first into scoring position. Then Jeter stands at the plate.
“A single could win it, Frankie.”
And as he has done throughout his twenty-year career, Derek Jeter connects! That single becomes an RBI as the runner from second slides home—safe! Frankie and I hug and shout, collapsing on Mira, while the stadium erupts into cheers.
With that game-winning RBI single behind him, the Yankee Captain and longtime short-stop, says goodbye to his teammates and the fans.
“O captain, my Captain!”
Derek Jeter’s final lap
around the diamond
Photo by Phil Goodwin