A year and a day after being officially inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Derek Jeter has returned to the place he’s called home for 20 years to be honored for his induction into Cooperstown.
Although he hinted to the crowd in a packed Yankee Stadium that he would be there more often, Jeter later clarified that he didn’t mean it in an official capacity.
“I know you haven’t seen me a lot in the last few years, for various reasons,” Jeter told his adoring fans as he finished his speech that concluded Friday night’s pre-game ceremony. “But I really, really look forward to seeing a lot more of you here in the near future.”
Asked about those comments shortly after, Jeter said he “wouldn’t read too much into it.”
“I missed the spot,” Jeter said after repeatedly hearing his name chanted and then throwing the first pitch. “This is my house. I was here for 20 years, across the street and in this building. So for 20 years, playing pretty much every day, this is where I feel most comfortable. Of course, I missed Yankee Stadium.
“But I had my head down while I was in Miami [as CEO of the Marlins]. I was focused on what we were trying to accomplish there. Now that that’s behind me, I’m looking forward to spending some more time here, hopefully.
Prior to Friday, Jeter had returned to Yankee Stadium for the 1996 team reunion in 2016, his No. 2 retirement ceremony in 2017 and earlier this summer for limited viewing of his ESPN documentary. But otherwise, the former captain had largely disappeared from his longtime workplace since retiring in 2014.
“My family will always come first no matter what,” Jeter said. “Now if you take off full time [Marlins] commitment every day – I’m always very busy – but I will have… a little more time.
After retiring after the 2014 season, Jeter returned to the game in 2017 when he was part of the group that bought the Marlins. He was made CEO, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the rebuilding club on a limited budget.
But in February, Jeter announced he was stepping down as CEO and would no longer be a shareholder in the team, citing a different “vision for the future” for the organization.
Still, Jeter said Friday he would like to return to baseball in an aspect to be determined.
“I think I got a lot of knowledge, I learned a lot,” Jeter said. “What it is, time will tell. Whether it’s sharing information with individual players, groups of players, an organization or directly with fans, I think it’s There are a lot of options out there. So time will tell. But I love this game and I’m interested in seeing it continue to grow.
On Friday, Jeter was able to share the Yankee Stadium experience with his wife, Hannah, and their three daughters. The two elders stole the show during his speech, wandering behind Jeter, waving at him and asking about the ice cream he had promised them, he later said.
Also in attendance were former Jeter teammates Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Tino Martinez and CC Sabathia, as well as former manager Joe Torre.
After the former Yankees and Jeter’s parents, sister and nephew were greeted on the field, a video narrated by Billy Crystal was released before Jeter and his family made their entrance.
The only boos came for Hal Steinbrenner – who was also booed at Paul O’Neill’s number retirement ceremony last month – as he walked out to present a check to Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation, and when Jeter thanked general manager Brian Cashman.
“I see you guys are ready for the playoffs,” Jeter told fans as he heard the boos.
“Yeah, I was surprised,” Jeter said afterwards. “Yankees fans, we’ve all been spoiled, haven’t we? …Yankees fans expect excellence. Never satisfied, which is a good thing. But Yankees fans boo because they want to cheer. That’s how I see it. »
After a career spent chasing rings and records, Jeter also praised Aaron Judge for his current pursuit of Roger Maris’ AL record of 61 homers.
“He carries the team,” Jeter said. “It’s pretty remarkable what he’s been able to do here in the New York spotlight.”
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