Prior to the start of the 2014 baseball season, Derek Jeter announced he would be retiring at the conclusion of the season.
At each of the final stops of the Yankees at each ballpark, Jeter was honored with gifts from the opposing clubs and the cheers of the crowds. The time for the Bronx to salute its hometown hero of the Yankees is soon to arrive.
Jeter was a first round draft choice of the Yankees in 1992. He first played for the team in the majors in late May of 1995. His accomplishments on the field and the records he has compiled have made him one of the modern giants in MLB. Five years from this year he will be, without doubt, elected as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
On Sunday, there will be celebrations within and directly outside Yankee Stadium. The 161st Street area will be filled with happy baseball fans as the much awaited celebratory event that will precede the 1:05 p.m. game between the Yanks and Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium will be a sell-out. Although the details and the name of the on-the-field guests have not been announced, the excitement is building.
Obviously, members of Jeter’s close-knit immediate family will be present to share the important day with him. All of his current teammates and many of his closest former teammates will also be in Yankee Stadium. It is likely the Core Four (Jeter, Andy Pettite, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera) will be reunited. Other special guests could be present. Every special event and ceremony at Yankee Stadium is given the meticulous care and effort of Senior Vice President of Marketing Debbie Tymon and her staff. This will, as always, ensure a memorable event for all present.
Earlier in the week, the Yankees announced a Jeter tribute patch will be worn by all players on the club from Jeter Day on Sunday through the last game of the season. The patches will be worn on the left sleeve of the jersey and on the cap. On Wednesday night, a Yankees spokesperson denied Jeter’s uniform number will be retired during the ceremony on September 7, but will be done at a later date.
The 161 BID (161st Street Business Improvement District) under the direction of Dr. Cary Goodman, its executive director, has made plans for a Jeter Day street fair at 161st Street and Rivera Avenue between the hours of 3 -5 p.m.
Neighborhood residents and fans unable to obtain tickets to the game can be near the Stadium. Goodman explained the plans, “We want all of his fans to have a chance to be part of this historic day. Derek Jeter has made great contributions to New York City beyond his athletic accomplishments. We want to thank him.”
At a morning meeting on Wednesday, Goodman spoke of some of the particulars planned for the special day, a block party with music by DJ Razz, a Jeterbug dance created and demonstrated by Oman and children from a Highbridge pre-school, free souvenirs for 3,000, free cake for 1,000, a huge “Thank You Captain” banner that can be signed by fans and the Jeter Meter on which fans can send messages to their hero. Many may also want to walk one block south to look at the Jeter mural that was painted this summer as one of the 161 BID beautification projects for the community.
To commemorate the importance of the day, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., Congressman Jose Serrano and Councilmember Vanessa Goodman will read proclamations honoring Jeter at the block party. The day of September 7 on 161st Street is one that will be long remembered.