Among the former teammates scheduled to attend Sunday's pregame ceremony were David Cone, Reggie Jackson, Tino Martinez, Hideki Matsui, Paul O'Neill, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Bernie Williams.
While the New York Yankees reflected on Derek Jeter's past Sunday, The Captain wasn't eager to rush into the future. Eventually nothing is next because you're retired, but we all had those same mindsets and that's why I think we had success. You can make the case that all of them were better at what they did than Jeter was at what he did, even as one of the best baseball players and best shortstops of all time. Now, as the Yankees retire Jeter's number 2, all of Boston and New England tip their caps from afar to the games true captain.
There isnt a person or player I would trade places with thats playing now or ever, he told the fans.
Mattingly and Jeter are connected in more ways than one.
Jeter picked Mother's Day for the ceremony, and his grandmother, parents, sister, nephew and pregnant wife joined him at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. Representing all of Jeter's former coaches were Joe Torre and Willie Randolph. There are a lot more numbers than that with him. The youngest of the famous Core Four, Jeter never left any doubt he would be the one to lead them all.
He did it with unwavering belief in his skill and unnatural calm under pressure. But as for fatherhood himself, the former Yankee said, "I'm unprepared". "He was just the complete package". Those two things are not in conflict, actually.
Then he said he wouldn't have wanted to change places with any athlete who ever lived. You saw a sign at the new Stadium on Sunday night that read this way: "I want to thank the Good Lord for making Jeter a Yankee". Time and time again he'd come up with big hits. "You deserve this day". A 14-time All-Star, the Yankees said Jeter is sixth in baseball history with 3,465 career hits and he tops the Yankees' all-time list in hits, games played (2,747), doubles (544), stolen bases (358), at-bats (11,195), singles (2,595) and hit-by-pitches (170). As usual, Jeter came up big when it counted most. Jeter was one of the best, right to his final words.
Although Hinch admittedly isn't much of a collector, he keeps a bat autographed by Jeter in a case at his home. However, their relationship had deteriorated over the years and became quite muddy at times.
The timing of Jeter's ceremony seems aligned by the heavens: It marks the end of a generation of players which brought the Yankees many trips to the playoffs and five championships, and the beginning of a new generation in Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, and Greg Bird, among others.