Derek Jeter, as you know from my previous article, has always been one of my favorite players. He played his last game as a professional baseball player on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park and, of course, the Red Sox honored him with a pregame ceremony, among other things. How did the Red Sox do in commemorating such a great career?
First of all, as expected, the Sox turned it into a marketing scheme to make money. They were selling multiple Jeter shirts inside the stadium trying to make a quick buck off the fans. However, can you blame them? That’s what they’re supposed to do, and I must say, the shirts were very nice (and expensive).
The real tribute began prior to the game when the brought Jeter out to his shortstop position while Red Sox fans and Yankee fans stood as one to applaud the legend. This alone would have been enough. It was such an amazing, yet sad, moment. The Sox then brought out multiple Boston sports legends to meet Jeter at shortstop and congratulate him on such a great career. What I really want to know was: were they bringing them out there to honor Jeter or were they bringing them out there to make it into a Boston celebration?
What was Bobby Orr doing on the field? What about Troy Brown? Paul Pierce? They never even played the same sport as Jeter. It came across as trying to make this day about Boston and the legends that it has produced instead of honoring Jeter on his day.
The second way to look at it was that they were putting him on the same level as they would Boston legends. We all know the Red Sox can go overboard with certain things and they love to bring former players onto the field. This is probably how they would have done it if they were commemorating the great career of a Boston athlete; they were treating him as an equal.
Which way should this celebration have been taken?
The little things that day were the best. Bringing former teammate and friend Bernie Williams out onto the field to play “Take me out to the Ballgame” on his guitar. Putting a message for him up on the left field scoreboard. Joe Girardi lifting him from the game for one last standing ovation. Just being able to witness the end of a great career is all that was needed for a great day at the ballpark. Did the Red Sox do a good job? Eh. Could go either way. However, just witnessing Fenway stand and applaud Jeter was the perfect way to say “thank you.”
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