The Red Sox said their own elegant and tasteful goodbye to Derek Jeter on Sunday afternoon. They did it with gifts and old captains of their own, and from other sports, and Bobby Orr, the greatest hockey player of them all.
Finally, Bernie Williams stood in the sun, in what was like the ending to all of Jeter’s baseball summers, and played “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on his guitar.
History will show that Jeter’s career ended in Boston with two more infield hits this weekend, the last a little bit before 2:30 on this Sunday afternoon, a chopper off home plate toward third that stayed in the air a long time. By the time it came down, Jeter, who busted it out of the batter’s box, had safely crossed first base.
He ran as hard as he could because he always ran out balls that way. At least he could still run on his last day. Joe DiMaggio limped away at the end and Mickey Mantle could barely run at all and Willis Reed’s knees were shot. Joe Namath had hobbled off to finish his career with the Rams, and Clyde Frazier, a champion as cool as Jeter has always been, ended up in Cleveland.