The New York Yankees retired Derek Jeter’s No. 2 on Sunday night, as the five-time World Series champion and baseball icon has achieved immortality in the Yankees’ famed Monument Park. No. 2 is the 21st number that the Yankees have retired, including the final single digit.
Jeter, 42, played 20 seasons for the Yankees and is the franchise leader in hits (3,465), games (2,747), doubles (544), and stolen bases (358). He is also the fifth member of the Joe Torre Yankees to have his number retired, joining Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, and Bernie Williams.
After his monument was unveiled, Jeter spoke to the crowd, saying he will be “eternally grateful” to the Yankees.
It was quite a scene.
“Well, I think it’s exactly what a Yankees fan, a Derek Jeter fan, came to see,” Yankees reporter Sweeny Murti told Paul Nanos, who was filling in as host of CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “It’s weird because there have been so many of these lately, and they all kind of follow the same template so it doesn’t feel unique, but it feels special because of who the person is. Listening to the fans react to him, it’s fun listening to the fans react to the players that come out – like loud ovations for Hideki Matsui, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte. You recognize that this is a generation of fan that is filling up the stadium right now, and that’s who they came to see. That part is really cool.”
There’s another part that is really cool: The next retired number is a mystery.
“The Yankees aren’t doing this again for a really long time,” Murti said. “It feels like they’re doing it a lot – and they have lately – but this is the end of the road here. They’re not retiring No. 13.”
No. 13, of course, is Alex Rodriguez, who won two MVP awards with the Yankees and led them to the World Series title in 2009.
“Listen, it might be years – it might be decades – before they retire a number again,” Murti said. “So I think it was worth paying attention to for that reason and worth taking in and worth saluting. Because you’re not going to see this again for a while.”