Beginning to end: Jeter's first, last games in the Bronx
Taking a look at two contests that bookended a legacy in New York
What ended Thursday night in the Bronx -- Derek Jeter's Yankee Stadium career -- started more than 19 years ago on a seemingly innocuous June night in The House That Ruth Built. The excitement surrounding Jeter's home finale -- capped, of course, by his walk-off single to right in the 6-5 win -- offers a chance to look back on his unceremonious introduction.
But those two elements, Jeter and the Bronx, are pretty much the only constants when comparing June 2, 1995, and Sept. 25, 2014. Everything else, from the weather to the score to the personnel to Jeter's performance, differed, in some instances drastically. One element that did remain the same was the presence of Buck Showalter. The current Orioles manager, who watched Jeter from the visitors' dugout Thursday night, had the opposite view in 1995 as the Yankees manager.
Here are some highlights:
• The result: The Yankees dropped Jeter's home debut to the California Angels, 3-2. Jeter made sure that didn't happen in the finale, which New York won, 6-5, over the Baltimore Orioles.
• Jeter's performance: A few weeks shy of his 21st birthday, Jeter batted ninth and finished 0-for-3. Thursday, hitting in his customary two-hole, he went 2-for-5 with three RBIs, the last hit and last RBI coming in the bottom of the ninth.
• The personnel: Hall of Famer Wade Boggs led off for the Yankees and went 1-for-4 in the first game. Don Mattingly and Bernie Williams batted toward the bottom of the Yankees' lineup, both contributing 0-for-3 efforts. Rookie left-hander Andy Pettitte pitched nine innings and took the loss.
For the Angels, Jim Edmonds played center and went 0-for-3. The meat of the California lineup was right fielder Tim Salmon, designated hitter Chili Davis and first baseman J.T. Snow. Chuck Finley pitched 8 2/3 and gave way to former Yankees reliever Lee Smith for the final out.
• The crowd: For all of the 48,613 people in the seats -- or standing, in a lot of instances -- who will be saving their ticket stubs from Thursday, far fewer can say the same of Jeter's home debut. The listed attendance that day was just 16,959.
• The weather: Unlike Thursday -- which was mostly rainy and gray, putting the game's status in doubt until shortly before first pitch -- it was clear and dry on June 2, 1995. It was only 72 degrees, too, significantly warmer than the 61 degrees afforded to the Bronx on Thursday.