Royals honored to be part of Jeter Day
Players and coaching staff applaud Yankees captain, tip their hats to him
NEW YORK -- All 48,110 fans stood and cheered on Derek Jeter Day at Yankee Stadium on Sunday afternoon, honoring the longtime Yankees captain during a special pregame ceremony and tribute. Every Royals player and coach did the exact same thing.
It was an overwhelming moment for Jeter, and the Royals felt honored to be a part of the day, many capturing the pregame festivities on their phones. They all stood out of the dugout to watch highlights, witness legends like Cal Ripken Jr. and Michael Jordan take the field and ultimately hear Jeter speak to everyone in the Stadium.
"I thought it was fantastic," said Royals manager Ned Yost. "I thought it was done with a lot of class. The players, all the dignitaries that were here, it was special. Everybody that walked out was a pleasure to see. I just thought it was a wonderful ceremony."
Once the game -- which the Royals won, 2-0 -- started, the team had planned their own tribute.
As Jeter walked to home plate for his first at bat, the whole Royals team perched onto the top step of the dugout, and like the RE2PECT commercial, simultaneously tipped their caps to him.
"I thought it was a neat tribute to him," said pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, who instituted the salute. "He has the respect [from] everybody he competes against. I think the Jordan commercial really indicated the amount of respect everyone has towards him. So it was a way to salute what he's done and pay him the respect that he's given this game and all of his opponents along the way."
Alex Gordon even became part of the in-game highlights when his video message to Jeter appeared on the scoreboard, part of a large group of celebrities and current and former ballplayers who paid their own respects to Jeter's career.
"I'm surprised they put me on there. I did that a while ago and I'm glad they put that up," Gordon said. "I got to second and I told them it's been an honor playing with [him] and a privilege. I think everyone would say that if they ran into him.
"I didn't have a camera, but I'm sure I'll have one of the guys send it to me," he said. "The Yankees did a good job today doing that for him.