Sights, sounds accompany Jeter onto field
During shortstop's final Yankees roll call, home run ball thrown back
NEW YORK -- As he usually has been over the past 20 seasons, Derek Jeter was the first Yankee to leave the dugout before Thursday's first pitch, climbing the stairs and racing to his shortstop position in pinstripes for the final time as an active player.
An anticipated sellout crowd roared as Jeter came on the field at 7:05 p.m. ET, three minutes ahead of Hiroki Kuroda's first pitch.
As the Bleacher Creatures began their 'Der-ek Je-ter' chant, moving around the infield and reaching shortstop, Nick Markakis homered into the second deck in right field; the unwanted souvenir was quickly returned to the outfield grass. Alejandro De Aza added a solo shot to make it consecutive homers off Hiroki Kuroda.
Jeter's first appearance on the field at Yankee Stadium came approximately 20 minutes earlier, as the captain was joined by his sister, Sharlee, and members of the Turn 2 Foundation's Jeter's Leaders program to accepted a $22,222.22 donation on behalf of PepsiCo.
He shook hands, hugged his sister and ran to the outfield grass, where the self-described "creature of habit" ran through his usual routine of sprints before playing catch with teammate Chase Headley along the first-base line and standing along the first-base line for Curt Ramm's trumpet rendition of the national anthem.
With the Orioles and Yankees both standing at the top step of the dugout, the first pitch was preceded by a moving video presentation that mixed many of Jeter's notable highlights -- the dive into the stands, the Flip Play, the Mr. November homer and others -- with video "thank you" messages from fans around New York City.