For so long now, it was inevitable, just like any other clutch hit or perfect jump throw from the hole. Derek Jeter would eventually get his place in Monument Park, where he would live in eternity alongside his teammates from the late-'90s dynasty and the other titans of Yankees history.
For so long now, it was inevitable, just like any other clutch hit or perfect jump throw from the hole. Derek Jeter would eventually get his place in Monument Park, where he would live in eternity alongside his teammates from the late-'90s dynasty and the other titans of Yankees history. Babe Ruth … Joe DiMaggio … Mickey Mantle … Thurman Munson … Mariano Rivera. Derek Jeter.
On May 14 -- Mother's Day -- Jeter's enshrinement finally arrived. As ever, the beloved captain owned his moment, standing before a sellout crowd and a collection of his fellow Yankees stars and giving an extemporaneous speech that hit all the perfect notes.
Below are Jeter's words; and in the photo gallery below, hear his reaction to and relive the glory of one of the most memorable ceremonies ever held at Yankee Stadium.
"First of all, I just want to say happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there, especially my mom, my grandmother, my sister and my wife, who is very soon going to be a mother. So happy Mother's Day.
"What do you say on a day like this? You know, I'll start with 'Thank you' to George Steinbrenner and the Steinbrenner family for giving me the opportunity to play my entire career for the only team I ever wanted to play for.
"I want to thank my managers, coaches, teammates, support staff, those of you that are here today and those of you who aren't for being with me along the entire journey.
"I want to thank my family for their love, support, honesty and, more importantly, their presence at everything I did both on and off the field.
"And the fans -- wow -- I want to thank you guys for pushing me, challenging me, for making me accountable, more importantly, for embracing me since day one.
"You know, I was asked recently by someone, they said, 'If you could trade places with one person, who would it be?' And I say this very humbly: There isn't a person or player I would trade places with that's playing now or ever. And the reason why I say that is because I got a chance to play for a first-class organization and in front of the greatest fans in the history of sports.
"You know, you play here in New York for 20 years, you know I learned that time flies, memories fade, but family is forever, and I'll be eternally grateful to be a part of the Yankees family. So I can't thank you guys enough. Thank you very much."
This article appears in the June 2017 issue of Yankees Magazine. Get more articles like this delivered to your doorstep by purchasing a subscription to Yankees Magazine at yankees.com/publications.