PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – You don’t have to be a New York Yankees fan to appreciate Derek Jeter’s nearly 20-year Hall of Fame-type of career, as evidenced by a Red Sox fan from Rye giving the captain her respect.
The Yankees and Red Sox rivalry may be topped only by the rivalry between the two teams’ fans. But, Rye’s Jennifer Morris laid that all aside when asked about Jeter’s career.
“He’s a class act player,” she said. “It’s very hard not to like him as a Red Sox fan. I respect him as a baseball player and person for sure.”
Minnesota native and Twins fan Pete Torgrimson, now of Greenwich, said he understands the Jeter love. He said he hopes the Twins’ catcher Joe Mauer “blows up” in the vein of Jeter.
On to the Yankees fans, Peter Thomas of Harrison already has tickets to the team’s final home game of the season Sept. 25 against the Orioles. The Yankees wrap up the season with three games in Boston.
“He’s been the heart and the soul of the Yankees for the past 20 years,” Thomas said of Jeter, as he and his wife took their daughter, Georgia, to Modell’s in Port Chester on Monday. “It is sad that an era is coming to an end.”
Thomas said he owns a signed Jeter jersey from the 2000 All-Star game, in which the Yankees captain won MVP. Jeter went on to win the World Series MVP as the Yankees beat the Mets in the Subway Series.
Rye resident Steve Mongillo listed Jeter's lead-off home run in game four of the 2000 World Series, and his ensuing MVP award, as two highlights he will always remember.
“He’s meant a lot,” he said. “They’ve won five World Series in that time and he hasn’t been a passenger on that bus, he’s been a driver. “There’s going to be something missing when he goes in terms of the culture of the place.”
Both Port Chester's Manny Moreyra and Mamaroneck's Lucas Corona said their favorite Jeter moment was the dive into the stands against the Red Sox in 2004.
Port Chester's Lou and Ann Maldonado said his professionalism, integrity and consistency is what separates Jeter from the rest.
Harrison resident Anthony Gentile grew up watching Derek Jeter, who he said is his favorite player.
“There’s nobody really like him,” he said. “Not just playing the game, but he’s a class act. Clutch hit after clutch hit. He always did everything the right way.”
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