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Moments to Watch For in Derek Jeter's Last All-Star Game

by Photo of Sam Cohen

If you are a Derek Jeter fan, you won’t want to miss these moments in tonight’s All-Star game.

Moments to Watch For in Derek Jeter's Last All-Star Game

In 1998, Derek Jeter was a 24-year-old kid playing in his first All-Star game for the New York Yankees. He was surrounded by some of the best players to ever play the game, including Tony Gwynn, Greg Maddux, Roberto Alomar, and his personal hero, Cal Ripken, Jr. Shy and understated, much like he is today, Jeter was as nervous as a player can get, which he admitted to Aaron Boone in an interview that aired last night right before the Home Run Derby started. "The memories I have was I was scared to death," Jeter told Boone. "I was sort of hesitant to speak to anyone. A lot of guys are in the clubhouse that I grew up watching and admiring and respecting."

Fast forward 16 years and things are a little bit different. Jeter is now the player that others may be nervous to approach, as he has been the face of baseball for a long, long time. Mike Trout considers Jeter a hero. Yasiel Puig called him the "conscience of baseball." The pitcher who will start for the National League tonight, Adam Wainwright, said that he is excited "just to say I faced the best" when asked about Jeter.

There was no doubt that Jeter would make his 14th All-Star appearance after he announced in February that this will be his last season. Tonight will certainly be an emotional one and there will be a few moments that you cannot and should not miss.

Lineup Introductions

Watching Derek Jeter run onto the field when his name is announced will be special. Fans in attendance will be screaming and players from both teams will be tipping their caps to the player that has represented everything that is good in baseball for the last 20 years.

Jeter's name will be announced directly before Trout's, as Jeter is hitting leadoff and Trout is hitting second. It will be an amazing moment when the two stand next to each other on the first base line, as it represents the passing of the torch from the face of baseball for the past couple decades to quite possibly the next face of baseball for years to come.

Jeter's First At-Bat

Target Field in Minnesota will be as loud as it has ever been when the Captain steps into the box to lead off the bottom of the first inning. Every single fan will be standing and cheering in what will be one of the more memorable moments in All-Star game history.

As for the at-bat itself, this will be the first time Wainwright and Jeter face off. While Jeter isn't the amazingly pure hitter he was before his injury-plagued 2013 season, he is still among the smartest hitters in the game and will be unfazed by the standing ovations. The at-bat itself probably won't be remembered as much as the cheers that come before it, but I think Jeter will pull through with a hit. One thing I've learned over the years as a Yankees fan is to never, ever doubt Jeter. 

Innings 4-7

I feel pretty confident that Derek Jeter will not be playing a full nine innings, given his age and the fact that all-star starters are usually pulled after the fourth or fifth inning. My guess is that Jeter lasts until around the sixth inning and it will be exciting to see how he's pulled. Will he be pinch-run for if he gets on base? Will he be pinch hit for?

Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, who is managing the American League All-Star team, has to be creative with this one. Jim Leyland handled Mariano Rivera's last All-Star game in a very classy, memorable way and it is up to Farrell to make Jeter's All-Star exit just as memorable. My guess is that he goes out onto the field and is replaced in the middle of an inning, walking off the field to standing ovations and cap tips from every single person in the stadium.

What the MLB Does to Honor Jeter When he exits

When Derek Jeter leaves the field, there is a good chance that commissioner Bud Selig and/or some former players and teammates of Jeter will be on the field to congratulate him. Jeter means a lot to so many players and personnel around baseball, so there is no doubt that the MLB will do something special for the Captain.

Having Cal Ripken, Jr., Jeter's childhood idol, walk him off the field would be an awesome sight. It would also be a great all-star exit if the rest of the Yankees' core four, which includes Mariano, Andy Pettitte, and Jeter's best friend Jorge Posada, were there to congratulate him. Will players say some words about Jeter before the game continues? Will Jeter make a speech? This is a moment that fans everywhere must watch.

The one thing we can say for sure about this moment is that Alex Rodriguez will not be present. I say that very confidently.

Post-Game Ceremony

Last year, the All-Star game MVP was given to Mariano. Will the MLB do the same thing for Jeter this year? Will there be a post-game tribute to him? We will just have to wait and see. Maybe they will just give Jeter the car that goes to the All-Star game MVP because hey, he's Derek Jeter.

Over the past 20 years, baseball has been clouded by players using performance-enhancing substances. Players that so many people looked up to were found to be liars and cheaters and it seemed as if every star in baseball was juicing up. But through all of these bad times, Derek Jeter never changed. He has consistently been an amazing role model that plays the game the right way. He is everything baseball needed through the steroid era and his 14th and final All-Star appearance will be unforgettable.

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