By Jon Lane
For starters it’d be nice if Mother Nature would
cut us a break. The tarp is on the field and a strong breeze is making
a light drizzle do a dance. It’s so bad that many of the writers who
normally inhabit the first row of the press box moved up to the second
row to avoid being splashed.
We’re not starting on time. First pitch TBD.
While we wait, here’s a couple more Derek Jeter nuggets:
Jeter is looking to join three active players who hold their current
franchise’s all-time hits record: Todd Helton (Rockies: 2,113), Carl
Crawford (Rays: 1,274) and Ivan Rodriguez (Rangers: 1,738).
Jeter is 14 hits from 200 on the season, one shy of Gehrig’s club
record, and four from his 10th season with at least 190, which would
tie him with Stan Musial for third-most all time behind Pete Rose (13)
and Ty Cobb (12).
Furthermore, Ed Lucas, a longtime sports
reporter and a good man who conducts exclusive interviews for
YESNetwork.com’s “Ed Lucas Show,” is here. Ed was recently hospitalized
for diverticulitis, digestive disease found in the colon, and is due
back for test results and to lower his blood sugar. When you get a
chance, check out his Strikeouts for Scholarships
program, which provides hundreds of Seton Hall students who have a
disability with financial assistance while earning their college
Back soon with much more.
7:10 p.m. To
kill time I took a walk up and down the Great Hall. As you’d expect,
that and Tommy Bahama’s was mobbed, but it was nothing compared to the
Hard Rock. There was a line just to get into the place. One guy walked
out in frustration and shouted, “Six-hour wait.” At least I spared a
woman from waiting on line or leaving the building to enter the HRC
from the front; she would have not be let back in. She had a good
response to my wait-time message: “The place won’t be open that long.”
7:12 p.m. Ominous sign: The women’s U.S. Open semifinals was postponed. At least they can try again tomorrow. Here, it’s not that easy.
7:29 p.m. PA man Paul Olden made an announcement to hushed silence: There will be a weather update in 15 minutes. Okey Dokey.
7:48 p.m. The grounds crew is removing the tarp. Fans are already chanting, “DE-REK JE-TER!” Approximate first pitch is 8:20.
8:21 p.m.The ceremony honoring the sailors of the USS New York,
tonight’s true heroes, concluded with Navy Musician Third Class Laura
Carey’s rendition of our national anthem. Earlier today, Chris Shearn and Jerome Preisler eloquently shared their 9/11 thoughts
Off and running, following a delay of one hour and 27 minutes, after
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano threw out the first
pitch. The Yankees are wearing red caps with the interlocking NY in
stars and stripes, and playing in a postseason atmosphere. It’s raining
again, but conditions remain playable.
8:38 p.m. Three up
and three down for Andy Pettitte as Jeter catches Nick Markakis’ pop up
for the final out, drawing the loudest ovation for a first-inning third
out I’ve ever heard. The rain, however, has intensified.
8:44 p.m. Jeter whiffs on his first attempt. Fans are scurrying for shelter.
8:50 p.m. On a night Jeter is trying to pass Gehrig, A-Rod hit a
Ruthian shot to left-field, a three-run bomb that gave the Yankees an
early 3-0 lead.
9:23 p.m. 2night was the night. An opposite-field single on Tillman’s 2-0 pitch puts Jeter alone in first place. Now Mother Nature has to play nice for and inning and a half. Every Yankee emerged from the home dugout to congratulate Jeter at first base backed by an ovation at ear-splitting levels. As I write this, the count is 1-1 on Nick Swisher and fans are still chanting, “DE-REK JE-TER!”
9:34 p.m. Statement from George Steinbrenner:
“For those who say today’s game can’t produce legendary players, I have two words: Derek Jeter. Game in and game out he just produces. As historic and significant as becoming the Yankees’ all time hit leader is, the accomplishment is all the more impressive because Derek is one of the finest young men playing the game today.
“That combination of character and athletic ability is something he shares with the previous record holder Lou Gehrig. It adds to the pride that the Yankees and our fans feel today. Every Yankees’ era has its giants. It’s thrilling to watch Derek as he becomes one of the greats of his generation, if not of all time.”
9:37 p.m. Another statement, this from Dorine Gordon, president and CEO of the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter:
“The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter congratulates Derek Jeter for surpassing Lou Gehrig’s 70-year-old record. Derek epitomizes so much of what we admired in Gehrig. Each skillfully filled their roles as team captains with strength, determination and humility. In this, our 15th anniversary year, we’re prouder than ever to carry on the fight against a disease that bears Gehrig’s name and commend Derek on this accomplishment.”
10:03 p.m. Jeter will appreciate hit No. 2,723 a lot more. His single to right plated the Yankees’ fourth run before Brett Gardner overran third base and was tagged out. However, Gardner hustled down the first-line for a two-out infield single that extended the inning.
10:27 p.m. The game – and Jeter’s record – are both official after a laborious top of the fifth. Pettitte needed 36 pitches and a nifty play by Robinson Cano to escape a bases-loaded jam. It was likely the final inning for the left-hander (103 pitches/59 strikes).
11:24 p.m. Tonight’s historic moment had a different feel, writes Bob Lorenz.
11:36 p.m. Edwar Ramirez + pouring rain + rain delay = buzzkill.