Results tagged ‘ Hal Steinbrenner ’
Claudio Reyna became the first employee of New York City Football Club by being named director of football Wednesday. Reyna will be responsible for building the soccer elements of the New York City FC organization, including the recruitment of players, coaches and trainers, and other support staff, in preparation for the team’s inaugural Major League Soccer season in 2015.
The announcement took place at PS 72 (Lexington Academy) in East Harlem, which boasts the city’s only rooftop soccer field and was donated by Manchester City Football Club in 2010. This facility provides quality soccer instruction and programming to thousands of children in 20 city public schools each year.
New York City FC, the MLS expansion team, was unveiled Tuesday as part of a partnership of two global sports powers, the Yankees and Manchester City FC. The Club will become MLS’s 20th team. Managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and president Randy Levine represented the Yankees.
In announcing the appointment of Reyna, Manchester City chief executive officer Ferran Soriano noted Reyna’s significant contributions to soccer in the United States, both as a player and in his position as youth technical director of the U.S. Soccer Federation, a post he has held since 2010.
“Finding the right person for this role and getting him in place from the start was a priority,” Soriano said. “The football culture of New York City FC will be built from this decision, and we believe Claudio is the man who uniquely understands what New York soccer should mean, and how it can benefit from the relationship with Manchester City FC.”
“Having had the privilege of playing both for my country here in the U.S. and for Manchester City FC in England, I could not have hoped for a more tailored-made opportunity in soccer,” Reyna said. “I am incredibly excited to again wear City’s ‘Sky Blue’ as part of the expansion of the MLS and the growth of soccer in the United States, and am honored to have been offered this opportunity. With a large fan base through the New York area, prime television rights and distribution, sponsorship commitments, and the Yankees as a U.S. partner, the New York City Football Club has everything in place to succeed.”
New York City FC will be an independent club that mirrors and benefits from its relationship with Manchester City Football Club, allowing both organizations to collaborate on community programs and other team aspects, such as global youth development and scouting, coaching, sports science and first team football operations. Reyna will work closely with Manchester City’s Brian Marwood, managing director of City Football Academy; Txiki Begiristain, director of football, and World Cup winner Patrick Vieira, head of elite development squad.
Reyna had an illustrious professional career as a player in Europe and the U.S. for more than 12 years, including at Manchester City FC from 2003-2007. The two-time Olympian represented the U.S. National team in four World Cups from 1994 through 2006 and was team captain in 2002 and 2006.
The Yankees are enhancing their commitment to big-time soccer. Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber announced Tuesday that a partnership of global sports powers, the Yankees and Manchester City Football Club, has acquired the League’s 20th expansion club. The team will be named New York City Football Club and expects to begin play in 2015.
“We proudly welcome two of the most prestigious professional global sports organizations to Major League Soccer,” Garber said. “This is a transformational development that will elevate the league to new heights in this country. The New York area is home to more than 19 million people, and we look forward to an intense crosstown rivalry between New York City Football Club and the New York Red Bulls that will captivate this great city.”
“New York is a legendary sports town, as well as a thriving global city with a rapidly expanding soccer fan-base,” said Manchester FC chief executive officer Ferran Soriano, who will oversee the process of filling top New York City FC leadership positions in the weeks to come. “We are thrilled to contribute to the energy and growth of New York City Soccer. In the Yankees, we have found the absolute best partner for developing a world-class sports organization and a winning team that will carry the New York City Football Club name with pride.”
Manchester City will be the majority owner of the new Club. As an investor, the Yankees will be an active member of the ownership group. The Yankees and Manchester City Football Club have an existing commercial relationship through Legends Hospitality, LLC, an international entertainment, hospitality and marketing organization. Yankee Stadium will be the site of a “friendly” match Saturday between Manchester City and Chelsea FC.
“We are pleased to be associated with this major move by MLS to increase its presence in the New York market and to enhance the opportunity for New York soccer fans to enjoy high-level play in their own city,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said. “We look forward to the opportunity to work with Manchester City to create something very special for the soccer fans of New York and to bringing another terrific team to this city for all sports fans to enjoy. Randy Levine, president of the New York Yankees, will be the point person in leading the effort to launch and establish the team on behalf of the organization.”
The New York/New Jersey area is one of North America’s most vibrant and proud soccer communities. The region has filled stadiums for countless marquee soccer events including the 1994 FIFA Men’s World Cup, the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, three MLS All-Star Games and numerous international exhibition matches. NYCFC will become the first MLS club whose home will be located within the five boroughs, joining the Red Bulls as the second MLS club in the metropolitan area.
“Soccer is one of the world’s most exciting and popular sports, and it should be played on the world’s biggest stage – in New York City,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said. “New Yorkers are the greatest sports fans in the world, and they will welcome a Major League Soccer franchise with the full-throated and loyal support they are famous for.
“Manchester City has a great reputation for both winning teams and serious community investment, and that will help them fit in well with the excellent leadership of New York City’s other professional sports teams. Increasingly, sports events and activities from the NHL playoffs to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game to the Super Bowl are spurring economic growth as our investments in new arenas and infrastructures are paying off.”
New York City FC is committed to seeking a new permanent stadium in New York. Until that time, the new team is arranging to play in an interim home beginning in its inaugural MLS season in 2015. Over the past year, MLS began discussions with the City of New York and other stakeholders about the possibility of constructing a new stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. The Club’s new management will continue these discussions with local government officials, community residents and businesses, soccer leagues, and MLS. The Club will continue to review other potential sites as well.
“New York City FC will have a permanent home in the City in the great traditions of New York sports and world soccer, a home that must be a sports, commercial and civic success,” Soriano said. “But in considering any stadium site, we will listen first. This is what we have always done in Manchester and what we will do in New York. Only in this way, can the Club truly represent the City whose name it will carry.
Manchester City is a leader among sports organizations in its charitable efforts, with one-sixth of its staff fully dedicated full-time to community outreach. Building on this tradition of community outreach, New York City FC will expand and enhance the grassroots youth soccer program “City Soccer in the Community,” which it has been running in New York since 2010.
The program, now headquartered at PS 72 (Lexington Academy) in East Harlem, which boasts New York City’s only rooftop soccer field, provides quality soccer instruction and programming to thousands of children in 20 city public schools each year. New York City FC plans to expand its community outreach to bring soccer to thousands of more kids throughout the five boroughs.
Manchester City has funded the construction of soccer facilities for youth in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington, D.C. Since new ownership took over five years ago, Manchester City has gained its place as one of England’s most successful football clubs and one of the fastest growing clubs in the world. Last spring, Manchester City won the 2012 Barclay’s Premier League Championship. This year it finished second in the League and was the FA Cup runner-up. Manchester City FC is wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group.
The Yankees, of course, are baseball’s most storied franchise with 27 World Series titles and 40 American League pennants.
Headquartered in New York, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in North America. MLS’s 18th season features 19 clubs each playing 34 regular-season matches. The clubs are Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo; 2012 MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy, Montreal Impact, New York Red Bulls, New England Revolution, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City, Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
The Yankees and the Red Sox, legendary rivals, will stand together Opening Day in dedicating the April 1 game at Yankee Stadium to victims of the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, their families and the greater community of Newtown, Conn.
Pregame ceremonies will feature joint honor guards of Newtown police and firefighters, along with a moment of silence, during which a list of the Sandy Hook victims’ names will be recognized on the center-field video board.
Yankees and Red Sox players will wear a special ribbon on their uniforms for Opening Day to honor those lost and those affected by the tragedy. This ribbon will also be prominently painted on the field in front of both dugouts.
To show Major League Baseball’s solidarity in remembering the victims, their families and the greater community of Newtown, commissioner Bud Selig has asked the 28 other teams to follow suit in wearing the ribbon during their respective Opening Day games.
The Yankees have also invited approximately 3,000 children, families and members of Newtown to celebrate summer recess Sunday, July 7, by attending the Yankees’ 1:05 p.m. game that day against the Orioles. The Yankees have proclaimed the date “Newtown Day at Yankee Stadium” at a time of year after the school calendar is complete that allows for the greatest number of children and families to be able to attend.
“On Opening Day, we will reflect upon more important things and play the game to honor the community of Newtown,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said. “Since the day of the tragedy, our hearts and thoughts have been with those who were affected. We hope that bringing the families of Newtown together at Yankee Stadium later in the summer will give the community an opportunity to create new memories and aid in the difficult process of moving forward.”
Added Red Sox principal owner John Henry, “Months have passed, yet we are still trying to come to grips with this incomprehensible tragedy. “As our teams look to face each other on Opening Day, we will stand united in support of the families affected as we remember and honor those who were lost.”
“The Yankees organization has supported our community in several ways since the tragic events of December 14,” said Pat Llodra, First Selectman, Town of Newtown. “Their generosity and compassion during this difficult time means a lot to all of us. We also would like to thank Commissioner Selig, the Red Sox and Major League Baseball for this meaningful tribute to our community.”
NASHVILLE – There was good news and bad news for Yankees fans coming out of baseball’s Winter Meetings Monday at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.
First, the good news; another person associated with the Yankees was elected to the Hall of Fame. The Pre-Integration Era Veterans Committee elected former club owner Jacob Ruppert to the Hall, along with 19th-century catcher-third baseman Deacon White and umpire Hank O’Day.
Among Ruppert’s many contributions to the Yankees in his time as owner was the design of their pinstriped uniforms, the purchase of Babe Ruth’s contract from the Red Sox and the construction of the original Yankee Stadium, a palace among baseball parks in the 1920s. Ruppert’s nickname was “The Colonel,” even though his time as a colonel in the National Guard was short, certainly less than his four terms as a United States congressman from the Democratic Party.
“The election of Jacob Ruppert to the Hall of Fame is a great honor for the Yankees organization,” managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said. “Under his leadership, the Yankees became the most popular and successful team in baseball, setting the standard which we try to uphold today.”
Ruppert becomes the 48th individual enshrined in the Hall to have played, managed, coached, owned or been a general manager for the Yankees. He joins Ed Barrow, Larry MacPhail, Lee MacPhail and George Weiss among Hall of Famers who had ownership stakes or were general managers of the Yankees but never played for, coached or managed the club.
The bad news, however, is quite grim. Alex Rodriguez will require surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip and will likely miss at least the first half of the 2013 season. The news, first reported by George King in the New York Post, is a severe blow to the Yankees but also serves to explain in part why the third baseman may have struggled so much during the past postseason when he hit .120 with 12 strikeouts in 25 at-bats.
“I do think that it’s a likely scenario that the struggles we saw in September and in October are more likely than not related to this issue,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said during a press conference here. “Clearly Alex was dealing with an issue that although he might be asymptomatic but the lower half and the way the mechanisms work, he wasn’t firing on all cylinders. There were times that we thought watching him that he was all arms and no legs, but again, there were no complaints, no pain, and then in the playoffs when he got pinch hit for, he did have a complaint that he felt his right hip wasn’t working right, and that was all clear.”
According to Cashman, Rodriguez told manager Joe Girardi in the dugout the night of Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Orioles when A-Rod was lifted for pinch hitter Raul Ibanez, who hit a game-tying home run, that his right hip did not feel right. Rodriguez had an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) exam after the game at New York Presbyterian Hospital that did not reveal any damage.
Rodriguez had a checkup during the offseason in Vail, Colo., which showed a tear in the left hip that was confirmed in a second opinion by Dr. Bryan Kelly, who will perform the operation at the Hospital for Special Surgery after A-Rod completes a four- to six-week pre-surgery regimen. The procedure is expected to require four to six months for recovery.
With the surgery likely to be scheduled in January, the earliest Rodriguez could be expected to play would be June and more realistically after the All-Star break in July.
So what do the Yankees do about third base for the first half of next season? Cashman all but ruled out the possibility of Eduardo Nunez playing there (“We see him as a shortstop,” the GM said) and pointed out that the club got through 2012 with several players in left field filling in for injured Brett Gardner.
Jayson Nix, who has re-upped with the Yanks for 2013, could be used in part of a platoon. Eric Chavez, who played in 64 games (50 starts) at the position last season, is now a free agent.
“My sole interest is just improving the entire club,” Cashman said. “Whether we solve any issue specifically at that position of third base, I can’t really answer.”
The Yankees will sponsor a New York Blood Center donor drive to help replenish supplies after Hurricane Sandy from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at Gotham Hall, located at 1356 Broadway at 36th Street in Manhattan.
The first 300 donors will receive vouchers for a pair of tickets to a 2013 Yankees game.
“We thank the New York Yankees and Gotham Hall for helping us replenish our community blood supply after Hurricane Sandy,” New York Blood Center vice president Rob Purvis said. “We’re opening up new locations and drives all the time – including Friday’s drive at Gotham Hall – and the latest information is at nybloodcenter.org and 1-800-933-BLOOD.”
Blood donors will receive free mini-medical exams on site including information about their temperature, blood pressure and hematocrit level. Eligible donors include those people at least age 16 (with parental permission), who weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, are in good health and meet all Food & Drug Administration and NY State Department of Health donor criteria. People over age 75 may donate with a doctor’s note.
The Yankees have also donated $500,000 to the American Red Cross to support the relief efforts in the Tri-State area associated with Hurricane Sandy.
“The damage and destruction to the Tri-State area caused by Hurricane Sandy is daunting, but we have seen the great resiliency of this region before,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said. “As a neighbor and community member, the Yankees embrace our role of stepping forward and assisting the American Red Cross, which comes to the aid of so many people through their tireless efforts.”
Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner issued the following statement to fans following the team’s loss to Detroit in the American League Championship Series:
“I want to thank our passionate fans for their support this season. We fell short of our singular and constant goal, which is a World Series championship.
“However, I am proud of the accomplishments of this year’s team. We earned the best record in the American League and were one of the four teams to advance to the League Championship Series, despite having to overcome and fight through a series of long-term injuries to a number of our key players.
“Make no mistake, this was a bitter end to our year, and we fully intend to examine our season in its totality, assess all of our strengths and weaknesses and take the necessary steps needed to maintain our sole focus of winning the World Series in 2013. Great teams – and organizations – use disappointment as a motivation for future improvements and success. In the days, weeks and months ahead, we plan to do what’s necessary to return this franchise to the World Series.
“Nothing has changed. Nothing will change. My family – and our organization – has a long-standing commitment to provide all of our fans a championship-caliber team year after year.
“We may have fallen short, but we never feel sorry for ourselves and never make excuses. We already are beginning the process to find a way to win our 28th World Championship.
“I want to congratulate Mike Ilitch, Dave Dombrowski, Jim Leyland and the Detroit Tigers. They certainly proved worthy of representing the American League in the World Series and are well deserving of this honor.”
More football is coming to Yankee Stadium that will again be the site of a classic matchup as Hampton University will oppose Morgan State University Nov. 17 in the Bronx. The two-year agreement calls for the two schools to play at the Stadium in 2013 as well.
The original Yankee Stadium was the site of what became known as the annual New York Urban League Football Classic from 1968-73 and again from 1976-87. Morgan State played 11 times in the game, going 1-10 against Grambling and head coach Eddie Robinson each time. It will mark Hampton’s first football game at the Stadium, original or current.
“It’s wonderful that the New York Urban League Football Classic can once again call Yankee Stadium its home,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said. “As everyone knows, college football was a passion of my father’s, as was providing opportunities for future generations. The return of this rich tradition showcases both of those tenets, and our organization couldn’t be prouder to be hosting the NYUL Football Classic this fall.”
Now in its fourth year of existence, the current Yankee Stadium has already been the site to elite college football games: the annual New Era Pinstripe Bowl, the 50th all-time matchup between Notre Dame and Army in 2010 and Army vs. Rutgers in 2011. The home of the Yankees will be the site of Army vs. Boston College in November 2014. Additionally, the Public School Athletic League Football Championship Game has been held at the Stadium in each of the past two years.
Since its inception, proceeds from the New York Urban League Football Classic have helped to leverage more than $20 million in Whitney M. Young, Jr. Educational Scholarships to nearly 4,000 college-bound students.
Whitney M. Young, Jr., after whom the scholarship was named, was president of the National Urban League. His distinguished career was marked by his effectiveness in bringing the business community into full participation in the struggle for civil rights. Young focused on gaining equality for black people in business and politics, along with improving opportunities for the urban poor. The New York Urban League continues the mission to enable African-Americans and other under-served communities to secure a first-class education, economic self-reliance and equal respect of civil rights through programs, services and advocacy in a highly diversified city.
The original Stadium had a long association with numerous college and professional football classics. It served as home of the old New York Yankees football team and the New York Giants as well as the secondary football home for New York University from 1923-48.
As one of the world’s most prestigious addresses, the original Stadium was also home to scores of other sports, entertainment and cultural events, including boxing, pro football, soccer, political assemblies, three Papal masses, religious conventions, concerts, NYU commencement and the circus.
The Yankees joined the Lackawanna County Commissioners Office, Mandalay Baseball, the Multi-Purpose Authority and Pennsylvania state officials from Moosic and Riverside for the ceremonial groundbreaking Monday at the entry plaza to PNC Field, the home of the Triple A affiliate that is undergoing a major renovation for the 2013 season.
“The effects of this project are truly far-reaching on a number of fronts – leisure, family and most importantly, economic expansion,” commissioner Corey D. O’Brien said. “Job creation, further growth in the surrounding communities and an opportunity for wholesome family fun make this a complete package. The stadium will impact our local economy and pay great dividends as we move forward to attract new opportunities, businesses and other ventures to the area.”
“We are delighted to have completed our agreement with Lackawanna County and are excited about having our Triple A team in Northeastern Pennsylvania for a long time to come,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said. “I’d like to thank everyone involved for their persistence and collaboration on this project. Along with our partners, Mandalay Baseball, we are committed to providing a great fan experience and believe that the team and the stadium should both be points of pride for the community.”
According to the Lackawanna County Commissioners and Daniel Lispi, President of DRL Consulting and Development of Harrisburg, once the stadium is finished and operating, it will infuse $9.4 million into the local economy and have a yearly economic impact of $47 million. The construction phase alone will generate $23.5 million in one-time revenue for working families and local businesses.
“We are proud of our growing partnership with the New York Yankees and committed to creating a great experience for our team’s fans in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” Mandalay Baseball chairman Peter Guber said. “We believe that this venue will be among the finest field of dreams in professional minor league baseball and an important jewel in Mandalay’s professional sports assets and experiences.”
“We are excited about the stadium’s modifications as it will be the final stop before the Bronx, and it’s important to us that the facilities are top notch,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “Being only a couple hours from the Bronx is the optimal location for our team, and I look forward to our players taking their final steps towards the big leagues there.”
Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost added, “We all worked hard to reach an agreement that is both balanced and long-reaching. We’d like to congratulate the Lackawanna County Commissioners and Stadium Authority for the foresight and the enthusiasm that they brought to the project. We’re looking forward to a great long term relationship.”
The trade 11 days ago that took Jesus Montero out of the Yankees’ picture and off to Seattle created the idea that just maybe Jorge Posada’s career with the Yankees might not indeed be over. Perhaps the five-time All-Star catcher could just be what they needed to platoon with Andruw Jones at designated hitter, a role that Montero might have filled before he was dealt for pitcher Michael Pineda.
It was all just wishful thinking. Jorge Posada had made up his mind that 2011 would be his last season. He admitted Tuesday in a moving retirement announcement at Yankee Stadium that he made that decision during last season and shared it only with his wife, Laura, and his longtime teammate and friend, Derek Jeter.
“I knew this would be the end,” Posada said.
So all that talk about the possibility of his signing with the Rays or some other club was just that – a lot of talk. In the end, Posada wanted no part of any other organization than the Yankees, even if his final season in pinstripes was hardly warm and fuzzy. He struggled to get used to not catching on a regular basis, had an invisible year batting from the right side and endured some embarrassing moments as being dropped to ninth in the batting order or lifted for pinch hitters in pressure spots.
Yet through it all, Posada persevered and put a nice finish on his season with some clutch hits in September to help the Yankees clinch the American League East title and a .429 effort against some tough Detroit pitching in the AL Division Series.
“It is a very emotional day for me,” Posada said, fighting back tears. “Since I was a kid all I ever wanted to do was be a major leaguer. The Yankees were my family away from home. I am so proud of the hard work I put in. I could never wear another uniform. I will forever be a Yankee.”
Posada was all about work. Signed originally out of Puerto Rico as a shortstop, Posada was moved to second base and then behind the plate. He recalled leading the league in passed balls his first season as a catcher but was encouraged when the Yankees jumped him to Triple A in 1994 where he continued to improve with the aid of manager Stump Merrill, a former catcher.
Along the way, Posada made connections to the players with whom he would eventually team as the “Core Four,” playing alongside Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera in 1991 at Oneonta, N.Y., and with Jeter in 1992 at Greensboro, N.C. The quartet would all make it to the Yankees in 1995.
Mo and DJ were in attendance Tuesday as well as another teammate, CC Sabathia, and a host of dignitaries: managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, general partner Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal, president Randy Levine, chief operating officer Lonn Trost, general manager Brian Cashman, assistant general manager Jean Afterman, manager Joe Girardi and special advisor Gene Michael. A nice touch was the appearance of former second baseman and coach Willie Randolph, who drove in from his New Jersey home.
“My dad loved warriors, and Jorge was a warrior,” Hal Steinbrenner said. “He loved guys that worked hard and were good role models. Those are the things to be a great Yankee that my dad felt were absolutely essential.”
There were other touching moments from guests who flew in from the Midwest. Diana Munson, Thurman’s widow, came in from Ohio. Lisa Nederer, who works for the Jorge Posada Foundation in Wisconsin, attended with her son, Brett, who suffers from Craniosynostosis, the same disease that Posada’s son has and which inspired Jorge and Laura to form the foundation.
As Posada sat on the podium with Laura, their daughter Paulina and son Jorge Luis, Diana Munson addressed the audience and explained how coming to know Posada renewed her interest in baseball after she had turned away from it following the death of her husband Aug. 2, 1979 in a single-engine airplane accident.
She talked about meeting Jorge in the dugout before a game and his telling her that he kept a quote of Thurman’s in his locker. Jorge left he briefly, then returned to the dugout to show her the newspaper clipping he had saved in which Munson had said batting fourth in the lineup was all right but what he did behind the plate working with the pitching staff was more important.
“I actually got to the point where I couldn’t wait to get the newspaper to read the box scores,” Diana Munson said. “That’s unusual. The only box scores I ever read in my life were Thurman’s, but Jorge stayed very close to my heart. I think he and Thurman would have been best buds. I’m honored to have loved two Yankees catchers in my life.”
Not surprising but when it came to singling out the highlights of a playing career in which he batted .273 with 275 home runs and 1,065 RBI, Posada settled on team-oriented moments. In chronological order, they were his major-league debut in 1995, catching David Wells’ perfect game in 1998 and hugging Rivera on the mound at the Stadium after the final out of the 1999 World Series. He added that his worst memory was from an inter-league game in Philadelphia when he committed three passed balls.
Of course, there are so many other moments than fans will remember, such as Posada hitting the first home run at the new Stadium in 2009. I think the one fans treasure the most is the two-run, game-tying double he hit off Red Sox nemesis Pedro Martinez in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 2003 AL Championship Series. It brought the Yankees even after entering the inning with a three-run deficit and kept the game alive so that Aaron Boone could push the Yankees into the World Series with his walk-off home run off Tim Wakefield in the 11th.
“I thought [Martinez] was going to come out of the game,” Posada recalled. “After [manager] Grady Little left him in, I thought about how he had pitched me inside all game, so I looked for something inside. Sure enough, he jammed me, and it found a lot of grass.”
For all the hard liners Posada hit that were caught, he was happy to accept a bloop hit that broke the Red Sox’ backs.
Posada said he would miss his teammates the most, but he also had a special message to his fans.
“I thank the fans for all their years of support, the cheering and the ovations,” he said. “You kept me going when I needed it the most.”
As I type this, I am looking up at a photograph of Jorgie and me that was taken before a game during spring training at Tampa in 1997. I was presenting to Posada on behalf of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America the James P. Dawson Award that Yankees beat writers vote on for the top rookie in camp. The award itself is an engraved watch.
I remember that after the game Jorgie came over to me and said that the box was empty. I told him that the watch was being engraved, and we would get it to him soon. The engravers had misspelled his name by using the anglicized George instead of Jorge. Well, the replacement seemed to take forever, which became a running joke between the two of us. Every day for the first month of the season, he’d come up me and ask what time it was.
After Tuesday’s proceedings, I kidded Jorge and asked him what time it was. He smiled and said, “You know. It’s time to go.”
Derek Jeter was honored before Saturday’s game by the Yankees’ organization and its players at Yankee Stadium to commemorate his reaching the 3,000-hit plateau July 9 against the Rays, the same opponent in the regularly scheduled game.
The ceremony began with Jeter presenting the batting gloves and helmet he used that day to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, which was represented by board chairman Jane Forbes Clark and president Jeff Idelson.
Yankees president Randy Levine and chief operating officer Lonn Trost presented a Waterford crystal vase to the Captain. The 14-inch legacy piece was hand crafted in Ireland and copper wheel engraved. It was etched with Yankee Stadium and “DJ3K” logos with an inscription that read:
Presented to Derek Jeter, in recognition of your career 3,000th hit. The first New York Yankees player to reach this historic milestone.
July 9, 2011
New York Yankees
Yankees managing general partner and co-chairperson Hal Steinbrenner and his wife, Christina, next presented Jeter and his immediate family commemorative rings and pendants from Balfour. Derek and his father, Dr. Charles Jeter, each received 14-K white gold rings with 50 diamonds (36 surrounding the blue facet stone and 14 making up the number “2”).
On one side, “Captain” is etched above the Yankees top hat logo, along with two banners etched with the words “Pride” and “Tradition.” On the other side, the “DJ3K” logo is etched with the date “July 9, 2011.” The ring top pendants that were presented to Derek’s mother, Dot, and his sister, Sharlee, are etched with the “DJ3K” logo on the back.
Yankees players came on the field and circled around a golf cart that contained a stainless steel structure by Scott Kranzler of Milgo Industrial presented to Jeter by teammates Jorge Posada and CC Sabathia. The custom-designed pieced weighing 225 pounds had an inscription reading:
To our captain, leader and friend. Congratulations on a great achievement, from your teammates.
Speaking on behalf of Yankees players, Mariano Rivera said, “I want to say thank God for giving me the opportunity to play with a tremendous player like Derek and being in this organization and being able to see every one of them. Jeet, I love you, and continue. God bless you and God bless your family.”