Electric. It’s the one word most fitting to describe the atmosphere at Yankee Stadium July 9, 2011– the day Derek Jeter hit number 3,000.
Luckily, Friday’s game was cancelled due to rain, so I arrived at the house that Jeter built anxious and hopeful I would be able to witness the momentous feat.
From the get-go, it felt like a special day. With more than your average amount of Jeter jerseys in the sea of people, the support for this 19-year pro was palpable. Stands rumbled and people were on their feet. I could feel the energy with every “Der-ek Je-ter” chant. I was mesmerized.
Even with the first swing of Jeter’s bat, the entire crowd, myself included, eagerly refrained from talking, yielded from leaving their seat and just watched.
With a single to right, Jeter’s first hit started up the Yankee’s offense on a 3-2 count pitch in the first. That got us going. Something was in the air, something about the beautiful July day lent itself in Jeter’s favor and our growing zeal.
Jeter’s second and record-breaking hit came in the third. In true, dramatic, New York form, Jeter’s 3,000 hit was a home run. My friends and I marveled at bomb. It was unbelievable, you couldn’t write this stuff.
With a cantor around the bases and a video shot of Jeter crossing the bag at first, realizing he homered, we all fell back in love with the 37-year-old captain. He pumped his fist and a smile crossed his face. Fans of any team had to be a fan of Jeter Saturday. Even the Red Sox fan I went to the game with was a fan of DJ.
To make the day even more spectacular, Jeter went 5 for 5 and his 3,003 hit was the game-winner. Waving to the fans and conceding to media, Derek Jeter, a humble and happy man, finally made it into the exclusive 3,000 club.
With five World Series rings to boot, I can proudly say, I witnessed one of the greatest players of all time accomplish one of his most amazing achievements. I couldn’t be happier for him. He was simply, electric.