Final stop: Mets provide Jeter with fitting sendoff
Subway-tile mosaic, cake highlight gifts; club donates $22,222.22 to Turn 2 Foundation
NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter's final regular-season Subway Series game was marked with a presentation of gifts, honoring the Yankees captain's lengthy career and commemorating his participation in 88 regular-season contests against the Mets.
"I have a lot of great memories here," Jeter said. "It's been fun playing in these series. I've always said that the fans are very energetic on both sides. That makes it very fun for us as players to go out there and compete."
The Mets announced in a pregame news conference that they were donating $22,222.22 to Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation, with Mets COO Jeff Wilpon presenting an oversized check. Jeter said the gesture was "very much appreciated" and "unnecessary."
"That means a lot to me," Jeter said. "I think a lot of people know how much the foundation means to me, so for you to do that, I really appreciate it and I can't thank you enough."
Jeter also was presented with a unique subway-tile mosaic, featuring his uniform No. 2 and pinstripes in Yankees and Mets colors. The piece measures 52 3/8" long, 39 1/4" wide and weighs 75 pounds.
"Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro of Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken, N.J., also created a custom two-foot by three-foot cake for Jeter that celebrates the Subway Series with the 4 and 7 subway trains.
The 2000 World Series MVP in the Yankees' five-game victory over the Mets, Jeter has arguably enjoyed the Subway Series like no other player since Interleague Play started in 1997.
"It doesn't get any bigger than playing in the World Series against them," Jeter said. "I think that was something that I think the whole city was pulling for, going to the playoffs that year.
"Then for us to get the opportunity to play that exciting Series; we won that Series, but a lot of those games could've gone either way."
Jeter's .364 (131-for-360) regular-season batting average against the Mets is the highest of any active player, ranking third-best all time among those with at least 100 career at-bats against the Mets, trailing only Rico Carty (.380) and Don Slaught (.376). It's also Jeter's highest lifetime average against any team (minimum 40 at-bats).
"What's special is the energy in the stadiums, both stadiums -- all four, actually, old Yankee Stadium, new Yankee Stadium, Shea and Citi," Jeter said. "It's the fans that remain the same and the fans that make it fun for us."