Jeter ties Gehrig’s record as Yanks rally past Rays
After tying Lou Gehrig atop the
“I really didn’t know what to do because we were losing at the time and I didn’t want to disrespect Tampa,” Jeter said. “I never dreamt about all of this.”
Jeter broke out of his slump in a big way Wednesday night, getting three hits to match Gehrig’s franchise mark, and New York rallied for a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay
Jeter tied Gehrig with 2,721 hits in a
“He’s one of the classiest people to ever play this game,” Jeter said during an on-field, postgame television interview pumped over the stadium public address system. “It’s just kind of mind-boggling to have my name next to his.”
Moments after Posada’s homer, Jeter received a booming ovation as he stepped to the plate in the eighth with a chance to break the record. But he walked against reliever
“I have a pretty good feeling that it’s going to happen pretty quickly,” manager Joe Girardi said.
Shut down by rookie
Already on their feet in anticipation, fans at Yankee Stadium let loose with a roar when Jeter’s sharp grounder inside the first-base line got by a diving
Jeter’s parents, watching from an upstairs box between home plate and first base, raised their arms and exclaimed in excitement.
“I felt proud. I got goose bumps,” Posada said. “It was a perfect moment.”
Jeter took off his helmet and twice waved it to the crowd of 45,848 during an ovation that lasted about 2 minutes.
“I’m very happy for him,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “He carries himself in a manner that’s worthy of passing Gehrig.”
After entering the game in an 0-for-12 slump, his longest hitless stretch this season, Jeter snapped out of the rut with a bunt single toward third base leading off the bottom of the first. He beat the play without a throw, bringing a standing ovation from the crowd.
“That’s why I bunted in the first inning. I needed to get one hit, right?” Jeter said.
With cameras flashing all around the ballpark on every pitch to Jeter, he grounded out in the third and drove a ground-rule double to straightaway center in the fifth.
On his first chance to tie Gehrig, Jeter came through in fitting fashion – with an opposite-field hit on the first pitch.
“I don’t want to say it was a relief,” Jeter said. “Afterward I was pretty excited that I was able to do it tonight.”
In the middle of the eighth inning, the large video board in center field showed a replay and flashed “Congratulations Derek!”
“What an ovation I got from the fans,” he said. “I’ve been trying to do it for them.”
Jeter also stole second base in the first inning for his 300th career steal, which ranks second on the franchise list behind Rickey Henderson (326).
Gehrig’s final hit came on April 29, 1939, a single against the Washington Senators. The Iron Horse had held the club record for hits since Sept. 6, 1937, when he passed Babe Ruth.
Gehrig’s career ended suddenly in 1939 because of illness. Two years later, he died at 37 from the disease that would later bear his name.
A key throwing error by Richard helped the
“It would be tough to lose a game when he ties Lou Gehrig, so we needed to win this one,” Posada said.
With star closer
Jeter was back at shortstop after a night as the DH. …