In a tribute that’s been building since he stepped away from the dirt he roamed at shortstop, Derek Jeter was set to have his No. 2 jersey retired at packed Yankee Stadium on Sunday night.
Only one wrinkle – the celebration now will take place in between games of a doubleheader against Houston, a twinbill caused by a washout Saturday.
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The raindrops should be all gone by the time the half-hour ceremony starts at 6:40 p.m. But any teardrops from the man himself?
”I have no clue,” Jeter said in an appearance this week on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
The Yankees will also unveil a plaque of Jeter in Monument Park. He’ll then throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the second game.
For once, Jeter plans to soak in the emotion.
”I’ve never sort of enjoyed the moment `cause I’m always looking to what’s next,” Jeter told Fallon, a longtime friend and fan.
This time, the 42-year-old Jeter said, he wanted to ”just experience it.”
The rescheduled game will begin at 2:05 p.m. EDT. The second game will start at 7:35 p.m.
Only tickets for Sunday will be valid for the doubleheader.
”I think any time Derek comes back it’s special, but this will be even more meaningful,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said this week. ”I think we’ve all been looking forward to it and I’m sure he’s looking forward to it.”
A 14-time All-Star, Jeter played his entire 20-year career with the Yankees and was a key contributor to five World Series championships.
Drafted sixth overall by New York in 1992, Jeter retired after the 2014 season at age 40 with a .310 career batting average over 2,747 regular season games.
He batted .308 with 111 runs scored in 158 postseason games, earning World Series MVP honors in 2000 against the crosstown rival New York Mets.
Jeter ranks at the top of the Yankees’ all-time list in hits, singles, doubles, stolen bases, hit-by-pitches, at-bats and games played. His 3,465 career hits rank sixth in major league history, including eight seasons with at least 200.
”I have a lot of admiration and respect for how he went about his business,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. ”He might have been the most consistent presence in our game.”
Jeter will be the first Yankees’ player to have his number retired since teammates Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Bernie Williams were honored in 2015.
”I will have our guys out here, to clap for him and be a part of it,” Hinch said. ”We’ve got a couple guys that played with him.”
”Those of us that have been in the game a long time will want to, and the young guys will be wowed by the show that comes with retiring a number, especially here.”
The AL West-leading Astros, helped by former Jeter teammates Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann, have the best record in baseball at 25-11. They’ve won five straight, including the first two of the four-game set. It’s Houston’s best 36-game start in franchise history.
The Yankees have lost three straight, but remain a half game behind first-place Baltimore in the AL East.
Baseball Writer Mike Fitzpatrick contributed to this report.