That May 14, 2017, was both Motherâ€™s Day, and the one selected by the former Yankees captain to be Derek Jeter Day in the Bronx, seemed pretty fitting, though some grumbled that the ceremonies were to be held before the ESPN Sunday night game, and not the more traditional day game for such honors.
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Little did we know that, following a rainout the day before, it would become a day/night doubleheader, with the ceremonies coming before game 2.
In game 1, it was still early enough in the 2017 season that, given his troubles starting the season before, fans were concerned about a poor Luis Severino start, although the team came back strong to defeat Houston 11-6 in that game.
Once a hit by pitch and five third-inning singles drove Luis from the mound vs the Astros down 3-1, he was relieved by another pitcher who (along with Sevy, as it would turn out) would have a stellar season, newly promoted Chad Green, who would hold the Astros through 3.67 frames while the Yanks took a 4-3 lead, fall behind again, but then happily storm back with a six-run inning.
The ceremony before game 2 featured every teammate of Derekâ€™s you would expect, along with players from before his tenure. On Motherâ€™s Day, the women in Derekâ€™s life (grandmother, mother, sister, and pregnant wife) would dominate the festivities, but to this hardened fan, the two highlights were a video message from Don Mattingly, and the most recent, I believe, strains of the â€œvoice of God,â€ Bob Sheppard — â€œNumber 2, Derek Jeter, Number 2â€ — calling Derek to the mike once his number had been retired in Monument Park.
Unfortunately, Houston started the late game with a six-run first inning of their own, and led 8-0 after two. The Yanks did battle back gamely but came up short in a 10-7 loss.
All of this took place, by the way, on the day that Mickey Mantle hit his 500th home run in 1967, and that Doc Gooden no-hit the Mariners in 1996. (Jeter caught the 27th out in that contest.)
There is just too much with this day. White Sox pitcher Dave DeBusschere, a two-sport star and beloved power forward with the NBAâ€™s New York Knicks, passed away on May 14, 2003, and Earle Combs, the â€œKentucky Colonel,â€ and the first in a long line of star center fielders for the Yankees, was born on this day in 1899.