Sportress of Blogitude

Yankees send Derek Jeter off into retirement by making him wear Jeter patch (pic)


In a move the retiring New York Yankees great probably loathes, the team announced on Tuesday that beginning on Sept. 7 — Derek Jeter Day — and running through the end of the season, the Yankees, Jeter included, will sport commemorative patches celebrating his Hall of Fame career, both on the left sleeve of the home jerseys and on player caps.

The patch features Jeter’s No. 2 in pinstripes surrounded by his name, the Yankees logo, the team’s name and the word, “Captain.”

Jeter likely views this as exceedingly pretentious and probably prefers that the team would have opted for a less ostentatious way to honor him and pay final respects for his career. Throughout his “Farewell Tour” — a term Jeter said on several occasions throughout his final season that he was not particularly fond of — the shortstop consistently maintained that it was his preference that his last go-round be treated with less fanfare.

Of course, that did not occur.

Not only that, the Yankees also announced that the team also has emblazoned the baseballs the team will use at Yankee Stadium through the end of the season with the final season logo featured on the patch.

Oh, has it been mentioned that the uniforms featuring the patch will be available for purchase through Steiner Sports? The company’s president, Scott Steiner, informed ESPN’s Darren Rovell of that profit-generating little nugget.

Steiner Sports has an exclusive autograph deal with Jeter, and the company has been selling more than 200 Jeter-related items throughout the season. Rovell reports that game-worn Jeter jerseys have been selling at $25,000 a pop. Not a bad haul.

But it’s not only Steiner Sports getting in on the cash grab. New Era currently is selling a three-cap set commemorating Jeter’s retirement. The price? $150.


Only 2,014 of these sets were made and are available only through the Yankee team store.

Rovell reports that New Era has more than 50 Jeter-related products for sale. New Era Cap president Pete Augustine tells ESPN that the company cannot keep the items in stock.

“We make it, it sells out,” he said.

It’s a supply and demand world, so these companies hardly can be faulted for satisfying customer craving for Jeter items, and that’s beyond Jeter’s control.

Alternatively, something about Jeter’s publicly stated disdain for all the hype indicates he will be quite uncomfortable with all the fanfare the Yankees have planned for him. And it really gets kicked into high gear on Sunday when Derek Jeter Day hits Yankee Stadium.

A special pregame ceremony is scheduled prior to the 1:05 first pitch Sunday in a game against the Kansas City Royals. Fans are encouraged to arrive at the ballpark early. Former teammates, family members and other assorted guests are expected to participate.

Don’t worry, Jeter. It’s almost over. A few more weeks is all that’s left of the “Retirement Tour Super-Happy Funtime Bonanza.” Hang in there, Captain. Although, despite his protestations, even Jeter must be flattered by the attention generated by his retirement. He wouldn’t be human otherwise.

(for more coverage of Jeter’s “Retirement Tour Super-Happy Funtime Bonanza,” feel free to peruse the SoB archives)