My quest for seeing Derek Jeter get his 3,000th hit started roughly as soon as my season tickets arrived at my house. Keep in mind I have a half season plan with tickets to every other home game. There were plenty of people guesstimating the date that the milestone would be reached and the earliest choice was also the majority- somewhere around June 7-9 when the Yankees would be facing the Red Sox at home.
As luck would have it I had June 7th and June 9th and every other game thereafter on that home stand. I looked around in March and April at tickets for the missing Boston game and then decided I would just wait and see if I can score one from a friend in the bleachers. As the season went on and Jeter gathered up some hits I found myself looking more and more at the dates, the rate he was going, etc. Sometime in May I purchased a ticket for June 10th partially in case Jeter was close, and partially for the Jorge Posada statue they were giving away that night.
The purchase of the June 10th ticket had me and my friend who I share my season tickets with in a frenzy. We then thought it would probably be a good idea to have tickets to every game that we were missing on that home stand, you know, just in case. Long story short, we went from having about 8 games to having 16 games. Great.
By the time June 10th rolled around, Jeter was not even close it was boiling hot out, and I got to the stadium so early that I debated just leaving after getting my crappy quality statue. Instead of leaving I decided to trade in some rain out tickets for free tickets to a later game, got into a fight with someone that barely spoke English, got tickets for Yankees v. Brewers, then hopped back on my broom to get a steak sandwich and relax.
June 12th or 13th (?) we are sitting at the game, Jeter runs down the first base line and gets hurt. First thought, "oh my God I hope he's ok and it's nothing serious." Second thought, "FML we have all these tickets."
I wondered more than once if I was more stressed about being there to witness this historical milestone, or if Jeter was more stressed about trying to get there. I think I might win considering he was definitely going to be there, and well eventually it would happen.
Fast forward to June 28th when Jeter is eligible to come off the DL and when I have tickets to 2 games at home, and also purchased tickets for July 1st at Citi Field (just in case). Jeter not ready, I go to 3 games anyway.
The view from Section 420B on June 28th, Yankees v. Brewers.
I like Citi Field so I wasn't that disappointed that Jeter wasn't playing. However, I was disappointed that the line at the Shake Shack was just longer than I could even bare to consider waiting on. Yankees won that game and we had a pretty nice view of the game.
The view from July 1st at Citi Field, Section 526, Yankees v. Mets.
July 7th... Getting closer and closer. (If you skipped down to here this is the best part.) I have tickets secured for July 7,9 and I am super pumped up. I went through so many debates and dilemmas about why I needed to be there, why Mastercard would eventually hate me, and what is wrong with me? July 7th he finished a mere 2 hits away.... I go home and bought tickets immediately for Friday (just in case). I end up getting a ticket secured from a friend in the bleachers and flip the tickets I bought.... (Headache)
July 8th.... around 4pm it starts thundering and lightning outside. 5pm it looks like it's 10pm outside, it's dark and stormy.... I was supposed to be on a 5:12pm train to meet my friend to get my ticket. I decided to wait until they announce a start time before I waste 2 rides on my train pass. Around 5:45pm they cancel the game.
JULY 9TH, 2011...
A day game. I do not ever go to day games, but this game I was up at 9:30am bright eyed and bushy tailed for Derek Jeter. I get my morning coffee and hit the train. In the Bronx by 11:30am and I am pumped up. I had a really good feeling about the game and about it happening today. I also really didn't want to buy a ticket for Sunday.
After roll call you could feel the tension in the stadium, the anticipation of everyone there could definitely be felt. The only other time I can recall the crowd being that anxious in the new stadium was with 2 outs in the 9th inning during Game 6 of the 2009 World Series.
Derek Jeter comes up for his first at bat and the entire stadium was on their feet cheering him on to hit #2,999. The stadium was chanting, De-rek Je-ter, De-rek Je-ter.... After battling David Price, Jeter won and hit a single. The stadium erupts with cheers and people jumping up and down including myself. I felt like my eyes even teared up. (I know, what a girl.)
Between Jeter's first AB and his second AB, I felt like you could literally cut the tension with a knife. The place was on pins and needles waiting for his next AB.
3rd inning, Jeter is due up. He walks up to the plate and not one person was in their seat. The entire place was clapping and chanting his name again. This AB turned into a battle between Jeter and Price with Jeter running the count full and fouling off a couple. The crowd was in every pitch of this at bat. I was recording the beginning of this AB just in case he got the hit then I decided that I would rather just enjoy the moment if it happened, so I stopped recording. Boy am I glad I did. The ball takes off of Jeter's bat and it was like it happened in slow motion for me. I watched the ball with my arms high in the air screaming, and watched it leave the yard.
I don't think there are words that can describe witnessing something of this magnitude. I was in total shock at the fact that I just saw the guy I grew up watching get his 3,000th hit. I also was in disbelief that he hit a homerun. Only Derek Jeter would be able to deliver such a hit to end his journey to one of the most elite clubs in baseball. He became the 28th player to join the 3,000 hit club, the second to hit a homerun as his 3,000th hit (Boggs was the first), and later that day the second player to go 5-for-5 on the day that he reached 3,000 hits (Biggio was the first).
This was one of the best games I have ever been to, one of the best baseball experiences I was ever a part of, and is definitely something I am grateful to have been able to attend. I don't think I came down from the high of this game until last night. It's such a rare feat for a player to accomplish and for a guy that I have grown up watching on my favorite team to do it was amazing. Being the first Yankee to do it, and to do it at home was just priceless. While Craig Biggio and Wade Boggs both accomplished this not that long ago, it is still something that for you to witness of a player on your home team is a once in a life time experience.
I didn't take any pictures of the hit as it happened because I wanted to cheer and enjoy it when it did. Plenty of my friends took great pictures that they sent me.
Many people thought I was crazy for trying so hard to fill in the opposite games in my plan and others thought nothing of it. I felt like either people were feeling how I was or just figured that if they had tickets to that game then great, and if they didn't it wasn't a big deal. I don't regret driving myself crazy making sure I was there. I had the ticket for that game all along because it was in my ticket plan, so it was meant to be.
I can't say I will be doing the same when A-Rod gets closer because I just don't care that much. But for Derek Jeter, absolutely.