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Years have passed since then Derek Jeter was on the Yankee Stadium infield with screaming fans cheering him on. That all changed during his Hall of Fame tribute ceremony Friday night.
Jeter was inducted into the Hall of Fame in September 2021, although he was elected in 2020. All but one baseball writer voted him in.
Being back in the Bronx felt like home, Jeter said.
“As you all know, I was born in New Jersey. I grew up in Kalamazoo. I live down in Miami now. But, right here, in front of you, with you, is where I really feel like I am. home,” he said.
“It’s good to be back. I’ll tell you that.”
Jeter was typically outspoken. And he thanked Hal Steinbrenner and the Steinbrenner family, although boos from fans followed.
Jeter also met fellow Hall of Famers Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Tino Martinez, CC Sabathia and Joe Torre, who were there to honor The Captain. He was also surrounded by his family, including two of his three daughters.
“I think one thing you can’t do enough is thank people, be gracious and be grateful,” Jeter said.
“I’m so grateful that I had a chance to spend 23 years of professional baseball — all with one organization. I am thankful that I had a chance to play with so many great players, coaches and managers. The guys who are here today and the ones who couldn’t make it.”
When he finished his speech, Jeter noted that he would like to go back to New York more often.
“I know you haven’t seen much of me over the last few years for various reasons. But I’m really looking forward to hopefully seeing a lot more of you in the near future,” he said.