Hopefully, you don't swarm Jeter with greedy octopus arms as he tries to deliver, as several adults did Thursday night at Minute Maid Park — most notably a grabby woman in an orange Houston Astros T-shirt. But, like a fine martial artist or a boxing champ in his prime, Jeter bobbed and weaved and zigged and zagged his hand until the little girl broke through the crowd, was held up by a man and grabbed the ball.
Jeter wasn't going to be intercepted now. Not in the first week of his last season in the majors before he becomes a full-time perfume salesman. Not on his watch. If he's learned anything in these 18-plus years in the game, it's how to gift others.
As for the fans. It's one thing for an adult to want a souvenir, either for him/herself or to give to their kid. That's normal. And if Derek Jeter or even Gordon Beckham is coming over to your seat, you get excited, naturally. But when The Captain tells you to make way because of a child, you make way. Orange Astros Lady, why don't you understand?
Not only was the kid not an obnoxious adult, it also didn't hurt that she was wearing a New York Yankees cap and Jeter No. 2 shirsey. The guy who held her aloft also carried a sign saying something to the effect of: "Jeter fan 2day, Jeter fan 2morrow, Jeter fan 4ever." After all, the kid's group didn't go to see Jose Altuve (although that would have been OK. And nobody would have had to hold the girl up for Altuve to reach her).
Jeter also went 1 for 3 with an RBI to help the Yankees avoid a sweep at Houston (whoa) and beat the Astros 4-2. Jeter made off with a victory, plus some swag from the Astros as his good-bye MLB tour began, and good karma by making sure a little girl had the baseball moment of her young life.
Big BLS H/N: Jimmy Traina
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