Derek Jeter played in his final All-Star Game Tuesday night, and it was quite a night as the American League beat the National League, 5-3, at Target Field. And in case you haven’t heard (for whatever bizarre reason one couldn’t even imagine), Jeter will be retiring after this season. So everyone knew what the deal would be at tonight’s Midsummer Classic – one enormous, huge Jeter love-fest. Starting with the pre-game introductions and continuing through his dramatic curtain call, the New York Yankees’ shortstop was the shining star in the MLB’s firmament that everyone was gazing at.


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“I’ve never taken any All-Star games for granted,” Jeter told reporters after he helped the AL secure home-field advantage in the 2014 World Series. “And any player that says that they don’t want to go to an All-Star game is lying to you because this is something that everyone wants to be a part of. And I’ve been fortunate to be a part of a few of them and I’m happy that I had a chance to do it one last time.”

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A career .311 hitter, he has won five Silver Slugger awards and five Gold Gloves, not to mention batting .308 with 111 runs scored in 158 post-season games. This season he’s hitting .272 with two home runs, 25 RBIs and 31 runs scored – not too shabby for any ballplayer, never mind a 40-year-old.

“It’s an awesome feeling. I’ve been playing this game for a long time and to be appreciated by fans from all the teams and the players on my team and against me makes me feel good.”

In the top of the 4th, Jeter made his final exit of the night, jogging off the field to the strains of Frank Sinatra’s, “New York, New York ,” finally stopping in front of the dugout to tip his cap several times.

“It was great,” Jeter said. “I have the utmost respect for these guys. I know how difficult this game is. The guys in here and in the opposing dugout they are among the best in the world to do it. To get that appreciation from them was a lot of fun.”

Simply put, it was all vintage Derek Jeter. Salute to the captain. If you haven’t already, watch the Jordan brand’s newest commercial honoring the legend here.

– Scott Randell (@iamscottrandell)