The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Derek Jeter opens final series in Cleveland, site of first major league HR

  • Print

CLEVELAND - Derek Jeter's memories of playing in Cleveland include his first major league home run, a swarm of midges and three tough playoff series against the Indians.

"I like this stadium, I've always liked coming here to play," Jeter said Monday before the opener of his final regular-season series in Cleveland. "The fans have always been great."

The New York Yankees shortstop's first full season in the big leagues began a day late, thanks to a rare April Fool's Day snowstorm in Cleveland in 1996.

He hit the first of his 258 homers a day later, on April 2. The 21-year-old rookie sent a 1-0 pitch from Dennis Martinez to left field in the fifth inning of the Yankees' 7-1 win.

"It was a long time ago, but it was my first opening day," said Jeter, who appeared in 15 games late in the 1995 season. "First opening day is pretty memorable, it's pretty special. I was excited for that, we had gotten snowed out the day before. So I had to wait a while, seemed like I had to wait forever. I was fortunate to hit that first one here."

The Indians plan on giving Jeter a gift before the final game of the series Thursday.

The Yankees won the World Series that season, but lost to the Indians in five games in the Division Series in 1997. New York defeated Cleveland in six games in the 1998 American League Championship on its way to another World Series title.

The Indians beat the Yankees in four games in the 2007 playoffs. That division series, though, will be best known for the bizarre occurrence in Game 2. With Joba Chamberlain on the mound in the eighth inning, a swarm of tiny bugs called midges swooped in off Lake Erie and buzzed the field. Chamberlain was completely thrown off and allowed the tying run. The Indians won in 11 innings.

"I've never seen anything like that before," Jeter said. "But it was like that for both teams. It wasn't like they just came out when we decided to go on defence. But that was by far the oddest conditions I've played in."

The Yankees always draw well in Cleveland but the talk of the town so far during this visit has centred on whether NBA star and Ohio native LeBron James will return to play for the Cavaliers. James left Cleveland following the 2010 season to join Miami and is a free agent again.

When asked if James is "coming back to us," Jeter responded with his usual dry wit.

"Us? You mean us here? ... I have no clue."

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Public finally sees inside the Museum for Human Rights

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Deer in Canola field near Elma, Manitoba. 060706.
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Korea Veterans Association stained glass window at Deer Lodge Centre. Dedication with Minister of Veterans Affairs Dr. Rey Pagtakhan. March 12, 2003.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

How many goals do you think Evander Kane will score this year?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google