MINNEAPOLIS -- First you see Derek Jeter’s iconic No. 2 in pinstripes walk up to the plate, then the Air Jordan logo on his cleats before the camera pans to a rear view of the pitcher with the name “Lester” on the back of his uniform.
Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester was the first of many celebrities and athletes featured in the Jordan brand’s tribute to Jeter, which was released Monday. Jeter will be playing in the 14th and final All-Star game of his 20-year career on Tuesday.
“It was cool, a cool experience,” Lester said. “I was really honored that they asked me to be a part of that. Another thing to go along with a class-act guy.”
The cameos could double as a VIP list for any top-notch club, as Spike Lee, Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson, Tiger Woods, Billy Crystal, Jay Z and others all tip their caps to Jeter in a sign of respect -- all coming after Lester starts things off with a tip of his cap from the mound.
In 71 career at-bats against Lester, Jeter has hit .338 with 10 RBIs to 11 strikeouts.
Near the end of the 100-second advertisement, a pair of Red Sox fans are seen begrudgingly showing the universal sign of respect by lifting their caps.
“I think regardless of how big or how bad the rivalry ever got,” Lester said, “I think fans all around baseball, especially Red Sox fans, always respect and appreciate how Jeter goes about his business. That’s the biggest thing you hear about him -- yeah great baseball player, but even better guy. We all try to be like him, but he’s so damn perfect, seems like he never does anything wrong, I don’t think we can live up to him.”
Lester will have to wait until one of the nine remaining Red Sox-Yankees games this season for his next crack at Jeter, if he even wants another one.
“I’m just glad he’s finally done so I don’t have to face him anymore,” Lester said.