Jeter passes torch to Chicago's Ramirez

July, 15, 2014
Jul 15
11:43
PM CT
Saxon By Mark Saxon
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Jeter/RamirezJesse Johnson/USA TODAY SportsAlexei Ramirez admitted he was nervous when told he'd be in the middle of such a grand spectacle -- taking over for Derek Jeter during the All-Star Game.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Before Tuesday night’s All-Star Game, former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, in town to do some broadcast work, recognized a Chicago beat writer he knew and yelled, “Hey man, when are you going to start writing about my boy Alexei? This guy’s been good for five or six years. Nobody talks about him.”

Guillen must be right; Alexei Ramirez must be good. He took the place of a future Hall of Famer in an All-Star Game, after all.

[+] EnlargeJeter/Ramirez
Elsa/Getty Images"To go out there and take the place of a baseball legend was a tremendous honor," Ramirez said through an interpreter.
In the third inning, American League manager John Farrell approached Ramirez on the bench and told him he would be replacing Derek Jeter the next inning. That’s kind of how All-Star Games work. The starters go a few innings, and then, in comes the cavalry.

But this wasn’t just any substitution. Jeter was allowed to take his shortstop position before Ramirez went out to replace him, the game was paused for several minutes while “New York, New York” blared over the Target Field speakers, and everybody in the stadium –- players from both leagues included –- gave Jeter a standing ovation. It was the moment of the 2014 All-Star Game -- Jeter’s last -- and none of it was lost on Ramirez, who grew up in Cuba.

Ramirez admitted he was nervous when told he’d be in the middle of such a grand spectacle.

“To go out there and take the place of a baseball legend was a tremendous honor,” he said through an interpreter. “I just bowed my head to show my respect. It was a great moment.”

Ramirez, a defensive whiz, has begun to show his offensive value in recent seasons. Batting .282 with eight home runs and 15 stolen bases so far this season, he was picked for his first All-Star Game, and he made the selection look like a solid one. He doubled down the left field line and scored the final run in the American League’s 5-3 win.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jose Abreu
BA HR RBI R
.317 36 107 80
OTHER LEADERS
HRJ. Abreu 36
RBIJ. Abreu 107
RA. Ramirez 82
OPSJ. Abreu .964
WC. Sale 12
ERAC. Sale 2.17
SOC. Sale 208