- Andrew Marchand, ESPN Senior Writer
- 0 Shares
Since this whole season is going to be about Derek Jeter, I thought it might be useful to look at some important dates during the year.
1. April 1, Opening Day at Houston
The Jeter retirement tour begins in Houston, so hopefully the Astros have thought about what they may give Jeter on his first stop.
Mariano Rivera's farewell ended in Houston with Roger Clemens greeting him with a column in the Houston Chronicle. Clemens was involved in the ceremony at Minute Maid Park, and I figure he will be there for Jeter, as well.
The Astros gave Rivera a painting.
The Astros famously didn't draft Jeter with the No. 1 pick in 1992. Instead they chose Phil Nevin, who had an OK career, but there were no grand farewells in 2006 when he played his final season for three teams.
2. April 7 vs. Baltimore
This will be Jeter's final home opener of his career. There should be quite the outpouring with the fans in the Bronx getting their first chance to say goodbye.
3. April 10 vs. the Boston Red Sox
The Yankees have a four-game series at home with the defending world champs during the second weekend of the season. We don't really have to go any further about Jeter's place in Yankees-Red Sox lore, but what is truly amazing is that some Boston fans actually like Jeter. The Red Sox players? Yeah, them too.
4. April 29 vs. the Seattle Mariners
Robinson Cano comes in for a brief visit. While I think Yankees fans' angst toward Cano is overblown, the contrast to how Cano is received compared to Jeter will further demonstrate the legacy value of staying with one team for an entire career.
One side effect of never leaving is people focus less on the money you are paid. How many times did people bring up $189 million? That was how much Jeter received for 10 years in light of Alex Rodriguez's $252 million contract.
5. May 15 at the New York Mets
If you want to talk about the moments that define Jeter's career, the home run to start Game 4 off Bobby Jones at Shea Stadium has to be in the conversation. After winning Game 3 of the 2000 Fall Classic, the Mets were feeling a little giddy. Then Jeter went deep to start off Game 4 and, in essence, the Subway World Series ended right there.
This will be Jeter's final game against the Mets -- unless the two teams meet in the World Series. (I know, I know.)
6. June 27 vs. Boston
We would have made this June 26, which is Jeter's 40th birthday. However, the Yankees are off that day, so the 27th will be the first game the 40-year-old Jeter plays. It was nice of MLB to give Jeter his big B-day off.
7. July 15, All-Star Game in Minnesota
You have to think this could end up being a Jeter celebration, just like the 2013 All-Star Game was all about Mo.
If Jeter has a halfway decent first half, I'm pretty sure the fans will vote him in.
8. Aug. 31 at the Toronto Blue Jays
Jeter will play his final game at Rogers Centre. He is a .305 hitter in that park. In the AL East, he only has hit better at Camden Yards, where he is a .319 batter.
9. Sept. 21 vs. Toronto
This could be Derek Jeter Day in the Bronx. Huge disclaimer here: This is just a projection. Last year, they had Mariano Day the Sunday during the final homestand of the season. Sept. 21 would be that date, if they use the same formula.
10. Sept. 25 vs. Baltimore
This is the final scheduled regular-season home game of the season. Regardless, if it is officially Jeter Day or not, the fans will be going crazy for him on what could be his last game in pinstripes.
11. Sept. 28 at Boston
The Red Sox will be the final team to make a presentation to Jeter. Considering how they sent Mo out by showing how they beat him, let's hope the Red Sox don't start a video tribute with Jeter's ankle cracking in the 2012 ALCS.
Nonetheless, if these games are important or even if they are not, seats at Fenway should be hard to come by.
If the Yankees are still playing, every day will be memorable because this is the month -- along with November -- that truly made him a legend.
15hESPN Stats & Information