The Derek Jeter farewell tour continues when the New York Yankees visit Detroit for a three game series beginning on Tuesday at Comerica Park. Wherever Jeter has gone this season, opposing clubs have presented him with parting gifts.
In Houston, Jeter received a Stetson hat and a pair of pin striped cowboy boots, presented by former team mates, and former Astros Roger Clemens and Andy Pettite. In Anaheim, he was presented with a pinstriped surf board by none other than the big fish out of water himself, Mike Trout. The New York Mets gave Jeter a box of number 2 cupcakes (no, that's not like it sounds). Even the arch-enemy Boston Red Sox got in on the act, presenting the Yankee captain with the number '2' from the Fenway Park scoreboard.
A pinstriped guitar from the Cleveland Indians, a bench made of baseball bats from the Chicago White Sox, and various checks made payable to Jeter's charity foundation are among the gifts that have been bestowed on Jeter as he makes his farewell tour around the major leagues for the final time this season.
So, I got to thinking: What should the Detroit Tigers give to Jeter, a native of Michigan, as a final parting gift? I have come up with a few ideas, but I'd like to hear what you think.
1. A framed number 2 Tigers jersey, no name on the back, which is of course retired by the Tigers to honor the greatest player to ever wear that number, Charlie Gehringer.This could be presented by long time Tiger shortstop, Alan Trammell, whom Jeter used to watch playing shortstop at Tiger stadium as a kid. If Tram is not available, then maybe Dick Tracewski could fill in for him.
2. A framed replica of the lineup cards for the last games of Jeter's seasons in 2006, 2011, and 2012, when he played the Detroit Tigers. Of course, the Tigers eliminated the Yankees from the playoffs all three seasons, but you're not going to find a lineup card where Jeter's Yankees won a playoff series vs Detroit, so this is the best we can do.The lineup cards will be presented by Jim Leyland.
3. A number 2 baseball jersey from the University of Michigan, which offered Jeter a baseball scholarship that he declined when he was selected by the New York Yankees in the 1992 draft. Jeter did attend Michigan one semester. Bill Freehan would have been Jeter's coach had he decided to get a proper education. Since Freehan has been ailing, maybe his former team mate and fellow catcher, Jim Price could be on hand to tell Jeter all about the 1968 Tigers, which was well before Jeter's time.
4. A baseball glove made out of leather, which is quite a bit different than the glove made of gold that he's been playing with all these years. This would be presented by former Yankee, Phil Coke, an exact replica of the glove that Coke slammed in the infield at Comerica as the Tigers eliminated the Yankees in four straight games in 2012.
5. A key to the city of Kalamazoo, where Jeter lived from the age of four years old until he graduated from Kalamazoo high school. This could be presented by Jeter's long time team mate, Joba Chamberlain.
What parting gifts do you think would be appropriate for the Tigers to give Derek Jeter on his final visit to Detroit in his baseball career?