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The Twins' farewell gift to Derek Jeter isn't a great memory for Minnesota. But it sure was for Jeter and the Yankees.
Before the teams' Saturday afternoon game, the Twins gave Jeter the second base bag from the last-ever game at the Metrodome – a 4-1 Yankees win in the first round of the playoffs that knocked the Twins out of the postseason, way back in October of 2009.
The Yankees went on to win the World Series that year.
The Twins also donated $10,000 to Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation.
All of it was presented to a standing ovation, according to the Star Tribune's LaVelle E. Neal.
The Twins presented a pregame gift to Mariano Rivera, Jeter's fellow Yankee great, on his farewell tour last year. The club presented the Yankees pitcher with a rocking chair made of broken bats – a nod to the number of broken Minnesota bats he caused over his career. The Twins also donated $10,000 to Rivera’s foundation.
Prior to this weekend’s four-game homestand, the 40-year-old Jeter played the Twins 128 times over his 20-year career, batting .323 with 13 home runs, and 58 RBI.
“We’ve played a lot of great teams here,” Jeter told reporters earlier this week. “I have the utmost respect for Ron Gardenhire, playing against him and his teams through the years. I’ve always enjoyed my time here.”
In all likelihood Jeter will actually make one more trip back to Target Field, since he leads the balloting for shortstops for the MLB All-Star Game in Minneapolis later this month.
If he’s voted in as expected, Jeter will be making his 14th – and final – All-Star Game appearance.
As an aside: New Minnesota Wild player Thomas Vanek threw out Saturday's first pitch.