Derek Jeter completed his last game at Yankee Stadium in the most “Derek Jeter” way possible. In a season that has been turned into a farewell tour, full of commercials and parting gifts, Jeter reminded us how great he truly was. In the bottom of the ninth of the Thursday night matchup against the Baltimore Orioles with one out and one man in scoring position, Jeter stepped to the plate and did what he’s done so many times in his career. In a picture-perfect ending to a picture-perfect career, Jeter singled home the winning run in his last game at Yankee Stadium.

Not only does Jeter’s retirement signify the end of an extraordinary career, but also the end of an era. Jeter has been the New York Yankees’ shortstop and an icon for the team almost as long as I’ve been alive. He is the last active member of the core group of Yankees from their dynasty days. His career has outlasted that of manager Joe Torre, and fellow players Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada.

Jeter was selected sixth overall in the 1992 amateur draft by the Yankees. In 1996, Jeter played his first full season as a Yankee. In his rookie campaign, he had .314 on-base percentage, with 10 home runs and 78 RBIs. In that season, Jeter also was selected as Rookie of the Year and had his first World Series win.

By 2000, Jeter had won four World Series titles in five years. He had also been to the All-Star Game three times. In the 2000 season, Jeter was named MVP of both the All-Star Game and World Series. In 2001, Jeter came close to adding a fifth World Series title, but he and the Yankees came up one game shy against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In 2003 at age 29, Jeter was named the 11th captain of the Yankees. Being named captain puts Jeter with the likes of baseball greats such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Thurman Munson, Willie Randolph and Don Mattingly. As captain for 11 seasons, Jeter also has the longest tenure of any Yankee captain.

One of Jeter’s most memorable moments came in the 2004 series against the Boston Red Sox. In the 12th inning, Jeter made an incredible play diving into the stands and making a catch to set up a Yankees victory in the 13th inning. Jeter rose from the stands with a bruised face and missing teeth, but he made the game-winning catch. Though the Yankees would not go on to win it all that year, his fifth World Series would come in 2009 when the Yankees defeated defending champion Philadelphia Phillies.

Jeter ends his career with five World Series wins, one World Series MVP, 14 All-Star appearances, five Gold Glove Awards, five Silver Slugger Awards, two Hank Aaron Awards and a Roberto Clemente Award. He sits at sixth in all-time hits with 3,465.

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