TORONTO – Derek Jeter was given a uniquely Canadian gift by the Toronto Blue Jays.
The New York Yankees captain was given a three-night stay in the royal suite of the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel in Alberta on Sunday in a ceremony before his final game in Toronto.
The vacation includes a helicopter tour of the Canadian Rockies, a private cooking lesson with the hotel’s executive chef and a private mixology lesson.
Blue Jays pitcher Mark Buehrle and right-fielder Jose Bautista presented Jeter with the package as well as $10,000 for his Turn2 Foundation.
Jeter is retiring after 19 years – all with the Yankees – and has been feted at the last game in every Major League city as the season winds down.
A montage of some of Jeter’s best plays and his many awards and accolades was shown on the Rogers Centre’s Jumbotron. The short video highlighted the surefire Hall of Famer’s many accomplishments, including his 14 all-star awards, five World Series championships and 2000 World Series MVP.
Fans in attendance gave Jeter a standing ovation throughout the ceremony, loudly applauding as he accepted the gifts.
Toronto also honoured Jeter throughout the game with specially made bases with plates on the side that show the Yankees and Blue Jays logos, as well as a crest with his No. 2 on a pinstripe background.
Although Jeter was celebrated by the Blue Jays and their fans on Sunday, he had some mixed memories of playing at Rogers Centre.
“I love the city of Toronto. This team’s given us fits throughout the years, especially here,” said Jeter on Friday. “One moment that stands out – the first thing I think about is dislocating my shoulder at third base. I don’t know if that’s a good thing but I’ve always enjoyed coming to Toronto.”
The Blue Jays did not let the festivities distract them, holding on for a 4-3 win over New York.
The admiration for Jeter was apparent throughout the game, with the sold-out crowd of 45,678 cheering for his every plate appearance.
Fittingly, Jeter was the last Yankees player to come to bat, getting caught out by Toronto second baseman Steve Tolleson to end the game with a New York runner on third base.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi had Jeter in the lineup as New York’s designated hitter, trying to save the 40-year-old shortstop wear and tear as the team chases a wild card berth.
The reduced workload seemed to help Jeter, as he went 1-for-5 on Sunday, compared to his 0-for-4 performance in the Yankee’s 2-0 loss on Saturday.
Jeter hit a single in his first at bat, following Brett Gardner’s solo shot to right field on just the second pitch of the game. Martin Prado then hit into a double play, with Mark Teixiera striking out to end the first inning.
In the third inning Jeter ground out to second baseman Munenori Kawasaki.
With New York leading 3-0, Jeter flied out to Toronto’s Melky Cabrera in left field for the second out of the fifth inning. He ground out to pitcher J.A. Happ in the top of the seventh, ending the inning with the Yankees maintaining a 3-2 lead.
© The Canadian Press, 2014