MLB's decade-defining moments: Derek Jeter's magical farewell

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As the end of the decade approaches, we’re looking at five indelible moments from the world of Major League Baseball with a panel of guests talking about the events’ significance. Next up: Derek Jeter’s magical farewell.

The date was Sept. 25, 2014, and you just knew something like this was going to happen. It just had to.

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Derek Jeter was playing in his final game at Yankee Stadium and the end of this era of Yankees baseball had come with so much pageantry (remember Mariano Rivera’s farewell tour) that it just felt like Jeter’s farewell wasn’t going to be ho-hum. And, oh boy, it wasn’t.

The Orioles were in town that day and Jeter had already driven in two runs on a double in the first inning and an error in the seventh. The Yankees seemed comfortably ahead, but then came the ninth inning, a little help from the visitors and then the magic.

The Orioles scored three runs to tie the game and the stars began to align. Jeter would be up third in the bottom of the ninth for the Yankees. It was like you could start writing the storybook ending right then and there.

Jose Pirela got a single to start the inning, Brett Gardner bunted him over to second and here came Jeter. It happened exactly like you knew it would — a single to the right side brought home the winning run and added another classic moment to a career of them for Jeter.

There may not have been a bigger star in baseball than Jeter in the first part of the decade. He didn’t want the hoopla Mo did during his final season, he preferred to do things the Derek Jeter way. Just like this.

We talked to a panel of baseball players, managers and analysts — including New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone, Marlins manager Don Mattingly, Angels manager Joe Maddon, ex-MLB star Cliff Floyd and Matt Beaty of the Dodgers — about this moment and its importance to this decade in baseball.

PREVIOUSLY IN THIS SERIES

• Armando Gallaraga’s blown perfect game and the rise of video review

• Roy Halladay’s postseason no-hitter

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Mike Oz is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @mikeoz

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