The Yankees don’t come to Phoenix very often, but this stadium has some memories.
For Derek Jeter and the other longtime Yankees, it’s the site of the 2001 World Series loss. “I think that loss, we probably remembered it more until we won last year,” Jeter said. “Then we’ve won more recently than we’ve lost. I’m not sure you can say it took the sting away, we still remember it, but it’s better to have won.”
For Colin Curtis, of course, it’s the site of his first major league hit. “It’s tough to describe the feeling that’s going through your head,” he said. “It’s just amazing.”
But the most vivid memory might belong to Joe Girardi.
“It was the last game I ever played,” Girardi said. “It was very hard for me. Very, very difficult for me to take my uniform off. I pinch hit, made an out, and I wasn’t going to stay in the game. Tino (Martinez) knew that I had 1,099 hits and that I was going to retire at the end of the year. Tino went to go talk to Tony (LaRussa). I was inside because I was emotional about it. I had to run back out, he put me in and in my last at-bat I got a hit. I didn’t really want to end on a tax form.”
Here’s the box score of Girardi’s final game. The story is right there with Girardi listed as a PH/C who went 1-for-2 with a strikeout. Girardi couldn’t remember the pitcher’s name, but the final hit of his career came off Edgar Gonzalez.
“What else, a single,” Girardi said.
Here’s Girardi talking about that last hit.
And just in case you didn’t quite get the tax form reference, here you go.
Associated Press photo of Girardi with Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch.