Derek Jeter homered on Sunday in his first at-bat since returning to the Yankees lineup. The home run was an excellent welcome home present both for Jeter and the team, which has been struggling with losing several players to injury.
The home run was also Derek Jeter’s first since September 9, 2012 — enough to earn him a standing ovation from Yankees fans as the ball sailed over the right-center field wall.
It was arguably the perfect comeback for the short stop, who battled through a quadraceps injury earlier this month. Jeter’s 2013 season has been marked by injury, notes USA Today.
After returning from a broken ankle that sidlined the shortstop for three months, Derek Jeter suffered a quadraceps strain on July 11 — his first game of the season. And with the Yankees struggling to mount an effective offense, the team asked the shortstop to tone down his celebrated hustle on infield grounders.
But Jeter claimed he doesn’t know any other way to play the game. He commented before Sunday’s game, “It’s kind of hard because I’ve never really done it. I’ve come back from injuries, yeah, and taken a little time before I’ve run as hard as I can. But it’s not like I’m jogging to first base. I can’t do it.”
And Manager Joe Girardi understands. He jokingly commented, “The last time I checked, they don’t give me a bungee cord that I can attach to him while he’s hitting.”
The New York Daily News notes that Jeter’s teammates were glad to have him back again, homer or no. Ichiro Suzuki commented, “He is the cornerstone of this team. Just having him in the lineup — just having him at shortstop and batting second — emotionally and mentally it’s a big boost for all of us.”
Hopefully, injuries that have plagued Derek Jeter in the past won’t come back to haunt him for the rest of the year.