With a home run deep into the left field stands, Derek Jeter on July 9 became the first member of the New York Yankees to join Major League Baseball's 3,000 hit club. The YES Network commemorated the milestone with a dedicated post-game show to the shortstop.
The regional sports network, which put a mic on Yankees first base coach Mick Kelleher during its game telecast Saturday from Yankee Stadium, pinch hit a special called Jeter 3,000 on July 9 for its traditional post-game show.
The expansive special, which featured a compendium of other Jeter moments -- "The Flip," the diving catch into the stands, the "Mr. November" homer, among them -- was highlighted by a pre-taped sit-down interview between the Yankees captain and Jack Curry during which they reminisced about some of the ballplayer's other key hits: his first, 1000th and 2000th.
There were also segments with Yankees current DH Jorge Posada and closer Mariano Rivera and former teammate Tino Martinez, as well as other members of the Bronx Bombers family, notably Joe Torre, Willie Randolph, Don Mattingly and Buck Showalter. Current (Boston's Tim Wakefield and Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki) and past rivals (Nomar Garciaparra and Cal Ripken) also weighed in on Jeter's career and achievements.
The show also incorporated live podium coverage from Jeter, during which he admitted he had been "lying" about not feeling the pressure of the occasion, and Yankees skipper Joe Girardi.
The man who caught the historic home run, Christian Lopez, who was rewarded by the Yankees with an array of memoribilia and high-level seats for the rest of the season, was also interviewed, as was rapperJay-Z, who was waiting to speak with Jeter after the game. Yankees president Randy Levine also made some remarks.
There was also phone interviews from YES talent and former Jeter teammates David Cone and Paul O'Neill, and one-on-one interviews from the team's clubhouse with Kimberly Jones, who also talked with Jeter's father during the game. Bob Lorenz and Curry oversaw the post-game special from the YES studio, while Michael Kay and John Flaherty were in the broadcast booth. Tweets flew from Tampa starter David Price and Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher, ace CC Sabathia and pitched Phil Hughes.
Jeter, whose march to 3,000 was derailed by a calf injury that resulted in a stint on the disabled list, grounded a 3-2 fastball from Price through the hole between short and third for hit No. 2,999 to open the bottom of the first for the Yanks.
Jeter then crushed a 3-2 curve from Price to tie the game at 1 in the third, to stand as the 28th member of MLB's 3,000 hit fraternity.
For good measure, Jeter added three more hits during his storied day: a fifth-inning double, a sixth-inning single and a game-winning RBI through a drawn-in infield in the eighth.
Finishing five-for-five, Jeter, who was thrown out trying to steal to end the eighth, saw the Yankees hang on for a 5-4 win against the Rays, as Rivera notched his 22nd save of the 2011 season and 581st of his career, second all-time to the retired Trevor Hoffman.
YES presumably scored big with the Nielsens for its telecast of the record-setting game and subsequent special. The RSN averaged a season-best 6.1 household rating and 581,200 viewers in the New York DMA with its coverage of the Yankees' Juy 7 game against Tampa, during which Jeter smoked a first-inning double for hit No. 2998. That telecast peaked at a 7.3 rating and 668,500 watchers.