Derek Jeter played his last game for the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium yesterday, appropriately hitting the winning run with the last movement of the game.

Jeremy Scott Tongues He's coming to the end of his 23rd season at baseball's most storied franchise. Jeter has three games left at bitter rivals Boston, starting today, to complete a stellar career.

If it was anywhere else, he should retire now. He could not go out on a better note than what he did against the American League East champions the Baltimore Orioles, unless it was to push the Yankees into the playoffs or win a World Series decider. But that's the stuff dreams are made of.

Cheap Jeremy Scott At every stadium he's gone to on this season-long farewell tour, short stop Jeter has been feted, with gifts, donations and lauded as a legend of the game. No doubt he'll get more of the same in Red Sox nation.

The leadup to his final home game was sickly in its sycophancy. Where Jeter sits in baseball's pantheon is a subjective business. His numbers have been impressive, but those who, in the emotion of the moment, have called him the greatest Yankee are off base.

Babe Ruth, Joe di Maggio - whose record of hits in 56 successive games will never be beaten - Mickey Mantle, true legends all, for starters all have at least as credible claims to that honour.

All that was missing yesterday was Frank Sinatra singing New York, New York, to send Jeter on his way into Yankee sainthood. Ol' Blue Eyes isn't around any more, otherwise ...

Jeremy Scott Instinct Hi There was a humorous moment yesterday, as the crowd chanted Jeter's name, when a journeyman Baltimore player Nick Markakis clobbered a home run.

Jeter might have gone through his 23 years in pinstripes barely making a verbal ripple, but his "don't cry" when asked after the game what was in his mind the last time he stepped up to the plate, suggested a man whose emotions were, maybe for the only visible time in his career, bubbling.

Jeremy Scott Bear His No 2 will be retired by the Yankees, another tradition of reverence for the greats. It's the last single digit number to be pinned up by the franchise and never to be worn again. The other names are all up in lights. So Jeter is a great. Greatest? Come again. But you certainly can't fault his theatrical sense of timing yesterday.

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