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Yankees to honor Jeter between games of doubleheader Sunday

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Tampa Bay Rays hitting coach Chad Mottola during the first full-squad Spring Training workout at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte Fla. on Sunday Feb. 19 2017

The teams will play a doubleheader on Sunday, when the Yankees will honor Derek Jeter before the second game.

Mattingly and Jeter are connected in more ways than one.

The Bleacher Creatures' first-inning Roll Call of Yankees starters included Jeter, who led NY to five World Series titles during a big league career that spanned 1995-2014, and fans chanted Jeter's name in the late innings.

Because Jeter, from the time he ran out to shortstop for good in April of 1996, turned out to be as important a figure for the New York Yankees as Ruth was in the 1920s. Shortly after watching the Yankees retire Derek Jeter's No. 2 in a pregame ceremony at Yankee Stadium, Bregman launched a first-inning grand slam off Masahiro Tanaka.

Now 42, Jeter captained the Yankees during his final 12 seasons, capping a career that included five World Series titles, a.310 batting average and a New York-record 3,465 hits.

The Yankees and the Astros both wore pink-billed caps in honor of the holiday, and Jeter said that he chose this day to receive the honor to highlight his mother's and family's contribution to his success.

The Houston Astros will try to clinch a fifth straight series win when they continue a four-game set against the host New York Yankees on Saturday.

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'There isn't a person or player I would trade places with that's playing now or ever, ' he explained. It was Jeter, along with a core group of Yankees, that helped bring five championships to the Bronx.

He said, "I got to be the shortstop of the New York Yankees, and there's only one of those".

Many of his former teammates are expected to attend.

At the end of his speech, in front of his soon-to-be-larger-by-one family, Jeter talked about how lucky he was to be part of the Yankees family. He's the only player to ever win both awards in one Major League Baseball season.

The letter is short, but it's certainly a touching gesture that pairs nicely with a letter Jeter published on the site dedicated to the city of NY, along with a video reading of that letter. "There's so much about him that doesn't show up in the stats".

"What do you say on a day like this?"

"He just had to work really hard the first two innings, and it cost him", Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I'm sure he's looking forward to it". The Red Sox had a series to play against the Yankee after that, in NY. From their very first single-digit retired number, Lou Gehrig's number four on July 4, 1939, to the most recent, Joe Torre's number six on August 23, 2014, the single-digit Yankees numbers have an aura of greatness around them.

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