Thursday, April 3, 2014

Jeter caught off guard by Astros' timing of dugout salute (VIDEO)

In the first inning of the New York Yankees game against the Houston Astros Wednesday night, the home team showed their appreciation for retiring  Derek Jeter with a rare but sincere gesture — exiting the dugout for a standing ovation.

It happened during Jeter's at-bat with one out in the first inning, when he walked to the plate and was receiving a nice welcome from the Astros' crowd at Minute Maid Park.

However, more bizarre than the impromptu salute from the Astros was the odd timing of the players' gesture — it came during the the second game of a three game series and after a pre-game ceremony already honored the future Hall-of-Famer.

Adding to the build-up, Houston's bullpen also came from behind the door in the outfield to pay tribute while Jeter was preparing for his first pitch of the evening.

Even the normally cool Jeter seemed to be caught off guard by the awkward moment.

So the baffled — and a little red-faced — Yankee captain simply pulled the helmet off his head and waved it at the crowd like he didn't know what else to do. 

It might have seemed like a strange and random time for the Astros to give the ovation since they had a chance to do it on Tuesday night, but it showed great respect to one of the best and most popular players of his generation.

"I had never even thought about that happening," the normally self-assured Jeter said after the Yankees' 3-1 loss to the Astros Wednesday. "I didn't know what was happening at first. I didn't plan anything like that."

Jeter said he was grateful for everything.

"It was nice," Jeter said. "It was nice that they took the time to honor me."

He better start planning for a lot of these occasions. 

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