TORONTO — Jays closer Casey Janssen has had the better of Derek Jeter 16 times out of their 17 head-to-head encounters.
But ask Janssen about the New York Yankees captain and, after a string of compliments, he goes straight to the one time Jeter got the best of him.
“He hit a home run off me and I blew a save because of it,” Janssen recalled with a grimace.
Even when someone has his number, Jeter — who has hit .059 against Janssen — leaves an impression.
Toronto fans will get one last look at the 40-year-old shortstop when Jeter’s farewell tour rolls into the Rogers Centre on Friday.
“His career speaks for himself but he’s one of those guys who seemed to do everything right,” said Jays manager John Gibbons. “And he was a guy that always seemed to rise to the occasion when they needed something. He anchored their great teams. He showed up to play every day.”
Like other clubs, the Jays will be showing their appreciation for the future Hall of Famer with a gift.
The Detroit Tigers presented him with two seats from the original Tiger Stadium and three framed paintings. Cleveland offered up a pinstriped Gibson Les Paul guitar and a framed piece of artwork of Jeter made out of LEGO bricks.
The Kansas City Royals donated US$10,000 to his Turn 2 Foundation. The Texas Rangers matched that charitable cheque and threw in a pair of cowboy boots. Minnesota wrote the same cheque and also presented him with the last second base ever used at the Metrodome. Oakland opted for a $10,000 cheque and personalized bottle of Napa Valley wine.
Some clubs worked around the number he wears.
The Cubs presented Jeter with a No. 2 from the famous Wrigley Field scoreboard. The Mets gave Jeter a plaque depicting his No. 2 made out of subway station tiles before their final Subway Series game as well as a charitable cheque for $22,222.22. The Angels went for a Yankees-themed paddle board adorned with No. 2 on it. Houston gave him pinstriped cowboy boots with his No. 2 on them, a cowboy hat and a set of golf clubs.
As of Wednesday, the Jays said they were finalizing their gift.