Praise placed on Jeter at All-Star Game deserved

I’ve never been a big New York Yankees fan. Never will be.

However, I am a big fan of Derek Jeter. The Yankees’ all-star shortstop is truly one of the good guys in Major League Baseball.

After watching Tuesday night’s All-Star Game from Target Field in Minnesota, I guess there are a lot of Jeter fans out there, as evidenced by the duel standing ovations the 40-year-old received – the first for 1-minute, 3-seconds when he came to bat in the bottom of the first inning, and the other in the top of the fourth for more than two minutes when he was removed from the game in a classy move by American League skipper John Farrell, of the Yankees’ long-time rival Boston Red Sox.

Farrell allowed Jeter to take his position on the left side of the infield before sending Alexei Ramirez out to replace him. Ramirez and Jeter briefly embraced before Jeter walked towards the American League dugout where he hugged each teammate before exiting the dugout for a well-deserved curtain call.

While all of this was taking place, Jeter’s parents and family members watched from high above Target Field as Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” blared on the stadium’s public address system.

A fitting tribute for the 14-time All-Star who announced in mid-February that this season – his 20th in pinstripes – would be his last as he will hang up his glove and spikes for the final time.

It won’t be long when Jeter’s No. 2 will be inducted into the Yankees’ coveted Hall of Fame. And deservedly so!

He may be No. 2 to Yankees’ fans, but he is No. 1 in my book when it comes to professional baseball players – on and off the field.

Also representing the Pirates was manager Clint Hurdle, who served as one of Mike Metheny’s coaches.

More A-S Observations

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ duo of Andrew McCutchen and Tony Watson held their own during Tuesday night’s star-studded affair.

McCutchen, who started in centerfield and led off for the National League, reached on an infield single in his first at-bat on a bang-bang play at first base. He later popped out and grounded out (on another close play at first).

Watson retired the only batter he faced – MLB home run leader rookie Jose Abreu – in the bottom of the eighth.

Harrison went 0-2 at the plate.

Sticking With Baseball

The Ohio American Legion District tournaments get underway today at Marietta College (District 11) and Vaccaro Field in Steubenville and the Red Knight Complex in Toronto (District 10).

St. Clairsville Post 159 will take the field tonight against Beverly-Lowell. I like the local’s chances, not only to win tonight, but to capture the entire 4-team, double-elimination event and advance to the state tournament at Beavers Field in Lancaster.

Also entered are Cambridge and Zanesville.

Cadiz Post 34 has struggled mightily at times this season and will find the going tough with the likes of Steubenville Post 33, Wayne County and Toronto Post 86.

Visnic Still Has a Chance

St. Clairsville’s Jacob Visnic holds down one No. 1 position as the Mountain Dew ATV Motocross Tour is winding down. There are two events left.

The 11-year-old Visnic leads the 70 Auto (6-11) by a slim three points, while trailing the leader by a mere eight points in the 90 Auto Jr. (8-11).

Round 8 is set for Buchanan, Mich., where the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC RedBud ATV National will be held July 26-27. The series ends Aug. 9-10 in Hurricane Mills, Tn., with the Can-Am ATV Dirt Days at Loretta Lynn’s national-level track.

Good luck Jacob!

OVBL Wrap-Up Coming Sunday

With Maynard securing its second consecutive Steele and Cook Insurance Ohio Valley Baseball League championship Tuesday night, that brings an end to the 2014 season.

A complete wrap-up of this year’s exciting campaign will appear in Sunday’s edition of The Times Leader. See you earned what awards and what could be in store for next season.