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The View From Section 203: DJ3K Edition

It had all the makings of a story book day.

Lineups were introduced, and Derek Jeter got the largest ovation I've ever heard during a pre-game. The fans seemed to be willing him on, wishing and hoping they would witness history. Chants of "Derek Jeter!" filled the stadium as if it was the ninth inning and Jeter had a chance to win the ballgame.

Television crews were in the bleachers, two seats away from me in Section 203, row 6, seat 15. They were there for the roll call, specifically Derek Jeter's, in preparation for his documentary that will air on HBO.

When A.J. Burnett set the Rays down 1-2-3, a buzz began to fill the stadium. Jeter would have his first chance at hit number 2,999. The crowd's anticipation grew, and chants of "Derek Jeter!" grew louder. With over 48,000 fans on their feet, Jeter collected hit number 2,999, and the stadium erupted.

We all seemed to know this was his day.

The top of the third inning came and went, as A.J. Burnett set the Rays down in order again. Jeter was due up in the bottom half of the inning, and the stadium began to buzz.

Brett Gardner grounded out, and Derek Jeter stepped to the plate. More chants filled the stadium, and collective exhales grew louder after every pitch David Price fired in. After three foul balls, the exhales escalated.

As Price delivered his 8th pitch of the at bat, Jeter swung and sent a fly ball deep into left field that seemed to travel in slow motion. The stadium grew louder, only to erupt as the ball landed in the left field bleachers for his 3,000th career hit.

Jeter rounded the bases with a smile on his face, as 48,000 people screamed and cheered his name. He was met at home plate by his great friend Jorge Posada, who gave him a loving embrace. Each and every individual at Yankee Stadium was on their feet, giving Derek Jeter the standing ovation that he deserved. Chants of "Derek Jeter!" continued on for several minutes until he finally finished hugging his teammates. His curtain call was surreal.

Jeter would step to the plate three more times on Saturday afternoon, and each time he received standing ovations. Chants of "Derek Jeter" never faded while he was at the plate, and he delivered each time with a hit. His final hit, of course, was the game winner.

Fittingly, Mariano Rivera entered the game and recorded the save. Derek Jeter once again hugged all of his teammates and began his postgame interview on the field. However, that interview was interrupted as "Derek Jeter!" chants echoed throughout the stadium so loud that he needed to acknowledge every corner of the stadium.

Derek Jeter became the 28th man to collect 3,000 hits at the Major League level, became the second man to do so with a home run, the second man to have a five-hit game on the day he recorded his 3,000th hit, and the first Yankee to collect 3,000 hits in pinstripes.

He had five hits, a game winning hit, and at least six standing ovations. I have never seen the stadium more alive, so grateful to witness history.

On a perfect day in the Bronx, Derek Jeter delivered a perfect day of his own.