In the 12th inning of Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS, David Phelps was on the mound with one goal in mind: to get the Yankees a win. A simple ground ball from Jhonny Peralta headed towards short stop Derek Jeter and it seemed like a routine play–until Jeter’s ankle gave in and broke, causing him to fall to the ground and embark on a year long journey to return to the Yankees.
Many people are rooting for Derek Jeter to return to the field in 2014, and David Phelps might be one of Jeter’s biggest supporters. He recalls seeing the clip of Jeter falling to the ground over and over and even repeated to himself it was his ground ball Jeter was retrieving when the injury occurred.
“That’s a clip that gets played a lot. And when I see the ground ball roll towards him, I’m like, ‘That was my ground ball,’ ” Phelps told WFAN. “I really want him to get back, I want him to have success again, because I don’t want that to be the last thing people remember.”
Phelps is relieved Jeter is back on the field and even grinned when he told reporters how much it means to the team to have Jeter back on the field.
“It means a lot to this team, just having him around the clubhouse, keeping guys light,” Phelps said. “Knowing that he’s going to be there day in and day out doing his job is motivation for all of us to go out there and do our jobs.”
Everyone is hoping for Derek Jeter to return to the field healthy and retire on his own terms. Jeter deserves to put a fairy tale ending to an amazing career.