"There isn't a person or player I would trade places with that's playing now or ever," Jeter said, addressing the sellout crowd before the Yankees' 10-7 losstothe Houston Astros. "And the reason why I say that is because I got a chance to play for a first-class organization and in front of the greatest fans in the history of sports."
Along with retiring Jeter's number and putting a plaque in Monument Park in his honor, the Yankees gave him framed replicas of both, plus a 14-karat white gold ring that lists his accomplishments.
No. 2 is the 21st number retired by the franchise and is the final single digit to be honored by the Yankees. The No. 0 is available, but the Yankees have never issued it, though manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman said they are not opposed to doing so.
Over his 20-year career, Jeter served as the franchise's 13th captain and won five World Series. He is the Yankees' career leader in hits (3,465), games played (2,747), at-bats (11,195), doubles (544) and stolen bases (358), and retired as the team's longest-tenured captain.
The Astros'Carlos Beltran, a teammate of Jeter's on the Yankees, handed Jeter his blazer. A recording played of PA announcer Bob Sheppard introducing Jeter, who then took the mic.
During the ceremony, the current Yankees and Astros were situated in the dugout, many hanging over the railing to get a better look. They wore pink-billed caps in honor of Mother's Day. Jeter said he chose this day to receive the honor because he wanted to highlight his mother's and his family's contribution to his success.
Yankees announcers Michael Kay and John Sterling emceed the festivities. They first introduced Jeter's family, including his wife, model Hannah Davis, who is expecting the couple's first child soon. With the crowd chanting that familiar roll call, "De-rek Je-ter! De-rek Je-ter! De-rek Je-ter!," Jeter had the honor of unveiling his No. 2 plaque in Monument Park.
Don Mattingly, who was captain of the Yankees before Jeter, spoke on the huge video board in center field and congratulated Jeter. Jeter is reportedly teaming with Jeb Bush in trying to buy the Miami Marlins, whom Mattingly manages.
In a post-ceremony news conference, Jeter would not go into any detail about his interest in the Marlins.
Twenty of Jeter's former teammates, managers and coaches were in attendance, though longtime frenemyAlex Rodriguezwas not there. Rodriguez, who was celebrating Mother's Day in Miami with his family, tweeted a message to Jeter.
Hall of Famer Joe Torre called Jeter the greatest player he ever managed. Torre said Jeter was the player he wanted the ball to go to in the field, and whom he wanted to bat in an important spot.
"He wasn't the most talented player both offensively and defensively," Torre said. "But for some reason you wanted the ball hit to him. He never disappointed."
During Jeter's remarks -- which he later said were off the cuff -- he emphasized how thankful he was.
"You know, you play here in New York for 20 years," Jeter said. "I learned that time flies, memories fade, but family is forever and I'll be eternally grateful to be a part of the Yankees family, so I can't thank you guys enough. Thank you very much."
Jeter grew up in Kalmazoo, Michigan, wanting to be a Yankee. He would fall to the sixth pick in the 1992 draft.
"He always looked at playing with the Yankees as an honor to put on the uniform," Torre said.
No Yankee will ever put No. 2 on again.