Twins’ Royce Lewis rookie honors Derek Jeter in first at-bat at Yankee Stadium

During his inaugural at-bat at Yankee Stadium on June 4, 2024, Twins' Royce Lewis paid tribute to Yankees' legend Derek Jeter.
Amanda Paula
Thursday June 6, 2024

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Prior to Wednesday’s game, Twins’ Royce Lewis shared in an interview with Amazon Prime Video that a day earlier, he honored one of his idols, Yankees icon Derek Jeter, in his first at-bat at Yankee Stadium. Lewis expressed his admiration for Jeter, reflecting on the influence the former Yankees captain had on his career and life.

Lewis spoke about the significance of playing at Yankee Stadium for the first time, describing it as a tribute to a player he deeply respected. “To be here for the first time, I thought it was just a good ode to such a gentleman and a player that I very well respected,” Lewis said. He laughed about the time-out incident with the umpire, adding, “It was just a one-time thing.”

A planned tribute

This tribute was anticipated, as some newspapers covering the Minnesota Twins had hinted that Lewis would pay homage to Jeter. The only people aware of Lewis’s specific plans were his parents, his fiancée, and Bally Sports North broadcaster Trevor Plouffe.

The first at-bat

Twins' Royce Lewis made a tribute to Yankees legend Derek Jeter during his first at-bat at Yankee Stadium on June 4, 2024.
Amazon Prime

During his first at-bat, Lewis unintentionally mimicked one of Jeter’s signature moves—raising his hand to call for a time-out. Lewis recounted the moment with a chuckle, noting, “The umpire called time when I actually put my hand up. I’m not used to that because I don’t think they did that back in the day.” The umpire, sharing the light-hearted moment, responded humorously to the unintentional gesture.

Yankees' legend Derek Jeter

Lewis’s admiration for Derek Jeter was evident in his performance. He demonstrated patience at the plate, drawing walks in his first two plate appearances. In the seventh inning, he solidified his tribute by hitting a solo home run to left field off Yankees reliever Tommy Kahnle.

Reflecting on his performance, Derek Lewis remained modest, acknowledging his recent struggles in AAA, where he went 0-for-19. However, he quickly turned things around, batting a perfect 1.000 after hitting a homer and a single on Opening Day. A day later, he also scored a homer during the Yankees’ 9-5 win over the Minnesota Twins.

Looking ahead

The New York Yankees, boasting a record of 44-19, will face the Minnesota Twins again on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium, with the game set to start at 7 p.m. EST. The Yankees are currently one of the best teams in MLB, with a noteworthy history, including three teammates – Aaron Judge, Juan Soto and Giancarlo Stanton – each hitting at least 15 home runs within the first 62 games of the season.

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