Core 4 Reunite at Victorious Home Opener of Yankees

Howard Goldin

Bronx, NY---Although all four have not been teammates since 2011, the Core 4, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera, reunited at Yankee Stadium on Monday for an Opening Day ceremony.

The first retiree, Posada, threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day of 2012. Pettitte and Rivera, who ended their playing careers at the close of the 2013 season, were given the honor on Monday. To the surprise of no one, Jeter and Posada were the recipients of the ceremonial tosses.

The excitement of seeing their legendary heroes on the Yankee Stadium field again and the meaningful memories evoked by their presence were reflected by the raucous ovation they received from the sell-out crowd of 48,142 in the stands. The emotional impact of the reunion was intensified by the day being the final home opener in the long and storied career of Jeter.

Prior to the start of the regularly scheduled game between the Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles, the three iconic retirees, Pettitte, Posada and Rivera held a press conference.

Each used similar words to describe their feelings of reuniting with their three special teammates, how much they look forward to further reunions in the future and their thoughts of the one still active, Jeter.

Pettitte opined, “Anytime we all get together is special. [Yankee Stadium] always feels like home, always great to be here.”

Posada concurred, “[I’m] excited to be out there with all of them.”

Rivera expressed the same pleasurable emotions as the others, “It was a great time. It’s wonderful to be standing here.”

Each of the three also hopes and expects to be together in the future, even after Jeter also retires.”

Posada foresees, “Probably Opening Day [2015], we’ll all be together in street clothes.”

Pettitte expressed his desire for the reunions to continue, “I’m hoping we’re around for a lot of years doing stuff like this.”

Rivera, the closer, closed with these remarks, “We will see each other for a lot more years. We’ll be here. I look forward to all four of us to be here another time.”

The 2014 Yankees including Jeter brought a positive close to the day at the ballpark in the South Bronx with a 4-2 victory over the Orioles. Yankee starter Hiroki Kuroda hurled an impressive 6.1 innings to earn the win. He yielded two runs and eight hits. He did not walk a batter and fanned four. After the game, the Yankee skipper remarked, “He’ been consistent ever since he’s been here.”

Shawn Kelley earned the save as this year’s closer, David Robertson, was placed on the 15-day disabled list today after suffering a grade 1 strain of his groin in yesterday’s game.

Rookie third sacker YangervisSolarte, making a sterling major league start, walked to begin the third and scored on a single by Jacoby Ellsbury. Solarte is the first Yankee since Joe DiMaggio in 1936 to get two or more hits in each of his first three starts.

Alfonso Sorano singled in the fourth and was driven across the plate on a single by Solarte.

Jeter led off the fifth with a double to left that appeared as if it would be a home run. Three additional singles and two walks led to two runs scoring in that frame.

Ivan Nova will be the starter in game 32 on Tuesday afternoon for New York. He will be opposed by lefty Wet-Yin Chen for the Birds.

Howardg53@yahoo.com