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A's toast Jeter's stellar career before finale

Yankees captain appreciates fans, moments at Oakland's Coliseum

A's toast Jeter's stellar career before finale

OAKLAND -- As promised, there was no mention of the 'flip play' as the Athletics paid tribute to Derek Jeter's career on Sunday at the O.co Coliseum. Instead, the team suggested a relaxing wine country sendoff for the retiring Yankees captain.

Athletics manager Bob Melvin and hitting coach Chili Davis, both former teammates of Jeter's, represented the organization in a brief ceremony held at home plate before the series finale -- Jeter's 76th and last regular-season game at the Coliseum.

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"What he's meant to the game -- very few people can you say have meant as much to the game as he has," said Melvin, who played with Jeter at Triple-A Columbus in 1995. "The game forgets in a hurry when you go away. A guy like that, not so much.

"Not only has he meant a lot to the Yankee organization, but to baseball as a whole. A class act through and through, and I'm fortunate that I did get to play with him for a while and have known him over the years. I think he makes everybody better just knowing him and watching how he plays the game."

The A's presented Jeter with a customized three-liter bottle of Abreu Madrona Ranch Cabernet -- 2009, a very good year, in Jeter's opinion -- and a private tour with the wine maker at the Abreu Vineyard, plus a stay the Meadowood resort in Napa Valley.

In addition, the A's made a donation in the amount of $10,002 to Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation. Davis, a Yankees teammate of Jeter's in 1998-99, also sent a few more bottles of wine to the visiting clubhouse as a personal gift.

"The fans have been wonderful from the first game here," Jeter said. "They've treated me well. It makes you feel good when people respect the way that you play the game, even if they're not necessarily Yankees fans."

Jeter's flip to retire Jeremy Giambi in Game 3 of the 2001 American League Division Series is arguably his most iconic on-field moment, but Jeter said that he does not necessarily remember only about the flip play when he thinks about his years visiting Oakland.

"I'm sure people have seen enough of it, you know what I mean?" Jeter said.

Jeter went 1-for-3 with a double and a sacrifice fly in the Yankees' 10-5 loss to the A's. Jeter said that he has enjoyed playing at the Coliseum, but he hopes this wasn't his last visit; his calendar would quickly clear for a postseason matchup with the A's.

"I've had a lot of fun times, fun games here. Fun times competing against great teams. Hopefully, I'll get an opportunity to come back," he said.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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