Major League Baseball’s online streaming service set a viewing record for a single game last night with the New York Yankees captain’s final game in pinstripes — where, in a moment almost too dramatically perfect to believe, he drove in the game-winning run. Fans accessed 641,000 streams, beating by 18% the previous one-game regular-season record set on this year’s opening day, March 31. Viewing peaked just before 10:20 PM ET when Derek Jeter hit his single to right and touched off the Yankees’ on-field celebration.
Fans clearly were cued in to the end of Jeter’s nearly 20-year career. In the past 24 hours they watched more than 15 million Jeter-related clips on MLB.com. The vast majority of MLB.TV subscribers pay $129.99 for a full season, which they can access via Apple and Android-powered devices, as well as all of the major gaming consoles and smart TVs.
It didn’t hurt, of course, that it was a most improbable ending to Derek Jeter‘s career at Yankee Stadium and, at the same time, utterly predictable: ninth inning, runner on second, game on the line and the player who has been called “Captain Clutch” at the plate.
As he has done so many times over the past two decades, Jeter jumped on a first-pitch fastball and with that instantly recognizable inside-out swing slapped the ball hard on the ground into right field to score the winning run in a dramatic 6-5 New York Yankees victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
Yankee Stadium, which had overflowed with love for Jeter all night, erupted in the kinds of cheers reserved for the greats of Yankees history.
It was an ending so perfect that even Jeter admitted, “I wouldn’t have believed it myself.”
“Everyone dreams of hitting a home run in the World Series or getting a game-winning hit,” Jeter said. “But I was happy with a broken bat and a run scored in the the seventh inning; I was happy with that being the end. But I’ll take this one.”