The budget-conscious Miami Marlins presented Yankees legend Derek Jeter with what they called a "heartfelt" retirement gift of a card and a crisp $20 bill on Thursday.
"We wanted to salute The Captain with the respect he deserves while still maintaining a viable operating budget for our franchise," said owner Jeffrey Loria, whose team is ahead of only the Houston Astros in total payroll. "Once I talked it over with (President of Baseball Operations) Mike Hill and (manager) Mike Redmond, we figured this was the wisest path to take.
"I was just going to write him a check, but now he doesn't have to go to the bank and cash it. He can just use the $20 whenever he likes. It was the right thing to do."
The Marlins presented Jeter with the gift during a simple pre-game ceremony. Loria and Redmond both gave short speeches, then Billy, the Marlins mascot, brought the card out to Jeter on his pretend bill. A team batboy brought his iPod dock out and played a "jock jams" playlist for musical accompaniment.
Jeter appeared to be confused when he opened the card, before he apparently started laughing so hard he fell to one knee. A Yankees spokesperson said after the game that Jeter was actually overcome with the emotion of the moment and was "truly flattered by the Marlins' gesture and generosity."
"We passed the card around the clubhouse after the game last night so the boys could sign it," said Redmond. "It got a little damp from guys toweling off, but we dried it out on my desk overnight, so it's pretty okay. Envelope was shot, which is a shame, because we had Giancarlo (Stanton) sign it ‘To Jeets' using colored markers. Then we put some stickers on it. Looked pretty nice, but what are you gonna do? It's the thought that counts, though."