View From the Peake: Mort's Jeter Adventure - The Missourian: Sports

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View From the Peake: Mort's Jeter Adventure

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Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2014 12:00 pm

Zach Mort idolizes, loves and worships Derek Jeter.

So imagine the Pacific 9-year-old’s excitement when he learned that Jeter and his New York Yankees would be playing in St. Louis against the Cardinals.

“Zach has always been a huge Derek Jeter fan,” his mother Michelle said recently. “He begged us to take him to a Cardinals-Yankees game so he could see Jeter play.”

This is a special season for Jeter and his fans. The Yankee captain has announced that he will be retiring from the game at the end of the season. Jeter’s done it all in his long career. He’s earned five World Series rings, has been selected to the All-Star Game 14 times and has recorded more than 3,000 hits. He’s a future Hall of Famer for sure.

Take this into account, too: The Yankees hadn’t played in St. Louis since 2005. So it’s safe to say their visit to Busch Stadium was a historic one to fans of both teams.

Michelle and Eric Mort, Zach’s parents, got tickets to the final game of the Cardinals-Yankees series, which was played on May 28. The family enthusiastically attended the game, and of course, Zach couldn’t wait to see Jeter take the field.

One problem — Jeter didn’t play.

Imagine the disappointment the youngster must have felt. His hero sat on the bench the entire game, barely giving his diehard fan a glimpse. Jeter had played the first two games of the series vs. St. Louis, but not the third, a game the Yankees won, 7-4.

Michelle said once Zach realized Jeter wasn’t playing he was unable to hide his disappointment.

“Zach slouched down in his seat, pulled his cap down and started to cry because he did not get to see his hero play,” Michelle said. “He was just so upset.”

After the depressing experience, Zach’s parents came up with an idea.

After their finale in St. Louis, the Yankees traveled to Kansas City for a series with the Royals.

“My husband and I talked about it and we got tickets for me and Zach to see the Yankees in Kansas City,” Michelle said. “But we didn’t tell Zach. It was a total surprise.”

The unexpected road trip to Kauffman Stadium took place on June 6.

“I told him we were going to do errands and I just started driving,” Michelle recalled. “He was doing math in the car and then he eventually looked up and said, ‘We’re going to Columbia?’ I said we were going to go shopping. We did stop in Columbia to eat and then we got back in the car, and thank goodness, he fell asleep. So I drove to Kansas City and just before we pulled in to the sports complex I woke him up and handed him his Yankees cap. I told him he may need it. He looked up and realized we were in Kansas City. Then I handed him the tickets. He ended up crying because he was so excited. He was shocked. And he was very appreciative.”

After their arrival, Michelle and Zach made a ‘Derek Jeter Is My Hero’ sign and entered the stadium early to watch batting practice. Someone from the Royals organization tossed Zach a baseball. Decked out in his Yankees gear, Zach then got a close-up look at his hero. His previous disappointment would be long forgotten, and soon he would be elated.

Michelle recalled what happened next.

“Jeter comes out of the dugout and starts signing autographs and doing interviews,” she said. “Then Jeter started to go back to the dugout and Zach was right by the steps. Then he must have seen Zach’s shirt, his hat and the sign. Jeter motioned to Zach to throw him the ball he had. So Zach tossed him the ball and Jeter signed it and gave it back. Jeter ended up signing another ball for Zach, too, which we gave to a family who helped us earlier. Zach was so, so excited.”

Michelle said Jeter definitely put a big smile on her son’s face. It’s a smile that still hasn’t faded.

“He will never forget it,” Michelle said. “He called his grandparents right away after he got the ball to tell them. He’s been telling everyone. He got a case for the ball and he talks about it all the time.”

Guess what? Jeter didn’t play in the game against the Royals, either. It didn’t matter.

“Zach didn’t care that time because he got his hero’s autograph,” Michelle said. “He was just thrilled he was able to get his autograph.”

And now Zach, who will be going into the fourth grade at St. Gertrude Grade School in Krakow, has an impressive story to share for the rest of his life.

His quest to see his idol started off badly, but had a happy ending.

“It was well worth the trip and expense for him to have that amazing experience,” Michelle said.

One thing’s for sure, Zach Mort will likely never forget The Great Jeter Adventure of 2014.


Area Scoreboard

62nd Annual Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving Tournament

Blue Division

Pool 1

McCluer North



Pool 2

Cardinal Ritter


Rockwood Summit

Gold Division

Pool 1




Pool 2


North Tech


Monday, Nov. 24

CBC 77, Washington 52

Tuesday, Nov. 25

Cardinal Ritter vs. Rockwood Summit, PPD

Washington 63, Soldan 62

Borgia 83, Union 50

Wednesday, Nov. 26

Carnahan 71, Normandy 46

Pacific 64, Rockwood Summit 22

North Tech 67, Union 37

Thursday, Nov. 27

McCluer North 95 Carnahan 68

CBC 82, Soldan 55

Borgia 50, North Tech 45

Friday, Nov. 28

McCluer North 93, Normandy 39

Pacific 70, Cardinal Ritter 57

Saturday, Nov. 29

Blue Consolation — Rockwood Summit 47, Normandy 38

Gold Consolation — Soldan 78, Union 59

Gold Third Place — North Tech 63, Washington 57

Blue Third Place — Cardinal Ritter 71, Carnahan 46

Blue Championship — McCluer North 64, Pacific 58 (OT)

Gold Championship — CBC 67, Borgia 66

Boys Basketball

Monday, Dec. 8

Lutheran S 64, St. Clair 48

Borgia 61, Carnahan 51

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Lafayette 44, Washington 35

Friday, Dec. 12

Potosi 72, St. Clair 45

*Washington 69, Ft. Zumwalt North 65

Montgomery Co 62, New Haven 61

*St. Mary’s at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Bourbon 75, Union 74

Glendale 63, Pacific 46

Saturday, Dec. 13

New Haven 46, Barat 40

Nixa 56, Pacific 46

Tuesday, Dec. 16

*Pacific 70, New Haven 35

*Hermann 67, St. Clair 49

*Ft. Zumwalt South 61, Washington 50

*Union 81, St. James 74

Friday, Dec. 19

*Owensville at St. Clair    4 p.m.

Washington vs. Parkway Central, GAC/Suburban Shootout, St. Charles Family Arena, 5:30 p.m.

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

%Washington vs. TBA    4 p.m.

%Borgia vs. Poplar Bluff    5:30 p.m.

%St. Clair vs. TBA    TBA

%Sullivan Shootout

Girls Basketball

Saturday, Dec. 6

Cor Jesu 63, Borgia 60

New Haven 46, Moberly 39

Monday, Dec. 8

Pacific 73, Rolla 40

St. Clair 68, Dixon 37

Washington 54, New Haven 15

Tuesday, Dec. 9

*Borgia 59, Rosati-Kain 38

Union 53, Northwest 44

Thursday, Dec. 11

*Borgia 60, Notre Dame 53

Union 81, Bourbon 53

Friday, Dec. 12

New Haven 45, Principia 30

*Washington 59, Ft. Zumwalt North 32

Saturday, Dec. 13

West Plains 76, Pacific 37

Monday, Dec. 15

*Pacific 46, New Haven 28

*St. Clair 59, Hermann 50

*St. James 64, Union 37

Sullivan Tournament

Cuba 48, Principia 27

Borgia 68, Patriettes 29

Sullivan 56, Pattonville 43

Owensville 78, Farmington 54

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Sullivan Tournament

Farmington 61, Pattonville 39

Sullivan 68, Owensville 64

Principia 55, St. Louis Patriettes 42

Borgia 56, Cuba 38

Thursday, Dec. 18

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    7 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Francis Howell    7 p.m.

Sullivan Tournament

Seventh Place — Pattonville vs. St. Louis Patriettes, 4 p.m.

Consolation — Farmington vs. Principia, 5:30 p.m.

Third Place — Owensville vs. Cuba, 7 p.m.

Championship — Borgia vs. Sullivan, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Union at Waynesville    5 p.m.


Monday, Dec. 8

Maplewood 48, Borgia 30

Brentwood 47, Borgia 36

Winfield 48, St. Clair 36

St. Clair 42, St. James 40

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Pacific 55, North County 10

Jackson 63, Washington 12

Farmington 63, Washington 6

Wednesday, Dec. 10

Borgia 36, Lutheran St. Charles 34

Winfield 54, Borgia 30

Thursday, Dec. 11

Union 72, Ft. Zumwalt East 9

Union 52, Principia 30

Union 54, Winfield 27

Saturday, Dec. 13

Union Tournament    9 a.m.

Borgia at McCluer S-Berkeley Tny    9 a.m.

Pacific at Farmington Tny    9 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 16

Owensville 61, St. Clair 16

Union 48, Owensville 27

Union 65, St. Clair 18

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Saturday, Dec. 20

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Girls Swimming

Monday, Dec. 8

Washington at Eureka    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Washington at Nerinx Hall    4 p.m.

LSC/OFC 134, Borgia 101, St. Dominic 83

Monday, Dec. 15

Borgia at Notre Dame (Forest Park)    4 p.m.

Kennedy 88, Washington 84

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Lindbergh 128, Washington 48

*Conference Games