Because there are still some companies who have yet to find a way to get involved in Derek Jeter’s retirement, we get this announcement from Louisville Slugger:
. . . The storied company did something today that it’s never done in its 130 years in the game – it retired a bat model in honor of a player.To show its respect and admiration for Derek Jeter, Louisville Slugger announced it is retiring his famous P72 . . . The P72 has been one of the more popular models with MLB players over the decades. In addition to Jeter, who now ranks sixth on the all-time career hits list, it has been swung by Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr. and Robin Yount, among others. The specifications of the P72, with its medium barrel and balanced swing weight, will still exist for players to order, but under a new model name. It will be called the DJ2 in recognition of Jeter and his incredible career.
The P72, by the way, was named for Les Pinkham, a minor league catcher of the 1950s, who first used the bat. If you are a descendant of Pinkham, you can still get a P72. But no one else can. The remaining P72 bats — 72 of them, natch — will be given to Derek Jeter’s Turn2 charity.
So, to sum up: the bat that other famous players used and which was named after a guy no one has heard of will be retired (mostly) but you can still get a bat with Derek Jeter’s initials. Which, OK, but that’s usually not how retiring things tend to go.
Lost in all of this is the fact that, based on his stats this season, Jeter basically put his P72s into partial retirement at the end of the 2012 season.