TORONTO - Home openers always contain plenty of pageantry and excitement, but the Yankees' home opener Monday at the Stadium against the Orioles will have a bit more of both than usual.
It is the final home opener of Derek Jeter's career, for one.
There also will be a reunion of the Core Four. Jeter will be joined by Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera, and the quartet is scheduled to participate in throwing the ceremonial first pitches.
"I don't think everyone's been together for a while, so it will be nice to see them all together," Jeter said before Sunday's 6-4 victory over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, a game in which he got two hits to pass Paul Molitor for eighth on the all-time hits list (3,320). "I don't remember the last time we were all together. I guess in spring training."
Yankees fans have been saying their goodbyes in other locales since Jeter announced his intent to retire after this season Feb. 12 on Facebook. Fans at the Stadium will get their first crack Monday.
"I can't tell you what's going to happen. I can answer it afterward," Jeter said of his anticipation for the day. "Fans have always treated me good throughout my career, but it's hard for me to comment on something I don't know. I don't know what it will feel like, I don't know what the atmosphere's going to be like. I really don't know."
His teammates have an idea.
"I'm sure fans are already waiting outside for us," Brett Gardner said. "I think it will be a special home opener."
Brian Roberts, who played his entire career with the Orioles before signing with the Yankees in the offseason, said he can only imagine how fans will greet Jeter.
"I think it's going to be pretty cool," Roberts said. "You've seen what it's been like already on the road. You can only imagine what it will be like in front of our home fans."
Jeter is happy to be available for the home opener, period. He was on the disabled list when the Yankees opened last season at home, the primary reason he's excited about Monday.
"That's what made the opener in Houston [special], missing it last season," Jeter said. "I was looking forward to it. I was asked, is it any more special because it's the last year? I think it's more so because I wasn't here last season. Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. Like I said, I can't tell you what it's going to feel like, but I'm looking forward to it."
As for passing Molitor -- Carl Yastrzemski is next on the list with 3,419 hits -- Jeter shook his head.
"It's special," he said. "I grew up watching Paul, I played against him briefly, I have a lot of respect for him and his career. Any time you talk about eighth in anything, it's special."
He later added: "It feels good. I'd be lying to you if I said otherwise. It's an accomplishment. You have to play for a long time to get close to something like this. I just try to play and be consistent. I want to be out there every day. I've said it before: If you do it long enough, some of these things are attainable. But it's definitely special."