Jeter misses Michigan Hall of Fame ceremonies

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — In the end, the Captain couldn't make it.

Derek Jeter, the Kalamazoo native and legendary Yankees shortstop, was a late cancellation for the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony Thursday.

Jeter's camp told Hall of Fame officials that two private planes both experienced "serious" mechanical issues. Hall of Fame officials were on pins and needles all afternoon, and were finally told around 5 p.m. that Jeter wouldn't be making it.

Jeter was to fly out of New Jersey's Teterboro Airport, the airport of choice for celebrities and charter flights.

According to the Flight Tracker website, a Journey Aviation flight was scheduled to leave Teterboro just before 3 p.m. and arrive at Detroit Metro shortly before 5. According to the website, that plane never took off.

Hall of Fame officials said one of the planes did take off, but had to return to the terminal.

A Journey Aviation employee who answered the phone Thursday night was at the California offices, and said she hadn't heard about any mechanical troubles in New Jersey, but said she had just had come on shift.

Jeter was, by far, the biggest draw for the Hall of Fame ceremony at MotorCity Casino's Sound Board theater. Tickets were sold out.

Per Hall of Fame protocol, Jeter's induction will be delayed until he can attend the ceremonies. That will take place in 2016, and Jeter's camp told Hall of Fame executive director Jim Stark that Jeter will certainly attend.

Jeter, 40, was said to be looking forward to Thursday's ceremonies, so much so that when the Hall of Fame class was announced last year, Jeter was the first inductee to commit to attending. Friends and family planned to attend the gala.

NHL great Mike Modano also couldn't attend Thursday, so Hall of Fame officials have known that for some time. He also will be inducted next year, now alongside Jeter and others.

The rest of the 2015 star-studded class was in attendance, including Tom Izzo, Barry Larkin, Sergei Fedorov, Doug English, Aleta Sill and Sheila Taormina.

Many dignitaries also were on hand to share the moment, including Lloyd Carr, Tom Lewand and Ken Holland, among many others.