This year's ESPY Awards had many emotional moments, but perhaps one of the biggest surprises came when Boston native and die-hard Red Sox fan Ben Affleck took the stage to present Derek Jeter with the Icon Award.
"If you're from Boston you always wanted to hate our next honoree," Affleck said of Jeter, who played all 20 years of his record-setting career with the New York Yankees. "There was something about him that made the boo's ring a little hollow. Maybe it was his inimitable class, maybe it was that he won with dignity and lost with grace. Maybe it was simply that we knew no matter what, he was a winner regardless."
Affleck, who is fresh off a weekend at Comic-Con promoting his upcoming superhero film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, was wearing his wedding ring at the awards ceremony. The actor has been spotted with and without the ring since announcing his divorce from wife Jennifer Garner earlier this month.
"Boston fans can be many things," Affleck continued, "but we know baseball and we respect those that play the game the way it was meant to be played. He broke my heart 100 times, if not more. And he broke it again when he retired, because he was absolutely one of the very best ever to play the game of baseball."
Since Jeter retired last season, he has started a website featuring articles written by athletes called The Players Tribune.
"So to you Derek Jeter, I tip my hat, and I thank you for every last moment of your incredible career," Affleck concluded. "You made the game better for everyone."
Jeter shook hands with the actor and director when he took the stage to receive his award, then let the Red Sox fan off the hook.
"I just told Ben, I know it pained him to say every one of those words, so thank you very much," he joked.