Funnyman Billy Crystal offered up his second Tv tribute to a beloved icon in as many months on Thursday (25Sep14) when he honoured retiring baseball legend Derek Jeter.

The life-long New York Yankees fan's recorded video homage to the team's captain aired on U.S. sports news show SportsCenter on Espn as Jeter was preparing to make his final appearance as a Yankee in the Big Apple.

Crystal said, "My grandmother said there are three things you can always count on: death, taxes and Derek Jeter.

"Last week was the final time I saw Derek play in person. He turned on a fastball and ripped it deep into the left field seats... He ran around the bases. This was the first home run he'd hit in the stadium this season. I wish I knew what was going on in his mind... He probably just took it in his stride and started thinking of his next at bat...

"I met with Derek after the game... 'Hey Willy', he said - it's a nickname my high school coach called me that Derek recalled me telling him about in 1998. We talked for a few minutes, like players.

"We smiled again and I sensed he wanted to go before I said something sad. We hugged goodbye and it was gone... We've had a very special relationship; (former Yankees manager) Joe Torre used to have me work out with the Yankees during the great years - even before World Series games... Derek saw that I could still play and he took infield (practice) with me many times. He never treated me like a celebrity. I was his teammate.

"To watch him on the field from the stands or on television is one thing; to experience the speed, the skill, the joy he had of playing on the field was like running with wild horses; it's exhilarating."

The funnyman concluded, "It's almost over folks. Take a good last look. This is a baseball player."

Crystal can officially call himself a former team-mate of Jeter's after signing a one-day contract to mark his 60th birthday in March, 2008. The comedian batted for the Yankees in a spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Baseball superstar Jeter's final regular season game ever will come on Sunday (28Sep14) when the Yankees complete a three-game series in Boston, Massachusetts against longtime rivals the Red Sox.

The sporting tribute came a month after Crystal delivered a touching send-off to late pal Robin Williams at the Emmy Awards.