Waino excited for first matchup against Jeter

Waino excited for first matchup against Jeter

MINNEAPOLIS -- Though their careers have overlapped for nine seasons, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright have never crossed paths on the field. That will change on Tuesday in a moment that may be the most highly anticipated of this year's All-Star Game.

With Wainwright tapped as the National League starter and Jeter plugged into the leadoff spot in John Farrell's American League lineup, the two are assured of facing each other at Target Field in the bottom of the first. It will be the first time ever -- counting Spring Training, regular season and postseason games -- that Wainwright will throw a pitch to the Yankees captain.

"I'm very excited about it, just to say I've faced the best," Wainwright said on Monday, shortly after being announced as the starter. "He is undoubtedly the best to ever play his position, one of the great Yankees of all time. I'm very fortunate, and I feel very proud to say that I'm going to face Derek Jeter."

Wainwright will have faced another 779 players in his career before Jeter, the future Hall of Fame shortstop. In fact, the Yankees are one of just two teams -- the Orioles are the other -- that Wainwright has never faced.

The Yankees did visit St. Louis in May, marking the only Interleague series between the two clubs since Wainwright began his Major League career in 2005. But Wainwright's spot in the rotation did not come up during that series, something Wainwright called "one of his biggest regrets."

Wainwright got a signed Jeter jersey as a memento then. Now, he'll trump it with a memory.

"That's pretty neat," Wainwright said, before adding, "but I've got to get him out. Because that would be cooler."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.