Royce Lewis confused umpires with his Derek Jeter tribute in first game vs. Yankees

While paying tribute to his idol, Royce Lewis accidentally caused a little chaos behind home plate.
Jun 4, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA; Minnesota Twins third baseman Royce Lewis (23) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against New York Yankees relief pitcher Tommy Kahnle (41) during the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 4, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA; Minnesota Twins third baseman Royce Lewis (23) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against New York Yankees relief pitcher Tommy Kahnle (41) during the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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For the first time in over nine weeks, Minnesota Twins fans got to see Royce Lewis play big league baseball.

He failed to disappoint.

Lewis reintroduced himself with a pair of walks and a glorious solo home run in the seventh inning. Even though the Twins ultimately lost 5-1 to the Yankees, the fourth straight loss this season to New York, it was hard not to feel numb to that thanks to how exciting it was to have Lewis back in the lineup.

He wasted no time making his presence felt defensively, too. We've all become very familiar with his game at the plate, but Lewis made a diving stop at third base to throw out Gleyber Torres in the fourth inning, which was another sight for sore eyes.

It was a special night for Lewis beyond just the fact that he was back. He was playing his first game at Yankee Stadium and made sure to pay tribute to his idol, Derek Jeter, in his first at-bat. The only problem is that it totally confused the home plate umpire and almost caused a bit of a scene.

Royce Lewis paid tribute to Derek Jeter, and accidentally caused some chaos

As Lewis stepped into the batter's box he imitated the ritual that Jeter would always go through in the same exact spot. Part of that invovled raising his right hand after touching the bill of his batting helmet -- something home plate umpire Chris Segal intitially interpreted as Lewis calling a time out.

Lewis made light of the situation after the game, explaining that he had to tell Segal what he was doing before it was too late.

"I just wanted to imitate [Jeter] and mimic him because he was my idol," Lewis said, via Bobby Nightengale of the Star Tribune. "To be here for the first time, I thought it was just a good ode to such a gentleman and a player that I very well respected. I did that and the umpire called time when I actually put my hand up. I'm not used to that because I don't think they did that back in the day. I was just laughing with him because he's like, 'Oh, you didn't mean to? Let's bang that.' I'm like, 'It was just a one-time thing.'"

Lewis didn't homer in that at-bat, rather he walked just like he did the second time he came up in the order. He nonetheless reached base in each at-bat on Tuesday night, extending his streak to five at-bats while maintaining a 1.000 OBP -- something that is both good for some jokes but also an indication of his offensive smarts.

The home run was the flashy highlight from his return, a sort of you can't be serious moment. It was the two walks, though, that were almost as impressive. Luis Gil was absolutely dealing on Tuesday night, but Lewis showed elite plate discipline that allowed him to draw a walk in back-to-back at-bats.

That's insane given how well Gil was pitching, especially with how foolish he made Carlos Correa look. Lewis has the power to help carry the Twins offense, but his batting IQ is off the charts, and a reminder of just how bright things are about to get now that he's back.

Even though he accidentally caused a little chaos, his idol Derek Jeter would be proud.

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