Derek Jeter knew one thing about his aching calf — it was the first of many signs that his days as the Yankees Captain were numbered.

The number two on his back will be retired when he tires of game — or when the game tells him his time is tired — and then we’ll see how a hero handles the hallows.

Jeter knew he didn’t have enough DiMaggio in him to quit while he was ahead and young and beloved.

No, he had to stick and dodge the pains of a breaking body in public for paycheck and a last stab at 3,000 hits of glory.

So now he sits, disabled on the bench, six smacks away from a primordial immortality that beckoned him, and then failed him, in the dimming of his days.

Was greatness thrust upon him; or did he create his own greatness?

Can a monument and a retired jersey number ever be enough of a legacy — or is the real tribute to the man the way he played his life off the field?

As a legend falls, we are left to ponder how he will get up again.

Will Derek Jeter rise to the call of 3,000 hits and do the right thing and stop?

Or will he continue his futile quest for the greatness of a lost man earned in the dying light of a fading career?

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