New York Yankees shortstop and captain Derek Jeter has announced via Facebook that he will play his last season for the Yankees this year, 2014.
Jeter, also known as Mr. November, has seen the New York Yankees win five World Series titles since his debut in the pinstripes in 1995. He has played 19 seasons and made 13 All-Star appearances.
Jeter ranks number one in the most played games, at bats, hits and stolen bases by a Yankee. He won five Gold Gloves, eight Silver Slugger awards and was named 1995 AL Rookie of the Year. The soon to be 40-year-old, in June, suffered an injury last season after fracturing his ankle in the 2013 ALCS and played only 17 games in the 2013 season.
Jeter is in his final year of his four-year contract worth $16 million which he signed in the 2011 season. He will be eligible to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020.
Casey Close, Jeter’s long-time agent, confirmed in an e-mail to the Daily News that the post announcing his impending retirement did indeed come from Jeter.
Here is the script on Derek Jeter’s official Facebook page:
“I want to start by saying thank you.
I know they say that when you dream you eventually wake up. Well, for some reason, I’ve never had to wake up. Not just because of my time as a New York Yankee but also because I am living my dream every single day.
Last year was a tough one for me. As I suffered through a bunch of injuries, I realized that some of the things that always come easily to me and were always fun had started to become a struggle. The one thing I always said to myself was that when baseball started to feel more like a job, it would be time to move forward.
So it was months ago when I realized that this season would likely be my last. As I came to this conclusion and shared it with my friends and family, they all told me to hold off saying anything until I was absolutely 100% sure.
And the thing is, I could not be more sure. I know it in my heart. The 2014 season will be my last year playing professional baseball.
I’ve experienced so many defining moments in my career: winning the World Series as a rookie shortstop, being named the Yankees captain, closing the old and opening the new Yankee Stadium. Through it all, I’ve never stopped chasing the next one. I want to finally stop the chase and take in the world.
For the last 20 years I’ve been completely focused on two goals: playing my best and helping the Yankees win. That means that for 365 days a year, my every thought and action were geared toward the goal. It’s now time for something new.
From the time I was a kid, my dream was always very vivid and it never changed: I was going to be the shortstop for the NY Yankees. It started as an empty canvas more than 20 years ago, and now look at it, it’s almost complete. In a million years, I wouldn’t believe just how beautiful it would become.
So many people have travelled along this journey with me and helped me along the way: I want to especially thank The Boss, the Steinbrenner family, the entire Yankees organization, my managers, my coaches, my teammates, my friends and of course, above all, my family. They taught me incredible life lessons and are the #1 reason I lasted this long. They may not have been on the field, but they feel they played every game with me, and I think they are ready to call it a career as well.
I also couldn’t have done it without the people of New York. NY fans always pushed me to be my best. They have embraced me, loved me, respected me and have ALWAYS been there for me. This can be a tough, invasive, critical and demanding environment. The people of this city have high expectations and are anxious to see them met.
But it’s those same people who have challenged me, cheered me, beat me down and picked me back up all at the same time. NY made me stronger, kept me more focused and made me a better, more well-rounded person. For that I will be forever grateful. I never could have imagined playing anywhere else.
I will remember it all: the cheers, the boos, every win, every loss, all the plane trips, the bus rides, the clubhouses, the walk through the tunnel and every drive to and from the Bronx. I have achieved almost every personal and professional goal I have set. I have gotten the very most out of my life playing baseball, and I have absolutely no regrets.
Now it’s time for the next chapter. I have dreams and aspirations, and I want new challenges. There are many things I want to do in business and in philanthropic work, in addition to focusing more on my personal life and starting a family of my own. And I want the ability to move at my own pace, see the world and finally have a summer vacation.
But before that, I want to soak in every moment of every day this year, so I can remember it for the rest of my life. And most importantly, I want to help the Yankees reach our goal of winning another championship.
Once again, thank you.