Wednesday morning, New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter announced that this upcoming season would be his last. This 2014 season would mark Jeter’s 20th season in the Bronx, playing in pinstripes for more seasons than any Yankee before him.
Jeter has been plagued with injuries ever since he broke his ankle in Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. He would only play 17 games in 2013 and the the Yankees shortstop will be turning 40 in June. As seen in closer Mariano Rivera’s final season, Jeter will presumably experience a similar farewell tour from every opposing ballpark he’ll play at this season.
Rivera would leave Jeter as the last remaining member of the current New York Yankees’ who experienced four World Series championships in five years from 1996 to 2000. Jeter announced his upcoming retirement through his Facebook page this morning:
I could not be more sure. I know it in my heart. The 2014 season will be my last year playing professional baseball.
As a former Yankees first baseman as well as the former Yankees hitting coach from 2004-2006, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was close with Jeter. Asked about Jeter’s impending retirement, Mattingly had nothing but praise according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
I’m excited for him. After all he’s accomplished, Derek deserves to be able to go out on his own terms. He was this skinny little kid right out of high school, but he was probably the toughest guy I’ve ever seen on the field.
Jeter’s list of accomplishments are seemingly endless. He’s a 13-time All-Star who has five World Series rings under his belt with a career .312 batting average. He’s the Yankees’ career hits leader with 3,316, breaking the record that Lou Gehrig held for more than 70 years. Although this may be his final season, there is no doubt Jeter’s legacy will live on forever.
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