Jeter, 39, made the announcement on his Facebook page in a lengthy letter that thanked the Yankees organization and the Steinbrenner family as well as his managers, coaches, teammates and family. He also gave a shout-out to the Yankees faithful:
Here is an excerpt of his statement:
So really 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 percent 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.
ESPN's Wallace Matthews reported on Friday that Jeter will hold a press conference "on Wednesday, Feb. 19, the day the regulars report, at 11:30 a.m."
MLB provided a statement from commissioner Bud Selig about the impact Jeter had on the league:
Los Angeles Dodgers manager and former Yankees great Don Mattingly commented on Jeter's announcement via Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register via his Sulia account:
"I'm excited for him. After all he's accomplished, Derek deserves to be able to go out on his own terms."
Mattingly said he recalled seeing Jeter on his first day in spring training 1993.
"He was this skinny little kid right out of high school," Mattingly said. "But he was probably the toughest guy I've ever seen on the field.
"He's been winning since the day he got there. That tells you a lot. There were other guys that were part of that with him. But he was the leader."
Joe Torre, Jeter's manager from 1996-2007, also offered his congratulations to "The Captain":
Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News confirmed through Jeter's longtime agent that the announcement is directly from the man himself and not some type of Internet hoax:
Fittingly, the final regular-season opponent for Jeter will be the rival Boston Red Sox, as pointed out by Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal:
Jeter has spent his entire career, which has spanned nearly two decades, with the Yankees. He enters his final campaign with a .312 lifetime batting average, 13 All-Star Game selections, five Gold Gloves and five Silver Slugger awards. His most important stat, however, is five World Series championships.
SportsCenter also pointed out that Jeter is close to another career milestone as he enters his final season:
Jeter will follow in the footsteps of teammate Mariano Rivera, who retired after last season following a farewell tour.
Looking ahead, the Yankees would love nothing more than to send off one of their greats with one last title. They did bolster the roster during the offseason with several marquee signings.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann were brought in to improve the team's everyday lineup, and Masahiro Tanaka was added to the starting rotation with hope he can match his success from Japan in MLB.
If Jeter and Mark Teixeira can stay healthy after an injury-plagued 2013 season, the Yankees certainly have enough talent to compete with the defending champion Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays for the AL East crown.
With all of that said, regardless of how the 2014 season ends for Jeter and the Yankees, there will be a spot in Cooperstown waiting for him.
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