In a long letter posted on his Facebook page, the 39-year-old shortstop, who played just 17 games in 2013 and has battled nagging injuries in recent seasons, made it clear that 2014 will be his last in professional baseball:
Naturally, Twitter exploded.
Many were in shock. Bleacher Report MLB lead writer Zachary D. Rymer was one of many baseball lovers struggling to come to grips with the reality:
After Twitter got over the initial shock, the reaction shifted to one of admiration as writers, analysts and fans began singing Jeter's praises on the popular social media site:
Erik Boland of Newsday passed along these quotes from Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner, who spoke about Jeter's career:
NFL.com fantasy editor Michael Fabiano was among the many hoping for one last title run for Captain Clutch:
The Yankees failed to reach the playoffs in 2013, but Jeter has won five World Series championships with the team since making his debut back in 1995. He also earned World Series MVP honors in 2000.
As ESPN Stats & Info points out, if the Yankees don't make the playoffs in 2014, Jeter's last game ever could potentially come against the rival Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park:
Even opposing fans were quick to express their sadness over Jeter's decision:
Former Missouri basketball star Kim English is already on the lookout for tickets to see Jeter one last time:
The Mets provided David Wright's reaction to Jeter's retirement:
Former teammates Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada expressed their thoughts:
Jim Duquette also spoke of Jeter's class:
Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times transcribes Evan Longoria's thoughts on the announcement:
While some mourned Jeter's announcement, others trolled it:
Some even took advantage of the opportunity to troll the Philadelphia Phillies:
Comparisons were also made to Mariano Rivera's season-long retirement celebration in 2013:
Fun and games aside, Jeter's decision is a huge deal in the history of the game. Not only did he help bring five world championships to one of the most successful franchises in professional sports, but he also represented baseball the right way and was a role model for an entire generation of baseball fans.
Given his impressive resume and contributions to the game, Jeter appears a lock to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first try, which would come in 2020:
The 13-time All-Star has recorded more than 3,300 hits and 250 home runs and is a .312 batter for his career. Although injuries have turned Jeter into a shell of himself recently, there's no question that the Yankees will be losing the heart and soul of their franchise next fall.
In addition to his talent, Jeter's poise and leadership went a long way for the Yankees in the clubhouse and on the diamond.
But while New York will struggle to replace what Jeter brought to the table, the entire baseball community will miss what he brought to the sport.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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