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Derek Jeter Writes Thank You Letter to New York Before Yankees Number Retirement

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2017

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 13: Former New York Yankee Derek Jeter is introduced during a ceremony honoring the '96 Yankee championship before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays inning of a game at Yankee Stadium on August 13, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Ahead of his No. 2 jersey retirement Sunday at Yankee Stadium, New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter wrote a thank you letter to the Big Apple for the Players' Tribune on Wednesday. 

In the letter, Jeter thanked the New York faithful for welcoming him with open arms: "Thank you, New York, for asking a lot of me. For challenging me. For giving this kid a place to grow up. I wasn't born a New Yorker—you asked me to earn it. I wasn't born a Yankee, but you made me into one."

The Players' Tribune also created a video featuring New Yorkers reading Jeter's letter:

Jeter grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, but The Captain made it clear that New York left an everlasting impression on him: "Today I'm no longer that kid. I've hung up my uniform, and I know this much for a fact: I wouldn't be the person I am today without you. Because the truth is, no matter where you go in the world, when a place feels like home, as New York does to me, you never really leave. It will always be with you."

The 42-year-old former shortstop is among the greatest and most celebrated players in the storied history of the Yankees franchise. He is a 14-time All-Star, a World Series MVP and a five-time World Series champion.

Jeter retired following the 2014 season, and he currently sits sixth on the all-time career hits list with 3,465 behind only Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial and Tris Speaker.

When the Yankees retire Jeter's No. 2 in a ceremony prior to Sunday's game against the Houston Astros, they will become the first MLB team to retire every single-digit jersey number.