“The Captain” is taking a final curtain call after 19 years in pinstripes.
New York Yankees shortstop, Derek Jeter, shocked his legion of fans and the baseball world by announcing his retirement upon the conclusion of the 2014 Major League Baseball season. Jeter made the announcement with a message posted on his Facebook page early Wednesday afternoon.
Jeter, who suffered through an injury-riddled 2013 season, opened his letter to his fans by thanking them for their never ending support through an illustrious, Hall-of-Fame worthy career that includes five World Series titles, 13 All-Star selections and five Gold Glove Awards. During the 2011 season, Jeter became the 28th player in Major League Baseball history to reach 3,000 hits when he uncorked a solo homerun against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium.
Jeter also stated in his letter that he realized that this upcoming season would be his last after talking the matter over with his family and friends, yet was told not to confirm his decision unless he was 100 percent sure.
It turns out he was, and he took to social media to share in those thoughts.
“The thing is, I could not be more sure,” Jeter said. “ I know it in my heart that the 2014 season will be my last year playing professional baseball.”
Ever since Jeter bursted on the scene with the Yankees back in 1995, he’s become one of the cornerstones of a franchise deeply rooted in history and success by flourishing at the shortstop position wearing the now famed #2 jersey. In 1996, the Pequannock, NJ native was named the American League Rookie of the Year while helping the Bronx Bombers to their first World Series title since the 1978 season. He was also part of the teams’ World Series title runs in 1998, ’99, ’00 and ’09. During the 2000 season, Jeter became the first player in MLB history to win both the All-Star Game and World Series MVP in the season campaign.
Known for his uncanny ability to deliver game-changing plays and producing at the plate, Jeter earned the titles of “Captain Clutch” and “Mr. November” during the 2001 World Series for his postseason heroics. His efforts also earned him the right to be named the team’s captain during the 2003 season.
Teammates and fans have come to adore Jeter for his contributions on and off the field, with many saying that he is one of the best players of his generation.
Jeter also thanked former Yankees owner, the late George M. Steinbrenner, and the organization for seeing him through his ups and downs throughout his playing career.
“I will remember it all: the cheers, the boos, every win, every loss, all the plane trips, the bus rides, the clubhouses, the walks through the tunnel and every drive to and from the Bronx,” Jeter said. “I have gotten the very most out of my life playing baseball and I have absolutely no regrets.”
Jeter becomes the second Yankee to hang up his jersey, cap and cleats a year after future Hall-of-Famer and former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera bid baseball farewell after an equally lengthy, successful career in the Bronx.