The end of a 19-year baseball career will take place this year as New York Yankees Captain Derek Jeter is set to retire after the 2014 Major League Baseball season. Considered as one of the most successful and classy players of the game, Jeter's two decade career consists of a long list of achievements that have added to the New York Yankees' repertoire as one of the prime dynasties in sports history.
Jeter announced his retirement on his official Facebook account with a picture of his statement thanking the fans for an amazing career the past two decades. The 39-year-old expressed in his open letter to the fans that he is ready to move on to the next phase of his life after a slew of injuries from this past seasons. "The one thing I always said to myself was that when baseball started to feel more like a job, it would be time to move forward," explained Jeter in his letter.
Since his start in professional baseball in 1995, Jeter remained solely with the Yankees and was awarded the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 1996. The awards and historic career achievements would only continue to cement Jeter's legacy as one of the most beloved Yankees of all time. Jeter lead his team to five World Championships adding on to the Yankees' record-setting number and was named the World Series MVP in 2000. As a captain since 2003, Jeter is also a 13-time MLB All Star and leads in all-time career leader in hits, stolen bases and games played as a Yankee.
"I've experienced so many defining moments in my career," Jeter said of his accomplishments. "Winning the World Series as a rookie shortstop, being named the Yankees' captain, closing the old and opening the new Yankee Stadium. Through it all, I've never stopped chasing the next one. I want to finally stop the chase and take in the world."
Since the announcement, many baseball officials have commended Jeter on his successful career as a player, but also remarked on his character traits. Los Angeles Dodger's general manager Ned Colletti admired Jeter as the ideal player any team would want to have. "He's a Hall of Fame player even without all the intangibles. But when you consider the championships, the character, the leadership and the way he represented baseball without fail with class and dignity and honor, there was nobody better," said Colletti. "And he did it playing every day in the spotlight. He is everything you would want in a player."
Former Yankees manager Joe Torre who worked with Jeter and captured four of the five championship titles with him, also credited Jeter for attributing to his own management career. "Now it's a chance to admire what he's done," said Torre in a phone interview on ESPN. "I'm being inducted in July [to the MLB Hall of Fame] and if it wasnt for the fact that he was one of my players, I doubt I would have been in this situation."
With his retirement, Jeter is the third player to retire in a two-year span for the Yankees. Last year, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte both retired from their respective careers. With Alex Rodriguez's 2014 suspension, the Yankees will give a proper send-off to Jeter in a retirement tour, but hope to reshape their team after the many changes its embarking.
Leaving behind an impressive legacy as a Yankee, Jeter plans to enjoy retirement and take time off for much need rest and recreation. "There are many things I want to do in business and philanthropic work, in addition to focusing more on my personal life and starting a family of my own," said Jeter. "And I want the ability to move at my own pace, see the world and finally have a summer vacation."