New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter will retire from Major League Baseball at the end of the 2014 season, bringing what will be a 20 year professional career to a close.
The player who New Yorkers call "The Captain" suffered through an injury-plagued 2013 season, which, he says, signalled that maybe it was time to shut things down. "As I suffered through a bunch of injures, I realized that some of the things that always came easily to me and were always fun had started to become a struggle," Jeter says in a lengthy Facebook note. "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." Fans have already started to say goodbye to Jeter:
Man, I'm going to miss the captain.— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) February 12, 2014
No Jeter. That will take some getting used to.— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) February 12, 2014
New York, we are all a beautiful, beautiful Derek Jeter dream.— Caitlin Kelly (@atotalmonet) February 12, 2014
Literal gasp when I saw the ESPN Alert re: Derek Jeter. Hard to imagine another pro athlete like him in my lifetime (past and future).— Kenny Hsu (@kennycity) February 12, 2014
Of course, because it's the Yankees, and because it's Jeter, some people weren't exactly heartbroken by the news:
All right, so now Jeter's REALLY gonna have to hustle to catch Pete Rose. I believe!— Will Leitch (@williamfleitch) February 12, 2014
Every major-league city will bring out Jeter and ceremonially roll ground balls out of his reach to his left and to his right.— Tom Scocca (@tomscocca) February 12, 2014
So Jeter and A-Rod will never play another game together. That whole thing didn't exactly work out as planned, did it?— Andy Martino (@MartinoNYDN) February 12, 2014
Red Sox fan DeBlasio takes office and Jeter Retires...— Justin Miller (@justinjm1) February 12, 2014
The shortstop — revered by his teammates and opponents for his effort and dedication to the game — will end his career with the most hits (3,316), stolen bases (348), and games played (2,602) of any other Yankee in history. He has this season to pad those stats.
Hopefully Jeter stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers before the season ends:
Here's Jeter's entire note to fans: