One of baseball's all-time greats has decided it's time to call it a career. Earlier today, New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter announced that he will retire at the end of the 2014 season.
"From the time I was a kid, my dream was always very vivid and it never changed: I was going to be the shortstop for the NY Yankees," the 39-year-old Jeter said in an announcement posted on his Facebook page. "Now it is time for the next chapter.
Over the course of 18 seasons, Jeter helped the Yankees win five World Series, was named to 13 All-Star teams, and joined the 3,000 hit club. He was the 1996 American League Rookie of the Year, 2000 World Series MVP, a five-time Silver Slugger, and a five-time Gold Glove winner. His accomplishments make him a lock to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
But last season was a tough one for the Yankees captain. After suffering an ankle injury during the 2012 playoffs, Jeter tried to rejoin the team in 2013. He began the season on the disabled list, but was finally activated in July. He sustained another injury after only one game, sat out a couple more weeks, got back in the lineup, then was on and off the 15-day DL throughout the rest of the season. He only played 17 games in 2013 and finished the season with a .190 batting average.
"As I suffered through a bunch of injuries, I realized that some of the things that always came easily to me and were always fun had started to become a struggle," Jeter said. "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."
And that time is now. Jeter will play out 2014, take one last lap around the league, and one of the most storied careers in baseball history will come to an end. It won't be long before the Yankees retire his number 2, he's immortalized in Yankee Stadium's Monument Park, and is enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
Here's Jeter's full retirement announcement, courtesy MLB's Public Relations Twitter account:
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Derek Jeter Announces Retirement