Derek Jeter, Yankee shortstop and captain, announced in an eloquent Facebook post last week that this 2014 season will be his last. After 19 seasons and 5 championships, Jeter has racked up more hits, stolen bases, at-bats, and games than any Yankee player in history. He ranks sixth for more hits with one franchise and is slated to rank eighth in hits overall at the conclusion of his 20th season. Jeter is considered one of the best players of his generation and his retirement marks the end of an outstanding career.
Jeter kept his retirement a secret up to the day he posted on Facebook, having told the Steinbrenner family only a few hours prior to the statement’s release. Given his limited 2013 season due to injuries, many speculated that his retirement was a result of his deteriorating condition, but Jeter emphasized that his decision was based on the desire to begin a different, new part of his life.
The Yankees are intent on sending Jeter off with a sixth championship ring and he asserts that his one goal, one that has not changed since he joined the Yankees in 1995, is to help the Yankees win. Jeter’s final season will probably be celebrated in a similar manner to Mariano Rivera’s this past season, with short ceremonies and gifts from opposing teams, despite the player trying to minimize the fuss surrounding his retirement.
It is unlikely Jeter will be sent off without a grand hoorah, seeing as he has lead the Yankees to victory time and time again and remains one of the most accomplished players of all time. In his first public statement regarding his retirement, Jeter said, “the thing that means the most to me is to be remembered as a Yankee.” He will certainly be hard to forget.