NEW YORK (AP/KMOX) — Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter says he will retire after this season “with absolutely no regrets,” ending one of the greatest careers in the history of baseball’s most storied franchise.
The 39-year-old New York captain posted a long letter on his Facebook page Wednesday saying that 2014 will be his final year.
A 13-time All-Star who has led the Yankees to five World Series championships, Jeter was limited to 17 games last season while trying to recover from a broken left ankle sustained during the 2012 playoffs.
“I know it in my heart. The 2014 season will be my last year playing professional baseball,” he wrote.
“I have gotten the very most out of my life playing baseball, and I have absolutely no regrets,” he said.
Jeter was the last link to the powerful Yankees teams that won three straight World Series crowns from 1998-2000. Longtime teammates Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte retired after last year.
Jeter is the Yankees’ career hits leader with 3,316. He is a lifetime .312 hitter in 19 seasons, with 256 home runs and 1,261 RBIs.
Jeter has scored 1,876 runs and stolen 348 bases. He also is a five-time Gold Glove winner.
Added up, his numbers put him among the greats in Yankees history, with fans often invoking the names of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and others when mentioning Jeter’s legacy.
The Yankees will open the 2014 regular season on April 1 in Houston. Their home opener is April 7 against Baltimore.
Like Rivera last year, Jeter is sure to be saluted wherever he goes in this final season.
“Now it is time for the next chapter,” he wrote. “There are many things I want to do in business and in philanthropic work, in addition to focusing more on my personal life and starting a family of my own. And I want the ability to move at my own pace, see the world and finally have a summer vacation.”
“But before that, I want to soak in every moment of every day this year, so I can remember it for the rest of my life. And most importantly, I want to help the Yankees reach our goal of winning another championship,” he said.
Jeter and the Yankees will play three games at Busch Stadium in St. Louis this season. There’ll be a Memorial Day afternoon contest, as well as Tuesday and Wednesday nights May 27 & 28.
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