Yankees' Jeter says 2014 season will be his last

Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:26pm EST
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said on Wednesday he would retire from Major League Baseball at the end of the 2014 season, a decision the 19-year veteran said he made after being hobbled by injuries last year.

In a post on his Facebook page, Jeter, 39, widely considered one of baseball's greatest shortstops, said he made the decision following a tough 2013 season when he struggled to recover from a broken ankle and other injuries.

"Last year was a tough one for me. 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. 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.

"So really it was months ago when I realized that this season would likely be my last. As I came to this conclusion and shared it with my friends and family, they all told me to hold off saying anything until I was absolutely 100 percent sure.

"And the thing is, I could not be more sure. I know it in my heart. The 2014 season will be my last year playing professional baseball."

Jeter, a winner of five World Series rings and a 13-time All-Star who stands 10th on MLB's all-time hits list with 3,316, played only 17 games in 2013 as the Yankees missed the playoffs for only the second time in Jeter's 19 years with the club.

The shortstop was a late-season call-up for the Yankees in 1995 before claiming the job for his own in 1996 and winning American League Rookie of the Year honors. He helped the Yankees win the 1996 World Series, their first championship in 18 years.

That began a glorious run for the Bronx Bombers, who also won three Fall Classic crowns in a row from 1998 under manager Joe Torre.   Continued...

New York Yankees' Derek Jeter reacts after the end of the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto in this file photo taken August 28, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/Files