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(Reuters) - New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira is retiring at the end the season, he said on Friday.
Teixeira, a power-hitting switch hitter and outstanding fielder who has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons, is completing an eight-year contract with the Yankees in his 14th season after coming up with the Texas Rangers.
"Every kid playing whiffle ball in the backyard or playing Little League, you dream of being a Major League Baseball player," Teixeira, 36, told a news conference before Friday's game against the visiting Cleveland Indians.
"After 14 years it's time for me to do something else."
Teixeira won a 2009 World Series ring with the Yankees in his first season with the club.
"I got to live out my dream and had more success than I could ever imagined, but it felt like it was the right time to step away from the game," said an emotional Teixeira.
"This year my neck started bothering me, I hurt my knee and I just kind of realized my body can't do it anymore."
Before his recent spate of injuries, Teixeira was among the game's best offensive and defensive players in his position. He was named to three All-Star teams, won three Silver Slugger Awards and five Gold Glove Awards.
Teixeira, who also played for the Braves and Angels, has belted 404 career home runs and driven in 1,281 runs.
Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Ed Osmond