It’s the end of another era in the Bronx, where Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees announced today that he will retire at the end of the 2014 season.
Like former teammate and closer Mariano Rivera and Braves third baseman Chipper Jones before him, this season will have a certain feel attached to it and a touch of class as the game remembers the career of another baseball legend.
Whether you hate the Yankees as I do, there are always some players who transcend that especially when their career was marked with such impact and eloquence. Jeter certainly fits that bill.
Jeter told fans via Facebook, that the decision to retire was a tough one for him, but he realized that some of the things that came easy to him had now become a struggle.
“So really it was months ago when I realized that this season would likely be my last,” Jeter wrote. “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% sure.”
He enters his final season with 3,316 hits, 10th on the all-time list. A remarkable achievement that all began with an AL Rookie of the Year season and included five World Series championships as the Yankees shortstop.
Jeter wrote: “I will remember it all: the cheers, the boos, every win, all the plane trips, the bus rides, the clubhouses, the walks through the tunnel and every drive to and from the Bronx.”
Perhaps one day, we’ll experience what it’s like to see a lifelong Met go out in much the same way when David Wright walks off the field for the last time. Perhaps not at the same level on the baseball stage, but I would bet even more so in the hearts of Mets fans.
Wright had the following to say after he heard the news:
“I was fortunate as a young player in this town to be able to watch how Derek Jeter conducted himself on and off the field.”
“I’ve always been a big Derek Jeter fan for what he has done on the baseball field. I became an even bigger fan after getting to know Derek and learning there is more to this game than what goes on between the lines. Excluding the Subway Series, I wish him all the best in his final season.”
In Jeter and Wright, our great city has also had two truly magnificent men of character that have held their positions as team ambassadors in the highest esteem. How we’ve been to have both of them representing two teams steeped in such grand Gotham baseball tradition. One of them will say farewell in 2014, while the other will continue on in his footsteps and hopefully bring another World Series to city, this time with the New York Mets.