Derek Jeter, the longtime shortstop for the New York Yankees, announced that he’ll be walking away from baseball after the 2014 MLB season.

Derek Jeter Retires

Jeter, 40, has been playing with the Yankees since 1996, when he instantly proved he was an invaluable asset. Instead of opting to prologue his storied career as a designated hitter, Jeter has decided to step away completely before he loses the strengths that have made him a sure Hall of Famer.

Jeter announced his retirement decision to fans in lengthy letter posted to his Facebook page. As could be expected, his recent spate of injuries has served to expedite his retirement.

“Last year was a tough one for me,” Jeter wrote. “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,” he added. “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. 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.”

Hal Steinbrenner & Brian Cashman Support Jeter

Following his announcement, Jeter’s praises have been sung by a number of fellow baseball players who’ve had the pleasure of playing beside him and against him, as well as Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner and GM Brian Cashman.

“He is unquestionably one of the greatest Yankees ever,” Steinbrenner said. “He has meant so much to fans, the organization, my father and our family. I’m glad we have this year to celebrate everything he has meant to us and all the great things he still stands to accomplish.”

“It has been an incredible honor having a front-row seat for one of the great players of all time,” Cashman said. “Derek has been a winner every step of the way. I am already looking forward to an exciting final chapter of his storied career.”

Jeter will kick off his final season with the Yankees on April 1, away against the Astros, before returning to New York for a game against the Orioles on April 7. Jeter’s last regular season game will be at Fenway Park against the Red Sox on Sept. 28.

– Chelsea Regan

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