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Derek Jeter To Retire At End Of 2014 Season

Derek-Jeter-New-York-Yankees

New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, an undeniable future Hall of Famer, will be following in the footsteps of his former teammate Mariano Rivera at the end of the 2014 season:

Yankees shortstop, captain and legend Derek Jeter will retire following the 2014 season. Jeter made the announcement on Wednesday.

Jeter, age 39, enters the 2014 season have already established himself as one of the all-time greats. He owns a career batting line of .312/.381/.446 (117 OPS+) across parts of 19 seasons to go with 3,316 hits (10th all-time); 1,876 runs scored (13th all-time); 256 home runs; 348 stolen bases; 13 All-Star appearances; eight Silver Sluggers and five Gold Gloves.

Jeter led the majors in hits in 2012 but last season was limited to just 17 games after fracturing his leg in the 2012 ALCS.

The New York Times put it this way:

Shortstop Derek Jeter, entering his 20th season with the Yankees, announced Wednesday on his official Facebook fan page that 2014 would be his final year playing professional baseball.

A Major League Baseball executive confirmed Wednesday that Jeter informed the Yankees’ principal owner, Hal Steinbrenner, of his plans to retire.

In a statement that he began by saying thank you, Jeter wrote: “I’ve experienced so many defining moments in my career: winning the World Series as a rookie shortstop, being named the Yankees captain, closing the old and opening the new Yankee Stadium. Through it all I’ve never stopped chasing the next one. I want to finally stop the chase and take in the world.”

Jeter, a 13-time All-Star, has won five World Series rings and was the Series’ most valuable player against the Mets in 2000. He is the Yankees’ career hits leader with 3,316. He broke the record Lou Gehrig held for more than 70 years, when he got his 2,722nd hit in September 2009.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Bud Selig, the commissioner of baseball, said, “In the 21-plus years in which I have served as commissioner, Major League Baseball has had no finer ambassador than Derek Jeter.”

He added, “Derek is the kind of person that generations have emulated proudly, and he remains an exemplary face of our sport.”

Jeter, who turns 40 in June, will enter the 2014 season with a .312 career batting average. He missed all but 17 games last season with assorted injuries, after never really coming back from a broken left ankle sustained in Game 1 of the 2012 American League Championship Series with the Detroit Tigers.

“Last year was a tough one for me,” Jeter said in his statement. “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.”

This isn’t entirely unexpected. Jeter enters 2014 in the final year of his contract with the Yankees and, after the trouble he had coming back from his 2012 post-season injury the idea that he wouldn’t be playing after 2014 was pretty much widespread among sportswriters and Yankee fans. Nonetheless, the announcement means the end of an era for the Yankees that began almost 20 years ago. Jeter was the last seasons retirement by Rivera and pitcher Andy Pettite, Jeter was the last active member of the “Core Four” teammates that guided the team to World Series wins in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2009, as well as a streak of playoff appearances that only ended with the 2013 season. It was arguably the most successful the Yankees had been over an extended period of time since the 1950s, if not since the days of the legendary Murderer’s Row. Additionally, like Rivera, Jeter has been among the best ambassadors for baseball from the day he stepped on the field, most notably because he, like Rivera, managed to avoid getting caught up in the PED scandals that have tainted the careers of players like fellow Pettitfe, Roger Clemens, and Alex Rodriguez. The hole he’ll leave in the game will be bigger than just the lack of his presence at the Shortstop’s position in the Yankees infield.

While it may not be quite the amount of fanfare that we saw during Rivera’s last year on the mound, there will no doubt be a number of tributes as the year unfolds and Jeter plays his final games at stadiums around the country. If everything works out, though, and Jeter stays healthy then he’ll be playing his final regular season game at Fenway Park against the Yankees’ arch rival, the Boston Red Sox on September 28th, and his final game at Yankee Stadium on September 25th against the Orioles, a team the Yankees often chased for a playoff spot in the 90s when Jeter first joined the team.

Jeter would be eligible for Hall of Fame induction beginning in 2019, one year later than Mariano Rivera who will most assuredly get inducted in his first-year of eligibility. I suspect we will see much the same for Jeter.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Jeter led the majors in hits in 2012

    He also always led the majors in class. I hate the Yankees, but never Jeter.

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  2. al-Ameda says:

    Oh god, now we get a whole season of insufferable media fawning and odes to Derek Jeter.

    What’s interesting is that Jeter was never the best shortstop in the game during his era, and he never won an MVP Award. He was however the undisputed leader of those Yankee teams that won championships. It’s been true since Babe Ruth played for the Yankees – do it in New York and you’re going to get a lot more credit than if you do it elsewhere.

    There is no doubt that he goes into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot and it will be damned close to unanimous, 95%-98%.

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  3. DrDaveT says:

    @al-Ameda: I hear ya, al-Ameda. I’m dreading the endless fawning paeans that we’ll have to endure.

    Jeter is the classic example of a player who is both a deserving hall-of-famer and vastly overrated.

    Jay Jaffe’s “JAWS” scores are pretty much the standard for measuring how hall-worthy a player is. Here are the all-time ratings for shortstops:

    Rank Player JAWS
    1 Honus Wagner HOF 98
    2 Alex Rodriguez 89.9
    3 Cal Ripken HOF 75.8
    4 George Davis HOF 64.6
    5 Robin Yount HOF 62.2
    6 Arky Vaughan HOF 61.8
    7 Ernie Banks HOF 59.8
    8 Ozzie Smith HOF 59.4
    9 Luke Appling HOF 59.1
    10 Bill Dahlen 57.7
    11 Alan Trammell 57.5
    12 Derek Jeter 56.9
    13 Barry Larkin HOF 56.6
    14 Bobby Wallace HOF 55.9
    15 Lou Boudreau HOF 55.8
    16 Joe Cronin HOF 55.2

    If you think Jeter is a no-brainer all-time great SS, but that Alan Trammell doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, you don’t know nearly as much about baseball as you think you do. (And you probably have a HOF vote…)

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  4. al-Ameda says:

    @DrDaveT:

    If you think Jeter is a no-brainer all-time great SS, but that Alan Trammell doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, you don’t know nearly as much about baseball as you think you do. (And you probably have a HOF vote…)

    A lot of this is highly subjective. For me Robin Yount was the all around best shortstop I ever saw – he was certainly my favorite. If Yount played in New York instead of Milwaukee …. Never mind, you know the deal.

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  5. DrDaveT says:

    @al-Ameda:

    A lot of this is highly subjective.

    Yeah, but it shouldn’t be. Baseball analytics have made enormous strides in the past 30 years. For offense and pitching, we know pretty much exactly how valuable every player in history was. For defense it’s harder, but we have a good estimate for every player and a very good estimate for every player since the ”90s.

    Yount was a great player, and he scores accordingly well by modern methods. His only knock in the “all-time greatest shortstops” discussion is that he was only a SS for half of his career. He was a very good but not all-time great center fielder for the other half. Ernie Banks has the same problem.

    Interestingly, Alex Rodriguez does too — but in his case, he didn’t stop playing SS because he couldn’t do it any more. He got moved to third because it was inconceivable that Jeter make room for him, even though ARod was the better SS by every available measure and Jeter’s skills set (quick reactions, accurate off-balance throws) was better suited to third base than ARod’s. Setting aside PED questions for the moment, Derek Jeter may be the reason that Alex Rodriguez wasn’t the most valuable shortstop ever.

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  6. al-Ameda says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Setting aside PED questions for the moment, Derek Jeter may be the reason that Alex Rodriguez wasn’t the most valuable shortstop ever.

    Oh I definitely agree with you on that.

    Rodriguez is a classic example of the adage, “be careful what you wish for.” New York, money, fame … it’s almost Shakesperian, in a fall from grace way.

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