Derek Jeter says '14 will be last year
"The 2014 season will be my last year playing professional baseball," the longtime New York Yankees shortstop and captain said in a 15-paragraph note on the social media site.
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Jeter called Hal Steinbrenner on Wednesday morning to inform him of his plan to retire. The Yankees' owner kept the news quiet, team president Randy Levine told ESPNNewYork.com.
"Derek called me this morning to tell me that he planned to retire following the season," Steinbrenner said in a statement. "In our conversation, I told him that I respected his decision because I know he put a lot of thought into it. I also let him know that I thought it was great that he was letting fans know now so they will have a chance to say goodbye to him."
Jeter, a certain Hall of Famer, said in the Facebook post: "Through it all, I've never stopped chasing the next [World Series title]. I want to finally stop the chase and take in the world."
Hampered by injuries last season, Jeter played in just 17 games and hit a career-low .190 with one home run and seven RBIs.
For his career, Jeter has 3,316 hits (ninth all time), a .312 batting average and 256 home runs. He ranks first in Yankees history in games played, at-bats, hits and stolen bases.
A five-time World Series champion and the 1996 AL Rookie of the Year, the 39-year-old Jeter would be eligible for the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot.
Joe Torre, who managed Jeter for the first four World Series titles of Jeter's career, praised the shortstop on Twitter.
Congrats to Derek Jeter on the announcement of his retirement today! A class act & character both on & off the field. A role model to many!- Joe Torre (@JoeTorre) February 12, 2014
Yankees manager Joe Girardi, in a statement, credited Jeter for being "a great representative of what the Yankees have stood for over the years."
Former closer Mariano Rivera, who enjoyed his own farewell tour last year with the Yankees, had some advice for the last remaining member of New York's "Core Four."
"Just enjoy it. Be ready to enjoy everything," Rivera said on "The Michael Kay Show." "I think he deserves it, I think he has earned it."
Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith added to the chorus of praises, saying he's looking forward to seeing Jeter in Cooperstown.
"I'd tell him, 'We've got a spot for you over here in Cooperstown, you're certainly a first-ballot Hall of Famer,' " Smith told ESPN.
"In the 21-plus years in which I have served as commissioner, Major League Baseball has had no finer ambassador than Derek Jeter," MLB commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "Since his championship rookie season, Derek has represented all the best of the national pastime on and off the field. He is one of the most accomplished and memorable players of his -- or any -- era."
Former teammate Tony Clark, now the executive director of the MLBPA, spoke to Jeter's character in a statement released Wednesday.
"I had the pleasure of playing against and with Derek," the statement read. "As his teammate in 2004, I had the privilege of seeing his leadership and professionalism manifest itself daily. A champion on and off the field, Derek's impact cannot be understated."
In his Facebook post, Jeter thanked "The Boss [George Steinbrenner], the Steinbrenner family, the entire Yankees organization" as well as managers, coaches, teammates, friends, family and the fans.
"I will remember it all: the cheers, the boos, every win, every loss, all the plane trips, the bus rides, the clubhouses, the walks through the tunnel and every drive to and from the Bronx," the post read. "I have achieved almost every personal and professional goal I have set. I have gotten the very most out of my life playing baseball, and I have absolutely no regrets."
Jeter's final series as a Yankee is set to be Sept. 26-28 at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox. And within minutes of Wednesday's announcement, ticket prices started soaring on the Web.
Ticket aggregator TiqIQ said the cheapest seat for Jeter's scheduled final game at about 2 p.m. ET, before Jeter's announcement was posted, was $26. An hour later, the site didn't have anything for less than $200.
Jim Holzman, CEO and president of Boston-based Ace Tickets, the largest broker in town, saw an uptick as well. Ace raised the prices for a bleacher seat from $129 to $149. A field-box seat jumped from $275 to $349.
As of 5:30 p.m. ET, the average ticket price for Jeter's last game was $1,153.01, up 278.2 percent from 2 p.m. ET.
"This last Jeter game is now a tougher ticket than the Opening Day ring ceremony," Holzman said. "Now that's a story."
Information from ESPN.com's Darren Rovell and ESPN's Willie Weinbaum is included in this report.
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