Derek Jeter is about to take the New York Yankees on another grand farewell tour.
Going into his 20th season as the Yankees’ shortstop, Jeter announced Wednesday that this will be his last.
“For the last 20 years I’ve been completely focused on two goals: playing my best and helping the Yankees win,” Jeter wrote in a letter posted on his Facebook page. “That means that for 365 days a year, my every thought and action were geared toward that goal. It’s now time for something new.”
He added: “I could not be more sure. I know it in my heart. The 2014 season will be my last year playing professional baseball.”
After winning American League rookie of the year honors in 1996, Jeter has become the face and undisputed leader of a Yankees team that has won five World Series titles in the last two decades.
Jeter was the MVP of the 2000 World Series and is a 13-time All-Star. Citing an injury-plagued season from a year ago, he wrote that things that “were always fun had started to become a struggle.”
He said he wants to pursue other business and philanthropic interests as well as start a family.
Last season legendary closer Mariano Rivera retired with much fanfare throughout the league. Much of the same is to be expected regarding Jeter this year.
“I want to soak in every moment of every day this year, so I can remember it for the rest of my life,” Jeter wrote. “And most importantly, I want to help the Yankees reach our goal of winning another championship.”