BOSTON (CBS) — For 15 years, Derek Jeter has been the face of the New York Yankees. That time, however, is coming to a close.
Jeter took to Facebook on Wednesday afternoon to announce that 2014 will be his final season in baseball.
“Last year was a tough one for me,” Jeter wrote in a message. “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.”
Jeter, 39, played in just 17 games for the Yankees last season, his first year without an All-Star appearance since 2005. He had averaged playing 151 games per season from 1996-2012. He signed a one-year extension with the Yankees last November for $12 million, and it’s set to now be his final contract in MLB.
“The thing is, I could not be more sure,” Jeter wrote. “I know it in my heart. The 2014 season will be my last year playing professional baseball.”
A farewell tour is likely in order for Jeter, who watched as Mariano Rivera was showered with gifts and praise at many visiting ballparks during the closer’s final season. The final game on the Yankees schedule, should they fall short of reaching the playoffs, is a Sunday afternoon affair in Boston at Fenway Park.
“From the time I was a kid, my dream was always very vivid and it never changed: I was going to be the shortstop for the NY Yankees,” Jeter wrote. “It started as an empty canvas more than 20 years ago, and now that I look at it, it’s almost complete. In a million years, I wouldn’t have believed just how beautiful it would become.”
Jeter is a five-time World Series champion and 13-time All-Star in his 19 seasons with the Yankees, and he’s made upwards of $250 million in his career as the most famous player on one of the most recognizable franchises in the entire world.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”