Legend, Yankees’ Great Derek Jeter Retiring Succeeding 2014 Season


Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, New York Yankees’ shortstop Derek Jeter posted on his Facebook page that he will retire succeeding the 2014 season. Jeter’s legacy will not only include his on-field production, but also the way he conducted himself.

The Yankees selected Jeter with the sixth overall pick in the 1992 MLB Draft. According to PBSKids.org, “since he was a kid, playing shortstop for the New York Yankees is the only thing Derek Jeter has ever wanted to do.”

Jeter was very productive in the Yankees’ Minor League System, according to Biography.com.. This allowed him the opportunity to fulfill his goal in 1995.

The Yankees’ starting shortstop for the 1995 season was Tony Fernandez. On May 23, 1995, the Yankees placed Fernandez on the 15-day Disabled List, DL, according to Jack O’Connell of The Courant.

They initially promoted Robert Eenhoorn instead of, their top minor league prospect, Jeter. according to O’Connell. Eenhoorn went hitless, 0-7, in three games with the Yankees.

Succeeding Eenhoorn’s three games, they decided to call-up Jeter.

On May 29, 1995, the Yankees called-up 20-year-old Jeter prior to a road game against the Seattle Mariners, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Jeter’s first big league hit was a single the following day. Former Yankees’ manager Buck Showalter  told Jack Curry of The New York Times in 2009 his reaction to seeing the hit.

"“Showalter said he remembered Jeter’s first hit was a single, but he was more interested in recalling his intangibles. ‘You knew that Derek wasn’t going to embarrass himself,” Showalter said. “Whatever it was, he was going to figure it out.’”"

Jeter played 13 games with the Yankees before being sent back to the Minor Leagues.

On June 11, 1995, the Yankees sent Jeter and recently retired closer Mariano Rivera to the Minors; Triple-A Columbus. Jeter told Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, SI, how he and Rivera originally felt about being sent back to the Minor Leagues in 2013.

"We were devastated. You can say depressed. Once you come here, you never want to go back. . . . It wasn’t exactly current times back then, you know what I’m saying? We had the Boss then. You don’t do your job and he’ll trade you in a minute. Kids have it easy nowadays. Seriously. It’s so different now.”"

Then Yankees’ first baseman Don Mattingly told Jeter, “You’ll be back,” according to Curry. Mattingly turned out to be right.

The Yankees had Jeter called-up again as one of their September call-ups. He had a double in his only at-bat during Sept. 1995.

Prior to the 1996 season, the Yankees named Jeter the team’s starting shortstop. He has achieved numerous regular season accomplishments.

These include leading the American League, AL, in runs scored, once and hits, twice. He also has finished inside the league’s top 10 for Most Valuable Player, MVP, voting eight times and won five Golden Gloves.

These accomplishments can make any player be deemed by fans as a ‘very good’ player. Jeter’s career is viewed as legendary because of his regular season and postseason success.

He has led the Yankees to five World Series titles in seven appearances. This includes being named the MVP for the 2000 World Series.

This has led to him leading numerous career postseason batting categories. These categories include most games played, hits, total bases and runs scored.

Jeter is a member of the 3,000 hit club and owns three franchise batting records. His tremendous success during the regular season and postseason has helped him have a ‘legendary’ career.

The Yankees’ contract with Jeter had a team option for the 2014 season. On Nov. 1, 2013, the Yankees signed Jeter to a one-year, $12 million contract, according to Dayn Perry of CBSSports.com.

It was unknown how many more years Jeter planned on playing until Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Jeter posted a letter to his Facebook page that the 2014 season will be his final season. One part of it best summarized his feelings on his playing career.

"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. I have achieved almost every personal and professional goal set. I have gotten the very most out of my life playing baseball, and I have absolutely no regrets.”"

The onset of this news has evoked a wide range of emotions in people as they recollect on Jeter’s legendary career.

Numerous Yankees’ players are disliked by non-Yankees fans for a variety of reasons. Jeter was one of the few Yankees who were respected by non-Yankees’ fans.

Among the non-Yankees’ fans who voiced their opinions of Jeter’s career in a Facebook message was Brendan.

"Derek Jeter is not only a once in a lifetime baseball player but he is a once in a lifetime leader and ambassador for the sport,” Brendan said. Everything he has ever done in pinstripes has been done at a high level and with unrivaled class; I like many fans will miss Derek Jeter.”"

Jeter has been viewed by numerous fans as a class act because there were never any reports that teammates or opponents had a problem with him.

There was one other non-Yankees’ fan, Ryan, whose opinion of Jeter’s career in a Facebook message stood out.

"Not only is he class-personified, but his drive and sportsmanship is unrivaled in the game of baseball,” Ryan said. “He has exhibited a level of professionalism throughout his illustrious career that is unmatched and should not be taken for granted, nor forgotten.”"

Jeter has been viewed by numerous fans as having an illustrious career because of the numerous accomplishments he has been able to achieve during the regular season and postseason.

There were numerous Yankees’ fans that were devastated by the news. The ‘Captain’ has been one of the most adored players in the franchise’s history.

Among the Yankees’ fans who voiced their opinion of Jeter’s career in a Facebook message was Walter.

"Jeter has been a incredibly consistent player for his entire career,’ Walter said. “I’m happy we get to watch him for one more year just like we did with “Mo” last year.”"

Jeter has been the definition of consistency because he has had at least 100 runs scored in 13 seasons, .300 batting average in 12 seasons and 190 hits in 11 seasons.

There was one other Yankees’ fan, Darren, whose opinion of Jeter’s career in a Facebook message stood out.

"No one personifies what the New York Yankees are about then Derek Jeter,” Darren said. “Through his class, determination to winning, professionalism he is an everlasting symbol of the New York Yankees franchise and he will forever be missed.”"

Jeter has been viewed by numerous fans as a winner because of his 16 postseason appearances and five World Series titles.

As shown by the aforementioned quotes by non-Yankees and Yankees’ fans quotes, Jeter will go down as a beloved and/or respected player by baseball fans regardless of his 2014 season success. Jeter will attempt to add another World Series ring to his collection this season.

Unless the Baseball Hall of Fame voters make a monumental blunder, he will add a Hall of Fame plaque to his baseball resume in 2020.

In the sections below, the EmpireWriteBack’s co-editors’ give their thoughts of Derek Jeter’s career:

"The type of player every team wishes they had.” Co-editor James McDermott said. “A workhorse type of guy who played nearly 20 years for the same franchise (which is unheard of nowadays) and playing a premium defensive position very well while producing offensive numbers well above the average player at that position. An undeniably great player, but especially great at the most important moment, which will ultimately be his legacy.”His performance on and off the field is indicative of why millions of aspiring young baseball players have yearned to be like him when they are older,” Co-editor Noah Weintraub said."