It’s a little unbelievable to think that it’s been 20 years since Derek Jeter began his career in Major League Baseball, and it even more unbelievable to think that now it’s ending. The 40-year-old New York Yankee has decided to retire and his team honored him over the weekend. The team captain was honored in a 45-minute ceremony on Sunday. The star-studded event included appearances by Cal Ripken Jr. and Michael Jordan.
“It’s kind of hard to believe that 20 seasons has gone by so quickly. You guys have all watched me grow up over the last 20 years. I’ve watched you, too. Some of you guys getting old, too. But I want to thank you for helping me feel like a kid for the last 20 years,” he said to his fans in the few minutes before the Yankees and Kansas City began playing.
Jeter is a 14-time All-Star, he’s part of the winningest franchise in Yankee’s history and he’s responsible for taking the team on to win three titles in 1998, 1999 and 2000. He played a part in the team’s 1996 World Series and he was named AL Rookie of the Year in 1996. He’s also been captain of the team since 2003. Most of the 2013 season was spent on the bench after Jeter broke his ankle. It wasn’t a complete surprise when he announced he was ready to retire earlier this year, but the sixth place career hitter felt it was time to call it a day.
“In my opinion, I’ve had the greatest job in the world. I got a change to be the shortstop for the New York Yankees, and there’s only one of those. I always felt as though it was my job, was to try to provide joy and entertainment for you guys, but it can’t compare to what you brought me.”
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)