The famous "Core Four" lost two key members in 2013 when Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte both retired following the end of the season. Now, in 2014, the final one that is left standing will also ride off into the sunset.
In an stunning announcement on his own Facebook page, New York Yankees shortstop and captain Derek Jeter announced his plan to retire from baseball following the 2014 season and end a remarkable career that will lead him into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
"Last year was a tough one for me. As I suffered through a bunch of injuries, I realized that some of the things that came easily to me and were always fun had started to become a struggle. I always said to myself was that when baseball started to feel more like a job, it was time to move forward. As I came to this conclusion and shared it with my family and friends, they all told me to hold off saying anything until I was 100% sure. I could not be more sure. I know in my heart, the 2014 season will be my last playing professional baseball."
Jeter, in his statement, refers to the struggles of the 2013 season, as he spent 90 percent of the season on the disabled list with multiple injuries from a fractured ankle and a strained calf. Jeter played in just 17 games last year, hit .190 with one home run and seven RBI in a lost season for the Yankees.
Jeter heads into the season with 3,316 career hits to go along with five World Series championships and a World Series MVP award he won back in 2000. His 3,000th career hit was notched on July 9, 2011 against Tampa Bay Rays' ace David Price; a solo home run that was crushed into the left field bleachers at Yankee Stadium.
Last year's season for the Yankees, despite finishing 85-77 and missing the playoffs, was focused around the retirement of Rivera and his send-off from not only the Yankees, but from all of the other teams around the league. There's a very good chance that teams around the league will be doing the same for the Yankee captain in 2014.
Jeter will get one last chance this season to attempt to end his career with a sixth and final World Series title and ride off into the sunset on top, something many Yankee fans were hoping to do for Rivera and Pettitte in 2013, but will now try to do for their longtime captain, shortstop and future Hall of Famer.
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