Well everyone saw it coming with the retirement of Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte this past season. I guess that is everyone besides Yankees’ first baseman Mark Teixeira. In a tweet by MLB Network Public Relations we found out how Teixeira felt when he heard the news,
@MLBNetworkPR: Teixeira on Jeter: I was shocked. I really did not see this coming at all.
I’m sorry but I think that’s pretty hilarious. But back to the real matter – the Yankees are aging. I for one still think of guys like Jeter, Pettitte and A-Rod as if they are still kids – like I can still picture Alex Rodriquez on the Mariners and who thinks about that anymore – not just because of the steroid scandal but because of the publicity his move to the Texas Rangers and consequently New York Yankees brought … and the steroid scandal and subsequent suspension of course.
I just expected that Jeter would be hanging up his cleats sooner than later. Sooner is almost always a better way for a player of any sport to go out. They go out still on top and that is exactly what the Yankees’ captain will do, after this season at least … Sometimes the “keep playing until you can’t play anymore” way of going does work out. Look at guys like Jamie Moyer who pitched almost up until the day he turned 50 or Bartolo Colon who had an insane year last year – which was also the year he turned 40! But for most guys, especially one as high profile and widely beloved as Jeter, it is better to go out on top and still healthy. Besides it isn’t as though Derek Jeter won’t be voted into the Hall Of Fame in a few years time right? He is DEREK JETER!
In his 19-year career Jeter played in 2602 games, batted at a .312 average with 256 home runs and 1261 RBI. He was an excellent defensive second baseman, a good teammate (which is why he was named Captain of the Yankees) and overall a class act.
Honestly, I didn’t even really feel the need to write a blog on this which is why it is going to be extraordinarily short and slightly dull but I couldn’t let the moment pass without at least addressing it. Jeter has made a HUGE impact on the game. Not quite or even close to the impact that Mariano Rivera made and he did so a lot more quietly but Jeter was in the lime light his entire career, made an impact professionally in the sport and will leave a lasting impression that will not be forgotten ….
Here is a copy of Derek Jeter’s letter announcing his retirement and saying thank you to the sport, the Yankees, his teammates and the fans.