Derek Jeter Retiring from Baseball After 2014

 AP Images

Derek Jeter announced Wednesday that the 2014 baseball season will be his last.

The 39-year-old shortstop thanked his fans and revealed the reason behind his retirement in a 15-paragraph letter on Facebook, which read in part:

"Last year was a tough one for me. 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.

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"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. So really it was months ago when I realized that this season would likely be my last.

"As I came to this conclusion and shared it with my friends and family, they all told me to hold off saying anything until I was absolutely 100 percent sure. And the thing is, I could not be more sure. I know it in my heart. The 2014 season will be my last year playing professional baseball," said the beloved veteran player, who signed a one-year, $12 million contract in Nov. 2013. 

"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 I have set. I have gotten the very most out of my life playing baseball, and I have absolutely no regrets."

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Jeter was hampered by injuries recently, including an ankle fracture, plus quadricep and calf strains.

After being drafted by the Yankees in 1992 out of high school, Jeter joined the major leagues in 1995 and has since won five World Series championships, including being named MVP in 2000, and has been a member of 13 MLB All Star teams. 

By Wednesday evening, the Facebook post already had sparked 9,000 comments from supporters and 50,000 likes, with former Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre tweeting his admiration.  

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