Derek Jeter, the New York Yankees shortstop whose star-studded career coincided with the revival of baseball's most iconic franchise, announced that the 2014 season will be his last.
In a post on his Facebook fan page, Jeter, 39, said the 2013 season – in which he played just 17 games due to a broken ankle – " was a tough one for me," and that "some of the things that came easy to me became a struggle."
"So really it was months ago when I realized that this season would likely be my last," Jeter wrote. "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% sure."
He enters his final season with 3,316 hits, 10th on the all-time list. He was the 1996 American League Rookie of the Year, a season in which the Yankees won the first of five World Series championships with him as their shortstop.
Jeter wrote: "I will remember it all: the cheers, the boos, every win, all the plane trips, the bus rides, the clubhouses, the walks through the tunnel and every drive to and from the Bronx."
Jeter's final game, barring a Yankees playoff appearance, will come on Sept. 28 at Fenway Park. His final game at Yankee Stadium will be Sept. 25, against the Baltimore Orioles.
Save for a freak shoulder injury suffered in a 2003 baserunning collision, Jeter was a remarkably durable player throughout his career. But the beginning of the end came on Oct. 13, 2012, when he fractured his ankle during Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers.
The injury required off-season surgery, and while Jeter returned during spring training, he suffered another ankle fracture, delaying his 2013 debut until July 11. A quadriceps injury, however, put him back on the disabled list after just one game, and he did not play again after Sept. 7.