By THOMAS KILKENNY ’15
Yankees captain and all star shortstop Derek Jeter announced yesterday, February 17th, that the 2014 season will be his last. Jeter will be retiring after his 20th year as a New York Yankee. He announced his retirement through a letter posted on Facebook where he mentioned, “Through it all, I’ve never stopped chasing the next. (World Series) I want to finally stop the chase and take in the world.” With 13 All Star selections, five Gold Glove Awards, five Silver Slugger Awards, two Hank Aaron awards and a Roberto Clemente award, Jeter’s accolades speak for themselves. Jeter is the all-time Major League Baseball leader in hits by a shortstop, and the 28th player to reach 3,000 hits. And let’s not forget that that 3,000th hit was a home run.
Despite Jeter’s accomplishments on the field, that is not the only reason why he has become such a Yankee fan favorite. The Captain has been a symbol for the Yankees since his first 1996 season. Yankees manager and former teammate of Jeter, Joe Girardi mentioned how Jeter has been “a great representative of what the Yankees stood for both on and off the field.” People associate him as being a class act both on and off the field. When asked how he felt about Jeter retiring after this season, John Barchella ’15 said, “It still hasn’t sunk in yet. All my life I have known #2 as the captain, so to see such an iconic symbol leave not only the Yankees, but the game of baseball is sad. I hope he is able to stay healthy this season and end his hall of fame career on the highest note possible. Bring home World Series #28 for #2!”
Jeter’s accomplishments combined with professionalism and leadership qualities make him the perfect fit for the few chosen Yankee captains and soon to be hall of famer. Although Jeter’s tenure is coming to a close, he still has one more shot at it. You can bet that the Yankee great will leave it all on the field.