This past winter, Derek Jeter surprised baseball fans with his decision to retire from the game. While Yankees fans were upset to hear that they would lose this veteran team member and Yankees legend, Jeter may have made the right decision to end his MLB career at the end of the 2014 season.
According to Jeter’s official Facebook account, Jeter’s decision to retire was completely based off of the fact that baseball had started to feel like a job to him. Between struggling through numerous injuries and realizing that his body is much less capable than before, Jeter was very certain about his decision. Derek had the opportunity to live out his lifelong dream of being a successful shortstop for the New York Yankees. He therefore feels at peace with his decision to leave the team after a great 2 decade run. Now that Jeter will not have to commit every waking moment to baseball, he is looking forward to focusing on his personal life, business, and philanthropic work.
Jeter’s Drastic Performance Decline
Last year, Derek Jeter’s major ankle injury kept him out of the game for quite some time. While he has had a good amount of time to recover, Jeter is still looking weak, hurt, and slow on the field. Playing baseball is no longer coming as easy to Jeter, and if you watch closely you can see that he is really struggling. It is difficult for any professional athlete to know what their body was once able to do, and then to realize that it can no longer perform the same way. Jeter is no exception to this. He is an athlete who has had a long, successful career, but he is only human. He is struggling through past injuries, he is growing older, and it is both mentally and physically exhausting for Jerek to continue playing professional baseball.
The Fan Response
For longtime Yankees fans that have watched Jeter lead the team to championship after championship since 1995, it is difficult to accept that he will no longer be playing Major League Baseball. He is, in a sense, the Babe Ruth of our time. He is a loyal New York Yankees lifer, the Yankees all-time hits leader, and a valuable player with a career batting line of .312/.381/.446, 3,316 hits, and 1,876 runs. Jeter has been a crucial part of the Yankees team since his first season as a rookie, and he has never been at a loss for fan support. While it seems that fans respect that it is time for Jeter to leave the game behind, he is a player that they have cheered on for nearly 20 years and he will surely be missed.