Derek Jeter says '14 will be last year

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

"The 2014 season will be my last year playing professional baseball," the longtime  New York Yankees shortstop and captain said in a 15-paragraph note on the social media site.

Jeter called Hal Steinbrenner on Wednesday morning to inform him of his plan to retire. The Yankees' owner kept the news quiet, team president Randy Levine told ESPNNewYork.com.

"Derek called me this morning to tell me that he planned to retire following the season," Steinbrenner said in a statement. "In our conversation, I told him that I respected his decision because I know he put a lot of thought into it. I also let him know that I thought it was great that he was letting fans know now so they will have a chance to say goodbye to him."

Jeter, a certain Hall of Famer, said in the Facebook post: "Through it all, I've never stopped chasing the next [World Series title]. I want to finally stop the chase and take in the world."

Hampered by injuries last season, Jeter played in just 17 games and hit a career-low .190 with one home run and seven RBIs.

For his career, Jeter has 3,316 hits (ninth all time), a .312 batting average and 256 home runs. He ranks first in Yankees history in games played, at-bats, hits and stolen bases.

A five-time World Series champion and the 1996 AL Rookie of the Year, the 39-year-old Jeter would be eligible for the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot.

Joe Torre, who managed Jeter for the first four World Series titles of Jeter's career, praised the shortstop on Twitter.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi, in a statement, credited Jeter for being "a great representative of what the Yankees have stood for over the years."

Former closer Mariano Rivera, who enjoyed his own farewell tour last year with the Yankees, had some advice for the last remaining member of New York's "Core Four."

"Just enjoy it. Be ready to enjoy everything," Rivera said on "The Michael Kay Show." "I think he deserves it, I think he has earned it."

Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith added to the chorus of praises, saying he's looking forward to seeing Jeter in Cooperstown.

"I'd tell him, 'We've got a spot for you over here in Cooperstown, you're certainly a first-ballot Hall of Famer,' " Smith told ESPN.

"In the 21-plus years in which I have served as commissioner, Major League Baseball has had no finer ambassador than Derek Jeter," MLB commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "Since his championship rookie season, Derek has represented all the best of the national pastime on and off the field. He is one of the most accomplished and memorable players of his -- or any -- era."

Former teammate Tony Clark, now the executive director of the MLBPA, spoke to Jeter's character in a statement released Wednesday.

"I had the pleasure of playing against and with Derek," the statement read. "As his teammate in 2004, I had the privilege of seeing his leadership and professionalism manifest itself daily. A champion on and off the field, Derek's impact cannot be understated."

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