Derek Jeter, one of the most beloved Yankees of all time, explained his decision to retire at the end of the season in a press conference Wednesday in Tampa.
''I took a lot of time thinking about this,'' he said. ''I've been very vocal on how disappointing last year was, how hard it was for me to come to the stadium each and every day. You start thinking about how long do you really want to do this?
''And let me say one thing is, this is not a retirement little press conference. I still have a season to play. This is just letting you guys know that this is going to be my last year.
''But I felt as though it was the right time. I've been doing this for a long time. This will be parts of 20 seasons that I've been playing here in New York and parts of 23 if you count the minor leagues. So I just think I've done it for long enough, and I look forward to doing some other things in my life.''
Jeter will make $12 million in his final season.
And you can be sure the Yankees – and teams throughout baseball – will recoup far more than that as he fills up stadiums during his farewell tour.
Tickets for his final regular-season game (on Sept. 28 at Fenway Park) immediately jumped to more than $1,000 following his announcement last week that this would be his final season.
Tickets for his final regular-season game at Yankee Stadium (Sept. 25 vs. Baltimore) figure to go for even higher.
And that's now – when no one knows if Jeter will make it through a full season.
Last year, he was limited to just 17 games.
Jeter said he isn't concerned about his health.
"Physically I feel great and I look forward to playing a full season," he said.
His bigger concern is making sure his final regular-season games are not his final games. But he insisted, this season, is not about him.
When told his teammates want to send him off with a sixth World Series ring, Jeter was quick to show his team-first added.
"I have to correct them on one thing, it is to send us all out on top," he said.
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