sport

Jeter set for final season

New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has announced he will retire at the end of the 2014 MLB season.

The 39-year-old confirmed the news in a statement on his Facebook page.

"The 2014 season will be my last year playing professional baseball," Jeter said in the statement.

Jeter, who is the captain of the Yankees and has been with the franchise for his entire career since making his debut in May 1995, missed much of last season due to a series of injuries.

"Last year was a tough one for me. As I suffered through a bunch of injuries, I realised that some of the things that had always come easily to me and were always fun had started to become a struggle," the New Jersey native added.

"So really it was months ago when I realised that this season would likely be my last.

"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 per cent sure.

"And the thing is, I could not be more sure."

Jeter, who was restricted to just 17 games in 2013, has a .312 batting average and 256 home runs over his career.

The 13-time All Star is a five-time World Series champion and was named World Series MVP when picking up his fourth title in 2000.

Jeter and the Yankees are due to begin the new season in Houston on April 1, when they tackle the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner was pleased to learn Jeter would not be retiring with immediate effect, and paid a fond tribute.

Steinbrenner said on the team's website: "He is unquestionably one of the greatest Yankees ever. He has meant so much to fans, the organisation, my father and our family. I'm glad we have this year to celebrate everything he has meant to us and all the great things he still stands to accomplish."

MLB commissioner Bud Selig saluted Jeter's impact on baseball in the United States.

"In the 21-plus years in which I have served as commissioner, Major League Baseball has had no finer ambassador than Derek Jeter," Selig said.

"Since his championship rookie season of 1996, 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.

"Derek is the kind of person that generations have emulated proudly, and he remains an exemplary face of our sport. Major League Baseball looks forward to celebrating his remarkable career throughout the 2014 season."