Derek Jeter formally announced that this season would be his last in the big leagues on Wednesday in Florida. The New York Yankees star shortstop has had a remarkable career.
He’s won five World Series titles, been selected to 13 All-Star Games, received five Gold Gloves and is in the 3,000-hit club. He’s also been idolized by several younger players, including Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus.
Andrus lists Jeter and fellow Venezuelan Omar Vizquel as his idols growing up, and he is sad to see Jeter leaving the game after what will be his 20th season.
“It’s kind of sad for me and for baseball,” Andrus said. “I really enjoy watching him play, the same way I did the last year I played with Omar [in 2009]. It’s amazing. They have extraordinary careers, they’re really role model guys and hopefully you’re blessed to have a career close to those guys.”
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The respect people have for Jeter is felt throughout the game and in opposing clubhouses. Manager Ron Washington raved about Jeter on Tuesday afternoon during the Cactus League Media Day.
“Winner, winner, winner, winner, winner,” said Washington, surprisingly saying ‘winner’ five times to match Jeter’s World Series titles.
“He makes everyone better, always has and has been very respectful of the game. Very respectful of all the people that’s in the game and very influential. He’s always willing to lend an ear, always willing to give advice. The Yankees have won 27 World Series championships and I think he’s won [five] of them. And he did it with class, with style and a lot of turnover.
“The game of baseball is going to miss Derek a lot. Not only the competition that he brings, but just the fact of the class person that he is. It had to happen at some time and I’m glad he was able to do it on his own terms.”