Did Yankees push Derek Jeter to retire in 2014?

Derek Jeter in his last game at Yankee Stadium on September 25, 2014.

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After 20 years in pinstripes, Derek Jeter announced in 2014 that he was retiring from baseball. There was a lot of love and affection for the legendary New York Yankees captain as he played in his last season. But in his docuseries, “The Captain” Derek Jeter revealed a shady business aspect of his retirement.

In his docuseries, “The Captain,” Derek Jeter reflects on the high points of his career. The former Yankees great discussed several topics at length, including his retirement. While leaving the Yankees, Derek Jeter felt like he was being pushed out, as he explains in episode 6 of the docuseries. The former skipper also said that age and incompetence as a result of that age were contributing issues. From a business perspective, it seemed like a brutal decision for the Yankees.

Derek Jeter said, “Back then I thought that as players they didn’t appreciate what we’ve done for the organization. A lot of us were somewhat forced out. That’s how we felt as players back then.”

This is a stunning insight into Derek Jeter’s retirement as he talked about many variables that influenced his decision.

Derek Jeter has said clearly that he opted to retire due to the extensive preparation required for his last season as a player. The legend’s injuries had caught up with him and were impeding his recovery. But he had to retire also for business reasons.

The controversy over Derek Jeter’s retirement

The question of whether or not Derek Jeter should retire from baseball has been much debated in recent years. The fact that he’s 39 years old, he has a chronic ankle injury, and he’s been asked what it would take for him to be happy with his career all contribute to this.

Derek Jeter will have one more year to answer that question and give his career a better ending than it would have gotten after the 2013 season when he was hurt and only played in 17 games.

Highlight from Derek Jeter’s retirement announcement in 2014: The Yankees shortstop reportedly had to leave a message on Hal Steinbrenner’s voicemail when he phoned to break the news to The Boss’ son, according to a report by Newsday’s David Lennon.

Aaron Judge and Derek Jeter
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Derek Jeter: “Uh, hey Mr. Steinbrenner. This is your captain speaking…No wait, that’s awful, Derek. Anyway, just wanted to let you know…[deep breath] I’m Going To Retire After This Year. There, I said it. I’m going to be up all night writing something about it to post on Facebook and taking batting practice at 3 a.m., so call me back whenever.”

Hal Steinbrenner did not make an effort to influence Derek Jeter’s attitude about retirement.

After hearing the phone, Hal Steinbrenner immediately assumed it was Derek Jeter calling to discuss the upcoming season. According to Steinbrenner, Jeter informed him by phone that 2014 would be his final year in the major leagues. In front of a packed pavilion at George M. Steinbrenner Field, Derek Jeter had just explained his decision to retire from baseball.

Steinbrenner did not attempt to dissuade Jeter, the Yankees’ captain, from playing.

“I respect when an individual makes a decision like this because I know how much time and thought they put into it and it’s not my place to second guess, so to speak,” the Yankees’ managing general partner said.

Steinbrenner said that instead, he told Derek Jeter that he supports his choice, even though it surprised him.

Derek Jeter is with his family at Yankee Stadium.
AP

“He told me this was going to be his last year and gave me some thoughts about how he wanted to put the message out,” Steinbrenner said. “And I said, ‘Whatever you feel is appropriate. We’re with you.’ And that was it.

“Obviously I expressed everything he’s done with the organization and the family and how close he is to us and all that as well.”

Derek Jeter announced his retirement from baseball on Facebook later that day. According to him, the statement was written by himself.

Derek Jeter, one of the Yankees’ most admired captains, has come to symbolize the sport in the contemporary era. The baseball legend didn’t have time to celebrate his many accomplishments since his career as an athlete kept him so busy.

The Hall of Famer said in his docuseries about a hole in his life, “You know, my parents always talked about enjoying life, enjoying the moment. But I had a real tough time enjoying the moment because I just thought about what’s next, and it’s been that way for as long as I can remember. What’s next?”

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