Derek Jeter announced Wednesday that the 2014 season will be his last. The early notice gives the Yankees and MLB time to coordinate a retirement tour for the longtime shortstop that will allow him to receive national exposure and praise.
“Derek Jeter has been a great baseball player for 20 years,” said commissioner Bud Selig. “But I don’t know if fans are truly aware of him and what he has accomplished in this sport. A farewell tour will give us the opportunity to shine a spotlight on Derek Jeter for a change.”
Yankees president Randy Levine said the organization plans to “pull out all the stops” for the shortstop’s farewell tour.
“This is probably our last, best chance to get some national attention for Derek Jeter,” said Levine. “Well, until his Hall of Fame eligibility comes up. And not counting the many media and endorsement opportunities he’ll get after this year, but those aren’t really related to us. We need to capitalize on the limited opportunity of these upcoming 162 games over the next six short months to make sure the nation and the world knows about Derek Jeter.”
Selig says he is “completely on board” with any and all plans to honor Jeter.
“You don’t want to look back at the end of this season, at the end of his career, and say that you missed any opportunities to give Derek Jeter publicity,” said Selig. “As such, we are planning to honor him with pregame, in-game and postgame ceremonies during every MLB game this season, even those in which the Yankees are not playing. Also, working in conjunction with ESPN and YES Network, a Derek Jeter Farewell Tour Channel will launch in late March.”
If all the planned Jeter farewell tour festivities do not fit into the 2014 schedule, it is expected that Jeter will return for the 2015 season to be sufficiently honored.
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