NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — It was only a matter of time, of course. The Yankees announced Tuesday morning that they will retire Derek Jeter’s No. 2 jersey officially next May 14, part of a ceremony that will include presenting a plaque in Monument Park to the iconic shortstop.
Jeter will be the 22nd Yankee to have his number retired and the first since former teammates Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte were honored during the 2015 season. It will be the 21st number retired by the club (No. 8 was retired for Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey in 1972). Jeter wore the last Yankees jersey with a single-digit numeral.
The clock was ticking on this honor from the moment just before spring training 2014 that Jeter announced his intent to retire after the season.
“There’s nobody more deserving,” team president Randy Levine said Tuesday afternoon at a news conference for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at the Stadium.
Jeter, the team’s first-round pick in 1992 (selected sixth overall), won five World Series (1996, 1998-2000, 2009). The 14-time All-Star is the franchise leader in hits (3,465), games (2,747), doubles (544), stolen bases (358), at-bats (11,195), singles (2,595) and hit-by-pitches (170).
Jeter had eight seasons with at least 200 hits, making him one of two players in franchise history along with Lou Gehrig (eight) with as many as four. Jeter is sixth on the career hit list.
Though his final season was a struggle — a .256/.304/.313 slash line in 145 games — he did end his career memorably. He hit a walk-off single against the Orioles in his final home game. Jeter’s preference would have been to end it there, but out of respect for the rivalry with the Red Sox, he played three days later at Fenway Park in the season finale. He went 1-for-2, coming out for pinch runner Brian McCann after getting an infield hit off Clay Buchholz.
“You can’t top what happened Thursday, I don’t care if I came to Boston and I hit a home run every single at-bat, if I hit four home runs while I was here,” Jeter said after the last game at Fenway. “It just couldn’t top what happened because New York’s been a special place for me. The way that game ended, at home, you couldn’t have written a script that I would have bought into. So when I got here, I was just ready. I’m ready for my career to be over with.”
Asked to describe his 20-season career, Jeter used the word “fun.”
“I had a blast,” he said. “Listen, I had an opportunity to do what I wanted to do, the only thing that I ever wanted to do, and I know not a lot of people can say that. There isn’t a thing I would change.”
With Colin Stephenson in New York
Derek Jeter’s No. 2 joins these Yankees whose numbers have been retired:
No. Player Year No. Retired
1 Billy Martin 1986
3 Babe Ruth 1948
4 Lou Gehrig 1939
5 Joe DiMaggio 1952
6 Joe Torre 2014
7 Mickey Mantle 1969
8 Bill Dickey 1972
Yogi Berra 1972
9 Roger Maris 1984
10 Phil Rizzuto 1985
15 Thurman Munson 1979
16 Whitey Ford 1974
20 Jorge Posada 2015
23 Don Mattingly 1997
32 Elston Howard 1984
37 Casey Stengel 1970
42 Mariano Rivera 2015
44 Reggie Jackson 1993
46 Andy Pettitte 2015
49 Ron Guidry 2003
51 Bernie Williams 2015