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Published February 12, 2014, 01:49 PM

Yankees stalwart Jeter to retire after 2014 season

(CNN) -- Derek Jeter, who led the Yankees to five World Series titles during his first 19 seasons, announced Wednesday that he will retire at the end of the 2014 major league baseball season.

By: CNN Staff, CNN

(CNN) -- Derek Jeter, who led the Yankees to five World Series titles during his first 19 seasons, announced Wednesday that he will retire at the end of the 2014 major league baseball season.

"I could not be more sure. I know it in my heart. The 2014 season will be my last year playing professional baseball," the Yankees captain and shortstop said in a note posted on his Facebook page.

Jeter, who is 10th on the all-time hits leader list with 3.316 hits, missed most of the 2013 season because of ankle injury.

"I know they say that when you dream you eventually wake up. Well, for some reason, I've never had to wake up. Not just because of my time as a New York Yankee but also because I am living my dream every single day," wrote Jeter, who was a 13-time all-star and the face of America's most famous baseball franchise.

USA Today baseball columnist Bob Nightengale said on Twitter that Jeter was "one of the finest class acts in any sport."

With his boyish good looks and ability to get base hits in clutch situations, Jeter charmed New York and led the Yankees resurgence from a franchise that had struggled in the early 1990s.

He helped the Yankees to a World Series crown as a 22-year-old shortstop.

"In the 21-plus years in which I have served as commissioner, Major League Baseball has had no finer ambassador than Derek Jeter," Bud Selig said in a written statement. "He is one of the most accomplished and memorable players of his -- or any -- era."

Jeter, through his goodbye letter, said he wants to focus on new challenges like business, charitable work and starting a family. And finally having a summer vacation.

The Yankees will begin the regular season on April 1 at Houston.

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