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Shocker: Derek Jeter held a press conference and people showed up for it (photo)

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Clearly without anything better to do, pretty much every single reporter who could get their hands on a media credential was in attendance on Wednesday at Steinbrenner field when David Jeter took a seat on a metallic folding chair set behind a tiny table to officially acknowledge what he revealed last week in an announcement on Facebook: This will be the last year in his long, distinguished and enormously successful big league career.

The room was packed and those in attendance heard the following statements from Jeter regarding him impending retirement, as culled from an MLB.com report:

On his future after baseball:

“There are other things I want to do,” Jeter said. “I look forward to doing other things. This is a difficult job. I’ve put everything into it each and every year. It’s a 12-month job. It’s not a six-month season. It’s 12 months. … I’d like to [keep playing], but you can’t do it forever.”

On his teammates:

“My teammates, these are the guys that have made it fun for me,” Jeter said. “The banter back and forth, the battles we’ve been through, the highs and lows, they’ve really made this job — they’ve taken the monotony out of it. We’re playing every single day and I’ve been blessed to have some great teammates throughout the years.”

On what he expects out of this season:

“I expect each and every year to be successful,” he said. “That’s the bottom line. I expect to come out here, I expect to do my job, I expect to compete, I expect to help our team win. If my expectations ever changed, then I would have gone home a long time ago.

On why the time is right for the shortstop, who will turn 40 in June, to walk away:

“The game never came easy,” Jeter said. “It’s a very, very difficult game. I think coming to the field was easy because I’ve been blessed to have pretty much good health throughout my career. When you start coming to the stadium and it’s not fun anymore — and it wasn’t fun because I wasn’t playing — I think you start thinking about how long you want to do this. That’s how I came to my decision. It just became a job last year because of all the injuries.”

About beginning his career as a Yankee and ending it the same way:

“You try to play hard,” Jeter said. “You try to have respect for your team, your teammates, opponents, fans, reporters, everyone you come in contact in your job. You want to be remembered as someone who played hard. The thing that means the most to me is being remembered as a Yankee. … Being a Yankee’s good enough for me.

“The great thing about being a Yankee is you’re always a Yankee.”

Great quotes. And hey, at least Jeter didn’t refer to himself as kind of like Jesus.

The press conference was expected as a Yankees spokesperson — although the team was caught off-guard initially — revealed last week that Jeter had something more formal and official planned, but to hear Jeter actually say the words was sobering for Yankees fans, as well as fans who may not like the Yankees but have come to appreciate Jeter for the dignity and class in which he played the game and represented the feared but respected Evil Empire.

But hey, at least he didn’t refer to himself as “pretty close” to Jesus, something Albert Pujols did.

The fanfare — and the exorbitant ticket prices that reportedly will come along with it — that will ensue this season surely will match or even exceed what transpired last season during Mariano Rivera’s farewell tour, and, like the retired Yankees closer, the celebration of a marvelous career undoubtedly warranted.

(image via @Yankees)

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