Ahead of having his number retired, former New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter had a special message for his fans.
A video of New Yorkers reading the letter was also created. Jeter started the letter with the story of growing up in Kalamazoo, Michigan and dreaming about moving to the Big Apple.
“Thank you, New York, for asking a lot of me. For challenging me. For giving this kid a place to grow up,” he wrote. “I wasn’t born a New Yorker — you asked me to earn it. I wasn’t born a Yankee, but you made me into one. Everyone comes to this city with dreams of being No. 1. You showed me that being No. 2 was more than enough.”
He went on to say: “It was a little girl’s tip of her cap, or a shout from across the street, or a rallying chant from the upper decks of Yankee Stadium that made its way down to the field.” he wrote. “Or the support from teammates who taught me about the spirit of this city: That we’re all in this together, and we have to look out for one another.”
He then added, “And throughout 20 years in pinstripes, I learned that despite the pace and the pressure, one code truly makes this city go: Get up each day, put on your uniform, go to work, do your best, and don’t make excuses.That’s all New York ever really asks for. And that’s what I tried to do. New York, I’ll never forget how you looked out for me.”
The former Yankees captain retired after the 2014 season. He won five Series titles, was a World Series MVP, and a 14-time All-Star. The former shortstop is currently sixth on the all-time hits list with 3,465, behind Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, and Tris Speaker.
Jeter will have his number retired on Sunday, and the Yankees will become the first MLB team to retire every single-digit jersey number when it happens.