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Praise pours in for Jeter upon impending retirement

Reuters

(Reuters) - Following is a sampling of reaction to New York Yankees long-time shortstop Derek Jeter's announcement on Wednesday that he planned to retire at the end of the 2014 season.

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Statement from Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner:

"He is unquestionably one of the greatest Yankees ever. He has meant so much to fans, the organization, my father and our family. I'm glad we have this year to celebrate everything he has meant to us and all the great things he still stands to accomplish."

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Statement from Tony Clark, Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director:

"For nearly 20 years, there has been no greater ambassador to the game of baseball than Derek Jeter. Day in and day out, on the world's greatest stage, and through the peaks and valleys of a 162-game schedule, Derek consistently demonstrates awe-inspiring levels of passion, determination and excellence.

"I had the pleasure of playing against and with Derek. As his team mate in 2004, I had the privilege of seeing his leadership and professionalism manifest itself daily.

"A champion on and off the field... Not only does he make the game better, he makes lives better through his Turn2 charitable foundation. Derek has set the standard that we should all strive to achieve."

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Pete Rose, baseball's all-time hits leader, to ESPN radio:

"First ballot Hall of Famer, one of the best of all time.

"What did Derek do? Comes to the ballpark every day, keeps his mouth shut, plays the game, scores runs, plays hard on defense, gets base hits and wins games. That's all you want from a player.

"You get the same things every night. He's the most consistent player the last 15 years. He plays hard every day. He approaches the game the same way every day. I love that guy."

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Statement from Yankees manager Joe Girardi:

"Derek Jeter has been a great representative of what the Yankees have stood for over the years. He has been a team player who has only cared about winning. He has also been a fine example both on and off the field over his long tenure as a Yankee."

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Former Yankee manager Joe Torre to ESPN radio:

"I guess it's time. You know this day is coming but you're not necessarily looking forward to it. A couple of years of being injured, I'm sure he's had a lot of time to think about it.

"I'm being inducted (to the Baseball Hall of Fame) in July. And if it wasn't for the fact that he was one of my players, I doubt if I'd have been in that situation."

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Statement from Yankees general manager Brian Cashman:

"It has been an incredible honor having a front row seat for one of the great players of all time. Derek has been a winner every step of the way. I am already looking forward to an exciting final chapter of his storied career."

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Paul O'Neil to ESPN radio:

"With Derek retiring you can close the book on all that (the golden Yankees run under manager Torre).

"It will probably even make it more special, because there will be nothing out on the field to remind people of that era other than the (video) clips."

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Statement from Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig:

"In the 21-plus years in which I have served as commissioner, Major League Baseball has had no finer ambassador than Derek Jeter.

"Since his championship rookie season of 1996, Derek has represented all the best of the National Pastime on and off the field. He is one of the most accomplished and memorable players of his - or any - era."

(Compiled by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)

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