Ryan Braun, the 2011 Nationwide League MVP and franchise house run king for the Milwaukee Brewers, introduced his retirement Tuesday.
The six-time All-Star choice has not performed this season after turning into a free agent when the Brewers declined to train a $15 million mutual possibility in his contract final October.
“I’ve weighed this determination for a lot of months,” Braun, 37, mentioned in a video posted to social media by the Brewers. “Whereas I nonetheless love this sport very a lot, the time is correct for me to retire from my taking part in days.
“It is tough to explain my feelings at this time, but it surely begins with overwhelming gratitude to those that have shared this expertise with me whereas providing their unconditional assist at each flip. … I’ll without end recognize the most effective followers within the sport and the numerous individuals who got here out to the ballpark night time after night time, making Milwaukee the best metropolis to play the sport.”
In addition to his 352 home runs, Braun, who played all 14 of his MLB seasons with the Brewers, ranks second in franchise history in career RBIs (1,154), extra-base hits (809), total bases (3,525) and doubles (408). He ranks third in runs (1,080), hits (1,963), triples (49), stolen bases (216) and walks (586).
“I am so fortunate to have enjoyed a 14-year career wearing the jersey of one team, and even more grateful that team is the Milwaukee Brewers,” Braun said. “I am retiring today from Major League Baseball, but my love for all those who supported me continues to grow. I cherish great memories from my time with the Brewers and will continue to build on the many friendships made in this amazing city.”
Braun batted a career-low .233 in 2020 with seven homers and 27 RBIs in 39 games while dealing with a back issue. He came on strong late in the season and had a .958 OPS in September.
His back issues prevented him from playing in the Brewers’ first-round playoff loss to the eventual World Series-champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
Braun was one of baseball’s best hitters from 2007 to 2012, but was never the same after he was suspended midway through the 2013 season for using performance-enhancing drugs. He acknowledged that he took banned substances while rehabilitating an injury and apologized.
From 2014 on, Braun never played more than 144 games in a season and reached the 30-homer mark once after topping 30 homers five times in his first six years, including an NL-leading 41 in 2012. Still, he remained a key contributor for the Brewers.
“I always thought that the way Ryan’s last six or seven years went, he should be incredibly proud with how those years went,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “He should be incredibly proud of that. At that point, he had a story to write. He didn’t know how it was going to go, and I think he wrote a great story and that he should be proud of that.”
Braun was teammates with Counsell early in his career before eventually playing for him.
“What I always tell Ryan is, I always joke with him that, ‘Maybe besides your mom and your dad, I have seen you play baseball probably more than anyone in the world.’ I was there for every game throughout his career,” Counsell said. “I got a close seat for a vast majority of them. Watching him play was definitely an honor.”
The Brewers selected Braun with the fifth overall pick in the 2005 amateur draft out of Miami. He was named NL Rookie of the Year in 2007 and ranked in the top 15 in the MVP voting every year from 2008 to 2012. He finished second in the MVP balloting in 2012 and third in 2008.
“Ryan brought us many unforgettable moments on the field; from playoff-clinching, dramatic home runs to nearly 2,000 career hits, he is unquestionably one of the greatest players in Brewers history,” team chairman Mark Attanasio said in a statement.
The Brewers will honor Braun with an on-field ceremony on Sept. 26.
“It’s well-deserved considering what he’s done for the city, the organization and obviously, [after] not having a chance to play in front of fans last year, to get that sendoff,” outfielder Christian Yelich said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.