Brewers’ Ryan Braun announces retirement from MLB after 14 seasons
Longtime Brewers slugger Ryan Braun hasn’t played at all in 2021, though he had not officially announced his retirement, which meant there was a slight chance he would make a return at some point. That all changed Tuesday when Braun officially announced his retirement from his days as a player.
“I weighed this decision for many months,” Braun said in a press release. “While I still love this game very much, the time is right for me to retire from my playing days.”
“It’s difficult to describe my emotions today, but it starts with overwhelming gratitude to those who have shared this experience with me while offering their unconditional support at every turn.”
“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,” Brewers owner Mark Attanasio said in a statement.
Braun burst onto the scene in 2007, hitting .324/.370/.634 with 26 doubles, six triples, 34 homers, 97 RBI, 91 runs and 15 steals in just 113 games, winning NL Rookie of the Year. Through 2012, Braun appeared to be on a Hall of Fame arc. He made all five All-Star teams 2008-12, winning the 2011 NL MVP while finishing second in 2012 and third in 2008. After having not made the playoffs since 1982, the Brewers made it in 2008 and won their first NL Central title in 2011. All this with Braun as their franchise centerpiece.
Then the Biogenesis scandal happened. Braun admitted to his PED use and accepted a 65-game suspension.
He would come back and have several good seasons after this, including an All-Star season in 2015. He was not, however, the game-changing superstar he was from 2007-12 again.
In all, Braun still goes down as one of the best Brewers players in history. In 1,766 regular-season games, Braun hit .296/.358/.532 (134 OPS+) with 1,963 hits, 408 doubles, 49 triples, 352 homers, 1,154 RBI, 1,080 runs, 216 stolen bases and 47.1 WAR.
Prior to Braun, the Brewers were only a playoff team twice. With him, they made five trips to the postseason in a 13-year span.
Only Hall of Famers Robin Yount and Paul Molitor amassed more WAR in a Brewers uniform. The same goes for runs and hits. Braun is second to Yount in total bases, RBI and doubles. He is the franchise leader in home runs. Braun trails only Molitor and Yount in steals for the club. He joins Yount, Rollie Fingers and Christian Yelich as the only Brewers to ever win MVP.
There’s obviously a stain in the middle part of Braun’s career, but all around that he was one of the best and most important players in Brewers history.