An awesome career has officially ended tonight. Dominican reporter Hector Gomez reported that former slugger Alfonso Soriano has announced his retirement from baseball. 2014 was a struggle for the hard-hitting outfielder, as he struggled to a .221/.244/.367 triple slash with just six homers and a 64 wRC+ in 67 games, virtually becoming a platoon player by the end. He was a shell of his former self, and eventually, the Yankees had to make the tough decision to DFA him. He was released on July 14th, and he said that he would make a decision on his future after consulting with his family and waiting until the off-season. Well, that day has finally arrived.
Soriano might have been sluggish by the end, but fans won't forget how awesome he was as recently as last year. He made the All-Star team eight times, hit .270/.319/.500 for his career with 481 doubles, 412 homers, 289 stolen bases, and 38.6 fWAR. After narrowly missing out on the 40/40 Club twice in his younger days with the Yankees, he finally made it during his one season with the Nationals in 2006, when he was finally converted from second base to the outfield and then crushed 46 homers while stealing 41 bases, a feat that will likely stand as his career highlight.
It was a hell of thrill watching him, from those days of rookie stardom and near-World Series hero status in 2001 to becoming a promising enough star to be traded in 2004 for an in-his-prime Alex Rodriguez to returning from the Cubs for one last half-season of glory in 2013. These kinds of players don't come along very often, and even though he's not a Hall of Famer, there's no reason to forget him. Sori was just terrific.
Thanks for the unforgettable moments, Soriano. You were awesome.