WASHINGTON (AP) — Sean Doolittle has decided to retire from baseball after more than a decade pitching in the majors that included helping the Washington Nationals win the World Series in 2019.
Doolittle announced his decision Friday in a lengthy social media post. He's set to hold a news conference later before the Nationals host the Atlanta Braves.
The left-handed reliever spent the bulk of his career with Washington and the Oakland Athletics, earning All-Star honors in 2018. He thanked the Cincinnati Reds and Seattle Mariners for his brief time there, saying they gave him a better chance of landing on the Immaculate Grid.
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said the team knew it was getting a tremendous reliever and person with the trade for Doolittle in 2017, adding that proved to be correct.
“A World Champion, All-Star, and leader in the clubhouse, Sean set an example of what it means to be a pillar of the community,” Rizzo said in a statement. “He was as fierce as they come on the mound and took the ball whenever he was called upon.”
Doolittle appeared in 463 games since making his debut in 2012 with the Athletics, who drafted him in the first round in 2007 as a shortstop out of the University of Virginia and then gave him an opportunity to try pitching after injuries made him contemplate retirement at the time.
“I am forever grateful to them for helping me turn a second chance into a career,” Doolittle said.
Elbow surgery and a knee injury limited Doolittle to just six appearances with the Nationals in 2022 and 11 in the minors this season. He said the World Series will always be the highlight of his career and Washington home for him and his wife, Eireann.
“He was not only a fierce competitor but is one of the finest people you’ll ever meet,” Nationals owner Mark Lerner said. “Sean and his wife, Eireann, are great examples of individuals who have used their platform and place in life to advocate for others, and I have no doubt that their impact will continue long beyond Sean’s playing career.”
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