Jeff Bagwell has officially retired.
Jeff Bagwell retired Friday after 15 years with the Houston Astros, ending a career in which he hit 449 home runs but was forced from the field after the 2005 season because of a shoulder injury. Along with Craig Biggio, Bagwell led the Astros to four division titles and the team’s first NL pennant in 2005. The 38-year-old Bagwell retires as Houston’s leader in homers, RBI (1,529), walks (1,401) and extra-base hits (969). He finished with a .297 career average.
The four-time All Star and winner of the 1994 NL MVP award will remain with the Astros as part of a personal-services agreement struck with the team this week. Bagwell is expected to work with Astros hitters, assist in the front office and make appearances for the team.
“I had a tough time in those last four or five years in my shoulder. It took a lot out of me both on the field and off the field,” he said. “This is a day that I knew was coming. I’m OK with it. I feel blessed to have known all of you.”
Despite his unique and highly unorthodox batting stance, Bagwell displayed remarkable power at the plate, ranking among the top 15 players in home runs and RBI throughout the 1990s. His final tally of 449 home runs leaves him three behind his childhood idol, Carl Yastrzemski.
He was a great player and it’s sad to see injuries force him out of the game.
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