Garret Anderson, one of the best–and most underappreciated–outfielders to play for the Angels of Anaheim, announced his retirement today.
“It is with mixed emotions that I have decided to retire from baseball,”
Anderson begins a statement released by his club of 15 seasons.
“I know I will miss many aspects of the game, the grind of playing every day, hitting with the game on the line, the clubhouse banter, making a good defensive play, the guys, the roar of the crowd after a win, and the friendships made throughout the years. It was truly a privilege to play this wonderful game.”
As usual, a class act.
But remember the trade talk that frequently followed Anderson into left field at Angel Stadium for most of his years here?
“Too aloof.” “Too boring.” “Too lackadaisical.”
If many fans, reporters and columnists had their way, Anderson would have been long gone before his bases-clearing double drove
in the game-winning runs in the Angels' 4-1 victory over San
Francisco in Game 7 of the 2002 World Series. That was, of course, the club's only world championship (so far . . . gulp . . . right, guys?).
Anderson's value to the Halos was not lost on skipper Mike Scioscia.
“Garret was an incredible player, one with a calm demeanor and quiet
confidence that allowed him to excel in this game,” Scioscia tells the Los Angeles Times.
“Garret's role in where the Angels organization is today cannot be
overstated,” he continues. “He had a tremendous passion to play this game and a deep
understanding of how to play to win, and that was very important to this
organization. We wish him and his family nothing but the best as he
begins the next chapter of his life.”
Anderson holds franchise records for: games (2,013), at-bats (7,989),
runs (1,024), hits (2,368), total bases (3,743), extra-base hits (796),
doubles (489) and RBI (1,292).
He was a three-time All-Star selection and won the MVP and Home Run Derby crowns in the 2003 game.
Replaced in 2008 by Juan Rivera (now gone!), Anderson knocked around with Atlanta and the Dodgers the past two seasons.
The other team from Los Angeles, the one that plays in Anaheim, should clear a spot for him in the organization.