Longtime Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez announced his retirement from baseball Aug. 7.
Rodriguez will continue to work for the organization as a special advisor and instructor, reporting directly to the owner, Hal Steinbrenner.
During his retirement press conference, the 41-year-old was extremely emotional.
“I love this game, and I love this team. Today, I’m saying goodbye to both. I never thought I could play for 22 years,” he said.
Rodriguez retires as one of the most successful players in major league baseball history, despite his bouts with steroids and performance enhancing drugs. He ranks fourth all time for home runs with 696, is a three-time MVP winner and a 14-time All-Star. He ranks second with RBIs to Hank Aaron and holds the all time record for grand slams with 25.
Rodriguez began his professional baseball career at 18-years-old as a shortstop with the Seattle Mariners. He signed a 10-year, $252 million deal with the Rangers before the 2001 season. At the time, that deal was the biggest sports contract in history. Rodriguez was traded to the Yankees in 2003 and moved to third base. He was a key part of the 2009 World Series championship team.
Rodriguez played his final game Aug. 12. The Yankees won 6-3 over the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Rodriguez registered an RBI double in the first inning.
It is still possible for another team to sign Rodriguez; however, according to an ESPN writer, Rodriguez seemed as if he was finished playing baseball and had come to terms with that.
“No athlete ever ends his or her career the way you want to. We all want to play forever. But it doesn’t work that way. Accepting the end gracefully is part of being a professional athlete. Saying goodbye may be the hardest part of the job, but that’s what I’m doing today,” Rodriguez said.