Tagged in: retire

Longtime MLB catcher Francisco Cervelli announces retirement

Longtime MLB catcher Francisco Cervelli is retiring from baseball, he announced on Instagram. Cervelli said he is hanging up his spikes because it’s time to “put my health before my career.”

The 34-year-old had seven documented concussions throughout his career, including one that ended his 2020 campaign in August. “Today, I retire happy and fully satisfied, because I gave my heart and soul to this wonderful game,” Cervelli wrote.

“I am retiring because the time has come to put my health before my career. For a long time, I put baseball first, through countless concussions and injuries, because this game was my life; my whole world. But it’s clear to me now that my future holds so much more. For the first time in a long time, I know my health and wellness needs to be the leadoff. It’s time.”

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Cervelli initially signed with the Yankees as a 16-year-old international free agent out of Venezuela in 2003.

An infielder as an amateur, he moved behind the plate in pro ball and reached the big leagues in 2008.

Cervelli spent 2008-14 with New York, mostly as a backup catcher, before moving on to the Pirates (2015-19), Braves (2019), and Marlins (2020).

Pittsburgh gave Cervelli his first extended opportunity as a starting catcher and he blossomed, hitting .270/.368/.384 with 25 home runs in 416 games from 2015-18.

He also rated well as a pitch-framer and became a fan favorite thanks to his high-energy, hard-nosed style of play. Cervelli was liberated in Aug. 2019 after the Pirates committed to Jacob Stallings behind the plate. Cervelli took a foul tip to the face mask on Aug. 22 this year and was diagnosed with a concussion. He landed on the injured list 15 times in parts of 13 seasons.

Cervelli retires as a career .268/.358/.382 hitter with 605 hits and 41 home runs in 730 games. He won a World Series ring with the 2009 Yankees and banked nearly $40 million in player contracts during his career.

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Philadelphia Phillies to retire Dick Allen’s No.15 next month

On Thursday, the Philadelphia Phillies informed that they will retire No. 15 in honor of Dick Allen. The Phillies will host a ceremony honoring Allen on Sept. 3 — the 57th anniversary of Allen’s MLB debut — prior to their game versus the Nationals.

The Phillies also said that they will honor Allen during the 2021 season, when presumably fans will be permitted in attendance. 

“Dick Allen burst onto the 1964 Phillies and immediately established himself as a superstar,” Phillies owner John Middleton said in a press release.

“His legendary performance on the field gave millions of fans lasting memories, and he helped cement my love for baseball and the Phillies as a young boy.

The Phillies organization is thrilled to give Dick and his family this honor that recognizes his Hall of Fame-worthy career and his legacy as one of the greatest Phillies of all time.”

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Allen is the first non-Hall of Famer in Phillies history to have his number retired.

In 2014, Allen was a candidate for the Baseball Hall of Fame via the Golden Era Committee. He fell one vote shy of the required 12 votes needed for election into the Hall. He will join Hall of Famers Richie Ashburn (1), Jim Bunning (14), Mike Schmidt (20), Steve Carlton (32), Roy Halladay (34) and Robin Roberts (36) as the only Phillies in team history to have their numbers retired.

Allen, who spent 15 years in MLB, is known for the impressive power numbers he accomplished while playing during a pitcher-dominated era in baseball.

The seven-time All Star, who played the two corner infield spots and left field, and also spent time playing for the Cardinals, Dodgers, White Sox and Athletics. In his nine campaigns with the Phillies (1963-77), he batted .290 with 204 doubles, 204 home runs, 655 RBI, a .371 on-base percentage and a .530 slugging percentage (.902 OPS) in 1,070 games.

The 1964 National League Rookie of the Year owns the second-best slugging percentage in Phillies history, behind only Hall of Famer Chuck Klein (.553).

Allen also led the league in OPS four times in his career, including twice with the Phillies in 1966 (1.027) and 1967 (.970).

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Fury will consider “walking away” once contract up

With his long-awaited rematch versus Deontay Wilder less than a week away, Tyson Fury is considering when he might exit the sport of boxing.

The 31-year-old former heavyweight champion told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani that it might come earlier than many would expect:

“I’ve not got an age, but I’ve got three fights left on my contract with ESPN,” Fury, 31, told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani on Monday. “And after that, I will seriously think about walking away.”

When asked why he is considering walking away during the prime of his career, Fury seemed to indicate that he cared more about reaching the top of the mountain than staying at the top:

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“Because I don’t need to fight anymore,” he said. “What is the point? What am I going to gain from it? When I beat Wilder on Saturday, I’ll have completed the game. The game will be completed. I’ll have won every single belt there is to win in the game, from minor to major, and I’ll have won The Ring magazine belt twice — becoming only the second man in history to do that, me and Muhammad Ali.

“… Even after this win on Saturday, there’s nothing more to do. Nothing more to be gained.”

Fury retiring in his early 30s would be a surprise, though his career has hardly followed a conventional arc.

After shocking the world by ending Wladimir Klitschko’s reign over the heavyweight division, Fury took a hiatus from boxing that lasted two and a half years while dealing with depression and other personal problems. He would face Wilder soon after his return and draw the WBC champ in a classic fight, and their rematch has loomed ever since.

In the meantime, Fury has made appearances with the WWE and even flirted with facing UFC fighters.

A victory for Fury over Wilder would cement him as the undisputed top dog in the heavyweight division between defeating Wilder and Anthony Joshua’s stumble versus Andy Ruiz Jr. A loss would still leave him as a highly desired fighter, though it would be hard to not think what could have been.

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