Veteran Los Angeles Angels catcher Kurt Suzuki said Tuesday that he plans to retire at the end of this season, his 16th in the major leagues.
Suzuki, who turns 39 on Oct. 4, told the Orange County Register that his children are a major factor in his decision.
“They used to be excited to watch me on TV,” Suzuki said of his children, who are ages 11, 8 and 6. “Now they want me at home. That’s kind of when you know. I’ve said from the beginning: Family is always first. That comes first, no matter what. The game will tell you, but also your family will tell you.”
Suzuki last played on Aug. 28 and entered Tuesday hitting a career-low .179 with four home runs and 14 RBIs in 48 games this season, his second with the Angels.
“I feel like it’s time,” Suzuki told the Register. “I’ve had a great run, won a World Series, All-Star Game. Played 16 seasons. I’ve accomplished a lot of things I never would have dreamed of. I felt like it’s time for the next chapter. My three kids, all they’ve known is baseball.”
The Angels finish the 2022 campaign with a three-game road series at the Oakland Athletics, a set that was moved to October because of the lockout in the spring. The adjusted schedule will allow Suzuki to finish his career where he debuted in 2007 after the A’s had drafted him in the second round out of Cal State Fullerton three years earlier.
Suzuki produced three seasons with double-digit home runs in his first five years while with Oakland. The right-handed hitter also played two stints with the Washington Nationals (2013, 2019-20), where he won his only World Series title in 2019.
The veteran backstop earned his only All-Star berth with the Minnesota Twins in 2014, the first of three seasons with the club. Suzuki also spent two seasons (2017-18) with the Atlanta Braves, hitting 31 homers.
For his career, Suzuki has smacked 143 home runs, with 729 RBIs and a .255 batting average in 1,632 games.
–Field Level Media