'Because I got a puppy!' Waino puts bow on 18-year career

October 30th, 2023

After an 18-year MLB career, pitcher Adam Wainwright has officially retired -- and for the best of reasons.

The career Cardinal displayed his retirement paperwork Monday on social media, confirming the end of his standout career after 478 games, 2,668 1/3 innings and 2,202 strikeouts. His listed reason for retirement? “Because I got a puppy!”

That’s right: At a pregame ceremony Oct. 1 at Busch Stadium, Wainwright opened a picnic basket to find a fluffy brown puppy inside as his retirement gift. (The pitcher had previously told his family they could only get a puppy once he had retired, so the Wainwright family knew it was time.)

Wainwright certainly has more free time to enjoy with his new friend, although he’s still been busy. He joined the FOX Sports broadcast booth for the Astros-Twins American League Division Series, going from on the mound to behind the mic.

The 42-year-old right-hander delivered a special moment in his last career start on Sept. 18. Taking the ball against the Brewers at Busch Stadium, Wainwright tossed seven shutout innings to join the vaunted 200-win club. It was the perfect moment to cap a Cardinals career that started way back in 2005, resulting in three All-Star appearances and four top-three finishes in NL Cy Young Award voting. Wainwright got the chance to go out on top -- and with an official retirement announcement that will be hard to beat.