Mariners lifer Seager retires from baseball

December 30th, 2021

SEATTLE -- Kyle Seager announced on Wednesday that he is retiring from Major League Baseball after 11 seasons, all with the Mariners.

Seager made his announcement via his wife, Julie, who shared the news on Twitter, with the simple caption: “A note from my husband.”

"Today I'm announcing my retirement from Major League Baseball," Seager's statement said. "Thank you to all of my family, friends and fans for following me throughout my career. It's been a wonderful ride but I am unbelievably excited for the next chapter of my life."

It was a surprising development -- given that the 34-year-old third baseman showed he had more left in the tank after a strong 2021, in which he hit 35 homers with 101 RBIs, both career highs -- but one that wasn't necessarily shocking. The workmanlike Seager retires after an emotional send-off from Seattle, one that left just about all of his teammates in tears on the final day of the regular season.

Seager played in all but three games in 2021 and in 1,480 for his career, which ranks third in baseball since his big league debut on July 7, 2011, behind only Carlos Santana (1,526) and Eric Hosmer (1,500).

The North Carolina native received a proper Seattle farewell on Oct. 3, with a sellout crowd at T-Mobile Park chanting his name as he was pulled off the field in the top of the ninth inning upon the Mariners’ elimination from postseason contention.

Tears streamed down many eyes that afternoon in a moment that Seager described as the most emotional of his baseball life. Many of his teammates said the same. The Mariners on the field crowded at the mound, and each embraced the veteran before he walked off, glove held high, thanking those in attendance and many more.

He his tenure with Seattle officially end last month when the Mariners declined his $20 million club option for 2022 and he became a free agent.

A third-round Draft pick in 2009, Seager reached Seattle two years later and soon became the team's regular third baseman. He ranks fourth in franchise history in games played, hits (1,395), home runs (242) and RBIs (807), third in doubles (309) and fifth in position player WAR (36.9, per Baseball-Reference).

From 2012-21, Seager produced at least a league-average OPS+ (100) every season but 2018, and he reached the 20-homer plateau in every full season of his career (excluding the shortened 2020 campaign). He was named an AL All-Star and won a Gold Glove Award in 2014.

Mariners chairman and managing partner John Stanton released the following statement:

"On behalf of the Mariners organization, our partners, and staff, I want to thank Kyle for all he has done for our team and our city and congratulate him on his retirement.

"During his 11-year career, spent entirely in Seattle, Kyle was a consistent, productive mainstay in our lineup, playing Gold Glove caliber defense and providing middle-of-the-order offensive production, including this season when his career-high 35 home runs and 101 RBI helped keep the Mariners in the postseason race until the final game of the season.

"He finishes his career in the top-five all-time in nearly every offensive category, earning his place among our greatest players: Ken Griffey Jr., Ichiro, Edgar Martinez, Jay Buhner, Dan Wilson, and Alvin Davis.

"But Kyle may have had his greatest impact off the field, in the clubhouse and our community.

"Kyle showed up to play, and to win, each and every day of his career. While the rest of the lineup might fluctuate, his teammates and manager knew he’d take the field each night, and he’d give all that his body had to give. His example and passion influenced a generation of Mariners players.

"And off the field, he consistently (usually behind the scenes and out of the spotlight) helped make a positive impact on the lives of youth and families in our communities. He raised awareness about the issues of domestic violence, serving as a spokesperson for the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV) Refuse to Abuse campaign for seven years. And he supported youth with critical illnesses in a variety of ways, including visits to local children’s hospitals, fulfilling wishes for kids at the ballpark, leading fundraising campaigns for pediatric cancer research and family support programs.

"With all that said, my strongest memories of Kyle will be of him with his family. He was never happier than when he was with his wife Julie, and children Crue, Audrey and Emelyn. We wish all of them nothing but the best and thank them for all the time they dedicated to Seattle, and to the Mariners."