Seth Udinski, FISM News
After nearly a decade-and-a-half in the major leagues, Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun announced his retirement at the age of 37. Braun played all of his 14 MLB seasons with the Brewers.
Braun made the announcement via a social media video, saying,
I have weighed this decision for many months. While I still love this game very much, the time is right for me to retire from my playing days. It’s difficult to describe my emotions today, but it starts with overwhelming gratitude to those who have shared this experience with me while offering their unconditional support at every turn. … I will forever appreciate the best fans in the game and the countless people who came out to the ballpark night after night, making Milwaukee the greatest city to play the game.
Braun’s legacy is complicated. He possessed superstar talent and was generally respected by teammates and opponents. He hit 352 home runs in his career, setting a new team record. He won the National League MVP award in 2011, won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 2007, and was a perennial NL MVP contender in each of his first six seasons in the league.
But in 2013, Braun was caught violating Major League Baseball’s steroid policy after claiming he had never used steroids. He served a 65-game suspension that year. After his suspension, he worked tirelessly to return to his early-career form, but was never again the same player. Some argue that the toll of the suspension wore on him in his later years, while others claim he was only ever a talented player because of the unfair advantage of performance enhancing drugs.
In Braun’s defense, he took full responsibility for his error, in an unfortunately rare showing of accountability among star players from Major League Baseball’s notorious “steroid era.” Even as his play tapered, he provided veteran leadership in the locker room, and could still be called upon to deliver a clutch home run when necessary.
Brewers chairman Mark Attanasio said of Braun,
Ryan brought us many unforgettable moments on the field; from playoff-clinching, dramatic home runs to nearly 2,000 career hits, he is unquestionably one of the greatest players in Brewers history
The Brewers will honor Braun with a ceremony during the team’s home game on September 26.