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Former New York Yankees 1B/DH Lance Berkman Announces Retirement from MLB After 15 Seasons

January 29th, 2014 at 8:55 PM
By Doug Rush

On Wednesday night, long-time veteran first basemen Lance Berkman has announced that he is retiring from Major League Baseball, thus ending a successful 15-year career.

Berkman came up to the majors back in 1999 with the Houston Astros and didn't become a full-time starter with the team until the 2000 season, most of which was at right field since Jeff Bagwell was still on the team and occupying the position.

In the 2010 season, the Astros traded their long-time first basemen to the New York Yankees at the trade deadline on July 31, 2010 in exchange for two minor leaguers; one of which is now major league reliever Mark Melancon. In his 37 games with the team, Berkman hit .255 with one home run and nine RBI in the regular season and rotated between first base and the designated hitter role.

After Berkman's 2011 option was declined by the Yankees, Berkman signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the St. Louis Cardinals and re-established himself as a top hitter in the league when he smacked 31 home runs and 94 RBI while hitting .301 en route to helping the Red Birds win the World Series over the Texas Rangers.

His final two seasons were marred with injuries, as he only played in 32 games with the Cardinals in 2012 and then 73 games with the Rangers in 2013 as he dealt with knee problems in that time. Before the 2013 season, the Yankees strongly considered bringing Berkman back to play first base and be a part-time designated hitter, but Berkman took a one-year, $10 million deal from the Rangers and the Yankees chose to sign Travis Hafner instead.

In his 15 seasons with four different teams, Berkman picked up 1,905 hits and 366 home runs in 1,879 games played. Now that he is retired, Berkman is expected to join the University of Rice baseball coaching staff while picking up his degree from the college.

Photo credit: Keith Allison / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

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Tags: Baseball, Houston Astros, Lance Berkman, MLB, New York, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers

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