Howie Kendrick, the hard-hitting infielder and author of one of the biggest home runs in World Series history, has announced his retirement from MLB after parts of 15 seasons at the highest level of baseball.
Kendrick, 37, announced his decision on social media on Monday:
Across those 15 seasons with the Angels, Dodgers, Phillies, and Nationals, Kendrick played in 1,621 regular season games; tallied 1,747 hits and 124 home runs; put up an OPS+ of 109 and a WAR of 34.7; and spent more than 10,000 defensive innings at second base. His lone All-Star appearance came in 2011. Prior to his announcement, he had been a free agent.
While Kendrick's impressive regular season body of work is duly noted, he'll also be remembered for what was, without exaggeration, one of the most clutch home runs in MLB history. Let's go back to Game 7 of the 2019 World Series between the Astros and Kendrick's eventual champion Nationals:
Earlier that postseason, Kendrick was named NLCS MVP for the Nationals.
Kendrick, a Florida native, was originally drafted by the Angels with a 10th round pick in 2002. His steady production as the Angels' regular second baseman for several seasons established him as a solidly underrated player. Kendrick's later career saw him become a multi-position specialist and veteran bat for multiple teams. Last season, Kendrick's production slipped across the abbreviated 2020 season, but suffice it to say he's securely a Nationals franchise legend for that home run above.