Jon Lester, a veteran of 16 major seasons, has announced his retirement from Major League Baseball to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers on Wednesday. Lester cites physical damage as one of the main reasons he hung up his boots.
“It’s like its running track,” Lester told Rogers. “It’s been getting harder and harder for me physically. Little things throughout the year turn into bigger things that hinder your performance.”
Lester, who celebrated his 38th birthday on January 7, is the author of one of the oldest careers of his generation behind a three-court combination that included fast, curved ball and cutters have proven important for right-handed people. He spent time with Boston Red Sox, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, Citizens of Washingtonand, to end last year, The Cardinals of St. Louis.
In 452 regular season appearances (all but one from the start), Lester has compiled a 3.66 ERA (117 ERA+) and a strike rate of 2.79. He finished with even 200 wins, as well as 44.2 Wins on Substitute, a number that puts him outside of the Hall of Fame pitcher’s normal range – although standards vary. in relation to the position that may benefit him.
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Here’s where Lester ranks among pitchers in several notable categories dating back to the last open (minimum: 1,000 turns):
- Begin: 8th (451)
- The innings are pitching: 11th (2,740)
- Win: 9th (200)
- ERA +: 35th (117)
- WAR: 21 (44.2)
Lester’s Hall of Fame case should also be bolstered by aspects of his career not captured in those numbers. He’s a five-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion who had his rookie season delayed due to a lymphoma diagnosis that required chemotherapy. Lester could still return midway through the Red Sox season, and he then threw in five two-thirds innings in what proved to be his first start in five World Series games.
“It was one of the pinnacle moments of my career,” Lester told Rogers about letting his parents attend his first major tournament back after his diagnosis. “Their faces are pretty cool. When I got back to baseball, I tried not to take anything for granted and really appreciate being around the boys.”
Lester was later billed as the addition that changed the Chicago Cubs into a legitimate opponent when he signed a multi-year pact with them after the 2014 season. Fittingly, he would go on to win the Player Award the brightest in the 2016 national championship series after holding Los Angeles Dodgers to two run more than 13 innings. Then he had three World Series appearances against Cleveland now Guardians, holding them to six earned runs in 14 2/3 innings as the Cubs claimed their first championship trophy in over a century.
While it can’t compare to Lester’s championship streak, he also hit the 18th spot in Red Sox franchise history when he vacated. Kansas City Royals in 2008.
That is simply the path Lester’s career has taken: at every turn, he finds a new achievement to mark, a new legacy to score.
https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/jon-lester-retires-five-time-all-star-and-three-time-world-series-champion-calls-it-a-career-after-16-seasons/ Jon Lester retires: Five-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion calls it a career after 16 seasons