David Freese, who will forever be known for his heroics that helped the St. Louis Cardinals win the 2011 World Series, announced his retirement on Saturday.
“Will never stop thinking about the days I got to be around such wonderful people playing this game,” Freese wrote in a statement on Twitter. “As I move forward with the next phase of my life, I am forever grateful to all of you and the game of baseball.”
World Series heroics
The 36-year-old spent his first five seasons in St. Louis and broke out in the 2011 postseason. He hit .545 in the NLCS against the Milwaukee Brewers to claim series MVP. In the World Series, he delivered two crucial hits that forced a Game 7 against the Texas Rangers, the first a two-out, two-run triple to tie the game in the ninth inning and the second a walk-off home run in the 11th inning.
To finish off the postseason, Freese’s two-run double in Game 7 helped the Cardinals beat the Rangers 6-2. Freese earned World Series MVP honors as well as the Babe Ruth Award as the postseason MVP. His 21 RBIs in the 2011 postseason is an MLB record.
Freese’s lone All-Star appearance came the following year, when he hit .293 with 20 home runs and 79 RBIs. He was traded to the Angels in 2014 and bounced around the rest of his career. He was serviceable until the end, however, hitting .315 with 11 home runs in 79 games with the Dodgers this season in a part-time role.
Freese shined in the playoffs, posting a .career 299 batting average, 10 home runs and 36 RBIs in 69 games. He was 4-for-8 in the Dodgers’ NLDS loss to the Washington Nationals.
Staying in the game
In an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in August, with retirement clearly on his mind, Freese said he’d like to coach after his days as a player are done:
“I do think there is more for me to give to the game coming up — when I’m done. I will be around. Hopefully, there’s still a lot of time to help people and be a part of stuff and do things now with a clearer mind than I had years ago when I was just trying to get through stuff, just trying to shake hands and smile and say the right things. I want my last however many days — I want to be me.”
The Dodgers may not have given Freese a storybook playoff ending in what turned out to be his final season, but the 2011 World Series memories will surely last a lifetime for him and the Cardinals fanbase.
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