Jason Giambi, who competed as one of baseball’s top players at the turn of the century, announced his retirement on Monday.
The power-hitting walk machine cut a career of contrasts: a bearded longhair in Oakland and a cleancut corporation man in pinstripes; an everyday, elite player as a twentysomething and an oft-injured role player in his thirties; one of the most beloved competitors among his teammates and a reviled figure by fans after steroids admissions.
Giambi won the AL MVP in 2000 and made All-Star teams during a five-season stretch from 2000-2004. He signed a seven-year, $120 million deal with the Yankees after the 2001 season. But within several seasons injuries and admissions of steroids use dragged down the 1B/DH’s popularity.
He finishes twenty seasons in the majors with 440 home runs, 1441 RBI, a .399 OBP, and a .277 average. Given that Giambi hasn’t made the requisite number of plate appearances to qualify for the batting title since 2008, his retirement no doubt comes a surprise for many fans believing the 44-year-old has long since left the game.