His wife Julie’s Twitter account was the platform through which the player called it a career.
A note from my husband. pic.twitter.com/Zl5peB3vR2
— Julie Seager (@JulieSeager15) December 29, 2021
“Today I’m announcing my retirement from Major League Baseball. Thank you to all of my family, friends and fans for following me throughout my career. It’s been a wonderful ride but I am unbelievably excited for the next chapter of my life.”
Seager was, for years, an unsung franchise hero who never got the recognition he probably deserved.
He was rarely mentioned among the American League’s best third basemen.
However, the Mariners haven’t made it to the postseason since their phenomenal 2001 campaign, so Seager retired without a single playoff appearance.
An Underappreciated Star
The fact he played on a losing team for so long (11 seasons, all in Seattle) may have made Seager one of the most underrated players of the decade.
But he was the face of the franchise together with ace Felix Hernandez in the 2010s.
Seager, additionally, is retiring with the seventh-highest bWAR in franchise history (37.0).
He only made one All-Star team, in 2014, and won a Gold Glove the same year, but he really did have a solid career.
The infielder hung up his cleats with a .251/.321/.442 career line, 242 home runs, 705 runs, and 807 RBI.
During his prime, Seager was a 25-30 home run hitter with nearly 100 RBI per year and some solid defense at the hot corner.
He achieved two five-win seasons, both with 5.2 WAR (Wins Above Replacement), in 2014 and 2016.
And in his last year as a 34-year-old veteran, he managed to belt 35 homers and drive in 103 runs, both career-highs.
Seager was the guy that fans would see every day for years at third base when they went to the stadium.
Kids grew up watching him play, and he became a city symbol in the process.
That’s not insignificant in assessing a player’s legacy: Seattle fans will surely have many fond memories involving Seager, even though the franchise wasn’t particularly good or competitive during his playing days.
The One Who Didn’t Leave
He was the one who didn’t leave: over the years, stars such as Ken Griffey Jr., Hernandez, Ichiro, Robinson Cano, and others ended up leaving town for one reason or another, but Seager remained an integral part of the lineup, the roster, and the organization.
And he certainly could have left: his relationship with top executive Jerry Dipoto wasn’t the best, and the player once claimed he spent years without talking to the person in charge of baseball decisions on the team.
One-team players, not only in MLB but in every team sport, are becoming rare, so every time a Seager appears, he should be celebrated and congratulated.
This is especially true for talented, solid players who made real contributions to their team, which is the case with Seager.
It’s not clear what the future holds for Seager: it remains to be seen if he will remain a part of organized baseball in some form; as a coach, instructor, scout, manager, or executive.
Awww man. Was hoping to see him return, but Kyle Seager left a huge legacy on the game, and especially among Mariners teammates and fans. https://t.co/hyERtjdr7N
— Jessica Kleinschmidt (@KleinschmidtJD) December 29, 2021
But he built a legacy in Seattle, and will forever be a fan favorite for his loyalty, talent, and passion for the beautiful game of baseball.