MLB

Orioles slugger Chris Davis announces retirement after 14 years in MLB

First baseman Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles has announced his retirement from Major League Baseball on Thursday. Davis, 35, made the announcement through the team:

“After an extended time dealing with my injury and recent hip surgery, I informed the Orioles about my decision to retire effective today,” Davis said in a statement. “I want to thank the Orioles partnership group, led by the Angelos family, the Orioles organization, my teammates and coaches, The University of Maryland Children’s Hospital with whom I will continue to be involved following my retirement and, of course, Birdland. Thank you all for the many memories that I will cherish forever. “

Davis steps away from the game after 14 years in the majors, 10 of which came with the Orioles. Over that span he batted .233/.315/.459 (106 OPS+) with 295 home runs. Twice with Baltimore Davis led the majors in home runs, including the 2013 season when hit 53 homers and finished third in the AL MVP balloting. 

During his power peak from 2012-2016, Davis averaged 39 home runs per season for Baltimore. As such, he was essential to the Orioles’ three postseason berths during that span. Davis ranks in the top 15 in Orioles franchise history for home runs, RBI, runs scored, extra-base hits, walks, and games played. Davis was also a three-time nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, which celebrates a player’s community involvement and charitable endeavors.

The Orioles released their own statement on Thursday in response to Davis’ decision: 

“The Orioles support Chris Davis as he retires from baseball today. We thank Chris for his 11 years of service to the club, to Orioles fans, and to the Baltimore community.  

“Athletes have the power to change lives and better their communities, and Chris and his family have done just that. We admire their dedication to those most in need, with hundreds of hours of community work completed, millions of dollars donated, and countless other charitable efforts performed, often without fanfare. 

“For every inning played and home run hit, hour of service completed and amount donated, the Davis family has made an immeasurable impact on our city and on Orioles baseball. We send our best wishes to Chris, his wife Jill, and their daughters Ella, Evie, and Grace, each of whom will forever be part of our Orioles family.” 

The Orioles originally acquired the Longview, Texas native from the Rangers in July of 2011 as part of a three-player trade. Prior to the 2016 season, the Orioles signed Davis to a seven-year, $161 million contract extension that runs through the 2022 season. Davis will still reportedly be paid the remainder of his salary in retirement: 

A long run of injuries prevented Davis from sustaining the production that led to that contract. Since 2017, Davis has been on the injured list five times for oblique, hip, knee, and back problems. He did not play in the 2021 season due to hip issues, and his last game came on Sept. 11, 2020.

Ultimately, those health issues prompted Davis to step away from the game.



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