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UPDATE: David Eckstein, 37, considering retirement

Jan 22, 2012, 11:27 AM EDT

eckstein world series getty Getty Images

It’s a sad day for scrappiness.

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, veteran infielder David Eckstein has decided to retire from baseball “even though there were teams willing to bring him to camp” on a minor league contract.

Eckstein, 37, will finish up with a .280/.345/.355 career batting line. The 5-foot-6 shortstop and second baseman was named an All-Star twice and won the World Series MVP in 2006 after going 8-for-22 (.364) with three doubles, a walk and four RBI in the Cardinals’ five-game victory over the Tigers.

Eckstein played for St. Louis, Anaheim, San Diego, Arizona and Toronto during his 10-year MLB career.

UPDATE: Eckstein’s agent denied Cafardo’s report, telling Ken Rosenthal of that his client is willing to comtinue his playing career “if the right opportunity arises.”

  1. butchhuskey - Jan 22, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    He will always be the poster boy for the “scrappy, gutty, gritty” player who had little talent but lots of heart. I know Eck was mocked by sites like firejoemorgan and I was aware of his limitations but I did enjoy watching him play. He always seemed to be having a good time and was a genuinely good guy. Enjoy retirement, oh scrappy one.

    • oasiserfede - Jan 22, 2012 at 11:55 AM

      Eckstein wasn’t the one being mocked

  2. butchhuskey - Jan 22, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Well yes, it was mostly the articles that exaggerated his contributions and slobbered over his intangibles that were mocked, but in doing so they made sure to highlight Eckstein’s shortcomings like throwing the ball across the infield like a Little Leaguer. Not saying they were wrong to do that though; I loved reading firejoemorgan.

  3. cur68 - Jan 22, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    So long, Eck. A whole lotta grit just hit that happy trail to retirement, I guess.

  4. hotkarlsandwich - Jan 22, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    New Cardinals Scrappyness Coach?

    • Old Gator - Jan 22, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      Of course. “Retiring from baseball” is like trying to retire from the mob. This is going to be the couch potato’s answer to The Brothers Rico (which was an ironic arcane allusion to a great old Ben Gazzara made-for-TV performance, in honor of Ben’s lights-out portrayal of Yogi Berra in Nobody Don’t Like Yogi). He will wind up coaching if he knows what’s good for him.

  5. hotkarlsandwich - Jan 22, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Eck of a Career

  6. wildinkc - Jan 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    I always enjoyed watching him play. I think this guy will make a good coach one day.

  7. shaunri - Jan 22, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    I managed to catch a number of Pawtucket Red Sox games in 2000 and Eckstein was a fan favorite even then. According to Baseball Reference, he made nearly $20 million during his career so being “just good enough” had a pretty good payoff.

    Wonder if he’ll reconsider with the Red Sox trading Scutaro (joking), although Aviles, Punto or Iglesias at shortstop does not inspire confidence.

  8. kiwicricket - Jan 22, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    More time for Star Trek conventions with the Mrs.
    All the best, enjoyed watching him play.

  9. maco88 - Jan 22, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    One of the key members of the Angels World Series run in 2002. The ‘X’-Factor will always be a fan-favorite in Anaheim.

  10. pisano - Jan 22, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    He was a tough, hard nosed player, got more out of himself than most people ever thought he would. All players (especially of smaller stature) should look to him as a role model. My hats off to him.

  11. bigharold - Jan 22, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Guys like Eckstein is the reason baseball is so popular. You don’t have to be exceptionally big, strong, or fast. That despite your size, .. or lack of it, .. hard work, dedication and desire can make you successful.

    Hail and fair well you vertically challenged Tough SOB.

  12. hcf95688 - Jan 22, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Gotta hand it to him. He had a hell of a run in MLB, certainly a better career than most.

  13. b7p19 - Jan 22, 2012 at 2:29 PM


    • b7p19 - Jan 22, 2012 at 2:30 PM

      (drops to knees, starts shaking fists toward the Baseball Gods)

  14. butchhuskey - Jan 22, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    If Bill Mueller can get a Hall of Fame vote, you just know someone is going to give one to Eck as some sort of anti-steroid argument. That’s okay, he ca still be part of my Hall of Favorite Players on the first ballot.

  15. mrfloydpink - Jan 22, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    You’re right, a sad day for crappiness…

  16. jag8r904 - Jan 22, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Go Gators!

  17. yahmule - Jan 23, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    The day scrappiness died. David Eckstein retires @ 37. A rather unassuming chap, he was one of the more polarizing athletes ever. Possessed with legendary amounts of grit, determination, baseball smarts, leadership, hustle, heart, scrappiness and all the other code words that are bestowed upon white athletes of modest talent, Eckstein wasn’t (nearly) as good as approximately 100% of broadcasters would have you believe. Possessed also with a rather decent career line of .280/.345/.355, the willingness to lean into a close pitch for the team, the ability to steal a base and play serviceable defense, Eckstein was also better than his critics contended. It must be said most of the ribbing Eckstein took was tongue in cheek and only in exasperated response to the elaborate gushing from the likes of fellow little person Bob Costas.

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