NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Jason Giambi experienced quite a bit during his two decades as a player in Major League Baseball. On Monday he announced his retirement, releasing a long statement through the Daily News.
Giambi, who played for seven years with the Yankees and finished his career with 440 home runs, thanked many family members and friends before getting around to those in baseball that helped him to enjoy his long career.
“Ever since I was five years old, all I ever wanted to be was a Major League Baseball player. The Oakland A’s, New York Yankees, Colorado Rockies and Cleveland Indians were a big part of helping that dream come true,” Giambi said.
“To the managers, coaches and players, it’s been a tremendous honor sharing the field with you and thank you very much.
“To the writers, local and national, and to the broadcasters, I want to express my appreciation to the media for covering the game we all love.
“I want to thank the fans for being a part of this incredible journey. I especially want to thank the fans that gave me a second chance to let me show you the human being you see today.
“Lastly, to the game of baseball: I started playing you when I was a kid and I’m leaving you a man. Thank you.”
Once one of the premier players in the game, Giambi’s career took a bit of a detour after he admitted in 2003 to taking performance-enhancing drugs, including human growth hormone. But like then-Yankees teammate Andy Pettitte, the public tended to be accepting of Giambi’s eventual apology and he remained a popular figure not only in New York but also in Oakland, where he started his career and developed into a superstar before returning for a second stint during the 2009 season.
He finished up with four years in Colorado and two Cleveland.
Giambi, now 44, ended up with a lifetime .277 average, 1,441 RBI, .399 on-base percentage, .516 slugging percentage and .916 OPS. He won the AL MVP in 2000, was also a five-time All-Star and won the Silver Slugger award twice.
The slugging first baseman developed a reputation for being a student of the game and spent the last few seasons of his career as a part-time player and coach. There are many who believe he could one day be a manager in the majors.