Feb 16, 2015 10:13 PM

Jason Giambi retires after 20 seasons in majors

The Associated Press

CLEVELAND (AP) Jason Giambi is retiring after 20 seasons in the majors.

The 2000 AL MVP announced his decision Monday in a statement that was first sent to the New York Daily News. He ends his career as one of 20 players in history with at least 400 home runs, 1,400 RBIs, 1,200 runs and 1,300 walks. The 44-year-old played for Oakland, the New York Yankees, Colorado and Cleveland.

Following last season, Giambi said he would discuss with his family whether to keep playing. The longtime slugger appeared in just 26 games for the Indians in 2014.

A five-time All-Star and fearsome power hitter, Giambi batted .277 in his career with 440 home runs and 1,441 RBIs. He had a .399 on-base percentage and slugged .516.

The first baseman was also tarnished by his involvement in the BALCO performance-enhancing drugs investigation. He never publicly admitted using PEDs, but has apologized for past actions.

"I want to thank the fans for being a part of this incredible journey," Giambi said in his statement. "I especially want to thank the fans that gave me a second chance to let me show you the human being you see today."

Despite the PED scandal, Giambi remained a popular and well-respected player in clubhouses around the majors especially his own. Before joining the Indians in 2013, he was a finalist for Colorado's managerial job.

Indians President Mark Shapiro tweeted, "An honor to have had G in the Tribe. A generous, wise spirit with so much to offer. True pro."

In his statement, Giambi also thanked everyone from his family and agents to the media, his managers and coaches even the companies that supplied his baseball equipment.

"Ever since I was 5 years old, all I ever wanted to be was a Major League Baseball player," he said. "To the game of baseball: I started playing you when I was a kid and I'm leaving you a man. Thank you."


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