‘Thank you fans, coaches, teammates’: Mike Napoli announces retirement after 12-year MLB career
The 37-year-old Napoli, who did not play last season because of a knee injury, announced his decision Saturday on Twitter . It reads, in part:
“Thank you fans, coaches, teammates and the media members and organizations in Anaheim, Texas, Boston and Cleveland. You supported me, believed in me and gave me a platford to be successful on and off the field. You helped shape who I am as both a person and player, as I grew up right in front of your eyes. This is the end of my playing career, but the beginning of the next chapter in my professional life — one window closes and another one opens. I look forward to exploring opportunities in the baseball world as I plan to continue giving back to the game that has given me so much.”
Napoli batted .246 with 267 homers and 744 RBIs over 1,392 games with the Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians. He entered the majors as a catcher before switching to first base.
Though he only spent one season in Cleveland, he quickly became a favorite with fans rallying around “Party at Napoli’s.”
He had his best season in 2016 when he helped lead the Indians to the World Series. Napoli set career highs with 34 homers and 101 RBIs and was invaluable as a clubhouse leader for manager Terry Francona.
Now, the team has thanked him for his leadership and contributions to their 2016 team. They also said they’re “looking forward to the retirement party.”
He helped Boston win the Series in 2013 and reached the Fall Classic with the Rangers in 2011. Napoli was an All-Star in 2012.