You ever have one of those moments in your life that make you feel old? Well, I happened to stumble upon a moment like that last night that I didn’t think could happen.
Last night, long time Angel and one time World Series winner Howie Kendrick decided to call it a career after a lengthy and productive 15 years.
When I was a wee little lad attending Tampa Bay DEVIL Rays games back in the day, I saw a young second baseman that could absolutely mash. He went with every pitch thrown to him in BP, snuck a couple over the fence and seemed like a legit polished hitter at the young age of 22. Craziest thing of all, I actually was in attendance of Kendrick’s first career home run hit at the great Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. That night, or the next day on ESPN, I remember clearly a baseball analyst, not sure who it was, said “Howie Kendrick has a chance to win a batting title in the near future.” I don’t know why that has always stayed with me, maybe because when I would play MLB The Show 08 and sim the franchise seasons I would always want Howie Kendrick because he would always end up being a baller in 5-6 seasons.
Kendrick never earned himself a batting title as that one baseball analyst told the world to a listening crowd of one, but Kendrick ended up having himself a very solid career. Earning himself one All-Star appearance in 2011 in which he slashed .285/.338/.464, with a career high of 18 home runs, 63 RBI, 86 runs, 14 steals, as well as playing 140 games that year. Kendrick’s last hoorah in 2019, the Nationals infamous World Series year, Shout out Dave Martinez, Kendrick slashed a career best .344/.395/.572– .966 OPS with 17 home runs, 62 RBI, and 23 doubles. Also, who could forget Howie’s grand slam in the NLCS against the Dodgers in game five of the playoffs last year?? It was one of the most emotional moments that I can remember in playoff history.
Kendrick ends his career with 1,747 career hits, 354 doubles, 127 home runs, 126 stolen bases, and a career slash line of .294/.337/.430– .767 OPS. A very productive career to say the least and it doesn’t hurt that he earned $71 million in his playing career. Best of luck in the next stage of your life, Howie! Thank you for all the memories!