Michael Brantley, a distinguished five-time All-Star and World Series champion, has officially decided to retire from Major League Baseball (MLB) after an illustrious 15-season career.
In an exclusive interview with MLB Network, published on Friday, Brantley shared his decision, citing a desire to prioritize his role as a father. “I have young kids, and now it’s time to be a dad, first and foremost,” he said. “It’s time for me to be home 24/7, watch my kids grow up, and not miss important milestones.”
The 36-year-old outfielder has wasted no time embracing his new role as he revealed plans to coach Little League, demonstrating his commitment to staying connected with the sport at a grassroots level.
Brantley’s MLB journey began in 2008 when he became the player later sent from Milwaukee to Cleveland to finalize the trade that sent C.C. Sabathia to the Brewers. He made his debut with the Cleveland Indians the following season and remained with the team through the 2018 season.
In December 2018, Brantley embarked on a new chapter, signing as a free agent with the Houston Astros. This winter, after a successful stint with the Astros, he faced free agency once again.
The seasoned player faced challenges in the 2023 season, being limited to 15 regular-season games. His return to the field in the final month followed a lengthy recovery from a shoulder injury and subsequent surgery. Brantley had been absent from the majors since June 26, 2022, marking a triumphant comeback in late August.
Brantley leaves the game with an impressive career batting average of .298, along with 129 home runs, 720 RBIs, 125 stolen bases, and an OPS of .794 over 1,445 regular-season games.
His impact extended beyond the regular season, with a notable postseason performance. Over 62 games in 14 postseason series, Brantley maintained a batting average of .283, including a remarkable .327 in two World Series appearances with the Houston Astros. As he bids farewell to the professional field, Michael Brantley leaves behind a legacy of excellence and sportsmanship.