Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Ty Buttrey announced Saturday that he is retiring from professional baseball for personal reasons. Buttrey, 28, explained his decision in a statement he released on his Instagram account. Buttrey said that he made his decision to retire prior to the Angels optioning him to the minors on March 28, and after taking some additional time to contemplate his decision, his mind remained unchanged.
"I made the decision to leave baseball," Buttrey wrote. "I contacted the Angels and they asked me to give it some time and to think about it. Part of the process was to be optioned which I accepted. I took the additional time to make sure my thoughts were clear. I re-contacted the Angels and told them I was leaving the game for my own personal reasons."
In Buttrey's statement, he said that he had lost his love for baseball after spending his life playing the game for everyone else in order to "prove everyone wrong."
He recalled an instance when a teacher in his life told him that he would not make it to the big leagues. "I had a teacher tell me I couldn't become an MLB player. The teacher told me the chances were too slim and that I needed to lower my expectations and change my goal. Nothing about the teacher's comment scared me. It upset me that someone looked me in the eyes and told me I couldn't do something."
"I want to finally be known as just Ty, not the baseball player," Buttrey said. "I completely lost the drive to continue doing something that I didn't love because in my mind, I already accomplished it. It was never my dream to make it to the Hall of Fame, win a World Series, or become an All-Star. In my head, I accomplished what I wanted, to prove people wrong and accomplish something extremely hard."
Buttrey thanked the Angels organization in his statement: "I'm going to miss the fans more than I'm going to miss the game. I want to thank everyone who has supported my wife and I throughout my entire career and the Angels organization for believing in me and giving me the opportunity."
Buttrey was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of Providence High School in Charlotte. Six years later, he was sent to the Angels as part of the Ian Kinsler trade and made his MLB debut as a reliever on Aug. 16, 2018. Over the course of his three MLB seasons with the Angels, Buttrey appeared in 115 games and posted a 4.30 ERA (108 ERA+), 1.30 WHIP and 122 strikeouts over 115 innings.