After a playing career that touched parts of 14 MLB seasons, outfielder Dexter Fowler has decided to officially retire, he announced Tuesay. He spent six years with the Rockies, four with the Cardinals and one each with the Astros and Angels, though his retirement announcement picture is a good illustration as to what team many of us will remember him with: His Cubs World Series championship hat.
Thank you to the fans.— dexfowler.eth (@DexterFowler) January 31, 2023
Stay tuned for what’s next. pic.twitter.com/qZd84zge6Z
It's here. I'm hanging up my cleats. From an 18-year-old draft pick in Colorado to a "vet" in Anaheim -- there are a few things I will never forget ... Getting THAT call to the big leagues in September 2008. Wow. My world was spinning. My first "you've been traded to Houston" heart pounding call.
The feeling of bliss while hearing the words "All-Star." Never knew what it felt like to be that guy! Forever grateful. Soaking wet and freezing on the field with tears in my eyes after winning the World Series in Chicago. The comfort of calling St. Louis home and being a Red Bird. Today is one of those moments where you metaphorically step down from your throne with a standing ovation, tip of the cap, and the world stops spinning. I'm mostly proud to look back at my career knowing that I played the game the right way and did my best to make a positive impact beyond the win.
Denver, Houston, Chicago, St. Louis and Anaheim ... My family, friends, teammates, and staff. Thank you for 14 years. I gave you my all.
Fowler was a 14th round pick out of Milton High School in Georgia in 2004 by the Rockies. He debuted in September 2008 and put together several productive seasons with the club. After a one-year stopover in Houston, he was traded to the Cubs and was a fixture atop the order for the two deep playoff runs. In 2016, he made his only All-Star Game, though unfortunately he wasn't able to play due to injury.
Many might remember Fowler almost signed elsewhere before the 2016 season, but instead returned to the Cubs during a spring training surprise.
Look who's back?! @DexterFowler is a #Cub again! pic.twitter.com/yqG8Z6PYXm— Kelly Crull (@Kelly_Crull) February 25, 2016
Despite that injury holding him to 125 games, 2016 was his career year, as he posted a career-best 4.0 WAR. He hit .333 with three doubles, four RBI and six runs in six NLCS games as the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945. In the World Series, he did something no one else has ever done, leading off Game 7 with a home run.
Fowler turned that into a huge payday with the Cardinals and it was a mixed bag there for four years. Then came the forgettable seven-game stint with the Angels before the torn ACL. He signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays last season, too, but an MLB comeback just wasn't in the cards.
In all, Fowler appeared in 1,460 regular-season games and 42 playoff games. He finishes a career .259/.358/.417 (104 OPS+, driven by the high on-base percentage) hitter with 1,306 hits to his name. Among those hits, he doubled 253 times, tripled 82 times (he was the active leader before retiring) and 127 home runs. He stole 149 bases and scored 817 times. And, of course, he left a lasting memory for the baseball world with the historic home run.
It was an admirable career that earned Fowler a lot of money and many fans across the game.