It’s another sad day in baseball as Jerry Hairston Jr. has decided to retire. The utility player will take a job as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ broadcast team as he continues his baseball career long after his playing days.
The 16-year veteran suited up for many teams over the course of his career but only made it to the postseason twice with the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers. In fact, he was fortunate enough to win the World Series with the Yankees in 2009 and was two games away from a World Series berth with the Brewers in 2011.
As a Brewers’ fan, it was a privilege to watch Hairston play the game the right way. His ability to suit up every position but catcher and pitcher is something that is rarely seen in today’s game. Even though he wasn’t with Milwaukee for very long, he was a huge reason why the team was able to go as far as they did the last time they reached the playoffs. Without his versatility, there’s simply no way the Brewers would have been able to overcome various injuries in the infield.
His .257 career batting average isn’t all that impressive. However, once his 4,387 career at-bats are factored in it really puts things in perspective. Hairston wasn’t a power hitter or a run producer. He was the man who consistently got on base in order for his teammates to knock him in. In fact, his .324 on-base percentage is about as good as it gets given his nearly 5,000 plate appearances.
At the age of 37 years old, Hairston has accomplished enough in his career to be able to call it quits. I wish him all the success in the world as a broadcaster for the Dodgers, a job that I’m sure he will excel at.