Red Sox 2013 World Series champion Mike Napoli announces retirement

BOSTON, MA - MAY 23: Mike Napoli #12 of the Boston Red Sox reacts in the second inning after his home run against the Los Angeles Angels at Fenway Park on May 23, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 23: Mike Napoli #12 of the Boston Red Sox reacts in the second inning after his home run against the Los Angeles Angels at Fenway Park on May 23, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) /

Former Red Sox first baseman, Mike Napoli, who spent three years in Boston has announced his retirement from Major League Baseball.

After a twelve-year career in the majors, former Boston Red Sox player Mike Napoli, has decided to call it a day.

The 37-year old, who played as a catcher, first baseman and designated hitter over the course of his tenure in the league, spent time at four different franchises. He enjoyed three short stints with the Texas Rangers, and it was in Arlington where he became an All-Star for the only time in 2012. But it was with Boston where he earned the most coveted of accomplishments. Napoli was a key player in the Red Sox’s journey to the 2013 World Series and helped Boston secure their third title in ten years.

Napoli took to twitter on Saturday morning, posting an emotional note reminiscing on his career in baseball. He thanked his ‘fans, coaches, teammates and media members’ for their support throughout his journey:

Napoli established himself as a player with his first team, the Angels, where he predominantly appeared as a catcher whilst on the field. The biggest asset he brought to his teams, though, was his hitting ability. Renowned for having a big bat, Napoli, was able to make contact with ease at many a time in his long career. He was a successful hitter, but in Anaheim, his batting average never exceeded .273 (2008). His move to the Rangers pushed his career up a gear and in his first year with the team, in 2011, Napoli hit 30 home runs, recording 75 RBI. The following year saw Napoli named to the AL All-Star team, following terrific hitting form.

His time with the Texas-based team paved the way for the next section of his career. Prior to the historic 2013 season, Napoli agreed to a 3-year, $39 million deal with the Red Sox. This proved to be a decision which he would not regret. After spending time at first base with Texas, Napoli’s time in Boston saw him serve there, exclusively, the exception being as a designated hitter. As we look back on his career, Napoli will be remembered for his most important moments, his efforts to help the 2013 Red Sox will be held in the highest of regards.

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The 2013 season saw Napoli feature in 139 regular season games. In his first season with Boston, Napoli smashed his personal season RBI record tally by driving in 92. He was a pivotal offensive force in the Sox day-to-day line up. Along with the likes of David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia, this team was a hitting juggernaut. His efforts helped push Boston to the playoffs and beyond, later landing them in the World Series. Napoli would’ve had heartbreaking memories of October, by now, as his 2011 Ranger team fell short at the final hurdle, losing to St. Louis in seven games. But, 2013 couldn’t have been set up more perfectly for the first baseman. The Cardinals advanced to the World Series, for the second time in three years, giving Napoli a chance at redemption.

The slugger managed ten hits in the 2013 postseason campaign, as he featured in every game but one, missing just Game Three of the Fall Classic. Napoli’s most defining moments came in Game One of the World Series, as he recorded three RBI in the 8-1 victory, and managed another in the 6-1 Game Six close out game, as the Sox defeated St. Louis to clinch another world championship. This was the first World Series won by the Red Sox, which saw the clinching game being played at Fenway Park, for the first time since 1918.

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Napoli became a beloved Red Sox player after his wild celebrations following the World Series. He remained in Boston until the 2015 season, where he rejoined the Rangers. Then he went to Cleveland to help the Indians reach the World Series in 2016, falling short to the Cubs. Napoli then went back to Arlington, where he last played in 2017, signalling the end of his baseball career. During his time in the majors, Napoli made the postseason an astonishing eight times, capturing one ring in three World Series trips. The former Red Sox first baseman was an important acquisition back in December 2012 – he was a big help in bringing another championship to Beantown, and will remain a special figure in the Red Sox world.