Josh Beckett has, after much speculation on the part of the public and much internal consideration by Beckett, officially announced his retirement from baseball. Over the course of his 14-year career Beckett has been able to enjoy the kind of career most baseball players only dream about.
He won his first World Series Title in 2003 at the age of 23 with the Florida Marlins. Beckett was also named the World Series MVP. In 2007 at the age of 27, Beckett finished second in the Cy Young voting, was elected to his first All-Star game, was named MVP of the American League Championship Series and won his second World Championship, this time as a member of the Boston Red Sox.
Beckett was named to two more All-Star games while with the Red Sox in 2009 and 2011. During the 2012 season Beckett was traded by the Red Sox along with Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Punto and cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Ivan De Jesus, James Loney, Allen Webster and two players to be named later (Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands).
Injuries have plagued Beckett since 2012. He was ailing when traded to the Dodgers and ended up having the worst season of his career, unless you include his first eight starts in 2013.
Beckett went 0-5 for the Dodgers before having season-ending surgery to relieve a pinched nerve in his neck. The pinched nerve ended up being Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and had one of his ribs removed to relieve the pressure on his nerves.
He returned to the Dodgers in 2014 but struggled early on until catcher A.J. Ellis had an injury of his own. During his recovery Ellis realized that Beckett’s curveball was almost unhittable and he instructed Beckett on throwing his curve a higher percentage of the time.
It turned out Ellis was right. On May 25, Beckett threw his first career no-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies and the resounding consensus was that Beckett had reinvented himself and was back in baseball.
Unfortunately for Beckett disaster struck again. This time it was in the form of a hip injury, for which he spent three stints on the disabled list before finding out that he would need surgery to repair a torn labrum.
Beckett had made it public knowledge that he was considering retirement but he said the decision would wait until the offseason. However, after the Dodgers were eliminated from the playoffs Tuesday night in game four of the NLDS Beckett told MLB.com,
“I just don’t see me going through that rehab and coming back to pitch at this point in my life.”
At only 34, Beckett plans to retire to spend time with his wife and two young children.