Andre Ethier retires; Dodgers to honor him next week
Andre Ethier, whose intense nature and clutch production endeared him to Dodgers fans for more than a decade, announced his retirement Wednesday.
The Dodgers said they would honor him in a pregame ceremony Aug. 3, with actor Jason Bateman as master of ceremonies.
The last hit of Ethier’s career produced the last run of the Dodgers’ 2017 season: a pinch-hit RBI single in Game 7 of the World Series. Ethier had hoped to play this season, in Los Angeles or elsewhere, but he could not find a job.
Ethier, 36, thus played his entire 12-year major league career with the Dodgers. In the first trade under former general manager Ned Colletti — and in part upon the recommendation of an 85-year-old scout — the Dodgers acquired Ethier, then a minor league outfielder, from the Oakland Athletics.
Ethier made his major league debut on May 2, 2006, batting three spots below current Dodgers broadcaster Nomar Garciaparra. The players for the opposing Arizona Diamondbacks that day included current managers Craig Counsell (Milwaukee Brewers) and Andy Green (San Diego Padres) and current players’ union executive director Tony Clark.
Ethier finished fifth in National League rookie of the year voting in 2006 and sixth in NL most valuable player voting in 2009, when he batted .272 with career highs in home runs (31) and runs batted in (106).
The two-time All-Star ranked among the top 10 in Los Angeles history in games played, hits, doubles, home runs, extra-base hits and runs batted in. He holds the Los Angeles record for times hit by pitch (58) and consecutive at-bats with a hit (10). His 14 walkoff hits rank second to Dusty Baker’s 16.
He spoke with Times columnist Dylan Hernandez last September about his personal growth and his joy in mentoring younger players.
“I look forward to coming back to Los Angeles and Dodger Stadium, places I’m so lucky to have called home for the last 12 years,” Ethier said in a statement issued by the Dodgers.
“There’s nothing like stepping out on the field at Dodger Stadium and looking up and seeing the faithful Dodger Blue supporting you, and I’m grateful for the reception and support I received in all my years playing there. I’m humbled by this evening and look forward to sharing it all with you.”
Follow Bill Shaikin on Twitter @BillShaikin
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