Veteran Mike Napoli, a popular clubhouse figure who hit 267 home runs and made three World Series trips during his 13-year career, announced his retirement Saturday.
Napoli, who did not play in the majors last season because of a knee injury, said in a statement that he hopes to “be remembered as someone who always tried to keep the clubhouse atmosphere light and inclusive.”
Napoli, 37, was a career .246 hitter over parts of 12 seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians. He entered the majors as a catcher before switching to first base, and he helped Boston win the World Series in 2013 while also reaching the Fall Classic with the Rangers (2011) and Indians (2016).
“Thank you fans, coaches, teammates and the media members and organizations in Anaheim, Texas, Boston and Cleveland,” Napoli said in a letter posted on Twitter. “You supported me, believed in me and gave me a platford to be successful on and off the field. You helped shape who I am as both a person and player, as I grew up right in front of your eyes.
“This is the end of my playing career, but the beginning of the next chapter in my professional life — one window closes and another one opens. I look forward to exploring opportunities in the baseball world as I plan to continue giving back to the game that has given me so much.”
Congratulations to @MikeNapoli25 on a tremendous career. Thank you for your leadership in Cleveland, and everything you brought to the table during our 2016 season.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) December 8, 2018
Best beard in the game.
Thanks for everything, especially 2013! pic.twitter.com/ZGCbYVhZES
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) December 8, 2018
NA 👏🏽 PO 👏🏽 LI 👏🏽 pic.twitter.com/2fKj5sH9G6
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) December 8, 2018
Napoli signed a minor-league deal with the Indians last year but had season-ending surgery in April for a torn right ACL suffered while fielding a popup in foul territory during a Triple-A game.
He had his best season in 2016, when he helped lead the Indians to the World Series after career highs in home runs (34) and RBIs (101 RBIs) while serving as a clubhouse leader for manager Terry Francona.