Monday brought us the retirement of Bruce Chen. Tuesday brings along the end of another veteran’s career: Rafael Furcal has announced his retirement.
Rafael Furcal has announced his retirement. The three-time All-Star signed a minor league contract with the Royals in Spring Training.
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) May 19, 2015
Furcal, 37, spent his 14 seasons with four clubs — the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Luis Cardinals and Miami Marlins. He ends with a .281 batting average, 113 home runs, 69 triples and 314 stolen bases. He ends his career with 33.1 total WAR.
Furcal found early success with the Atlanta Braves, taking home the National League Rookie of the Year trophy in 2000, after batting .295 with 40 stolen bases to beat out St. Louis’ Rick Ankiel. He started that season in Single-A, but made the jump from the low minors to the majors after an injury to incumbent starting shortstop Walt Weiss.
The shortstop was a three-time All-Star (2003, 2010 and 2012) as well as a World Series champion with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011. He was tied for the National League lead in triples in 2003 with 10 (his career high is 11 in 2005).
His most impressive season may be 2006 with the Dodgers, where he posted a .300 batting average, 15 home runs, 37 stolen bases and nine triples. He finished 14th in National League Most Valuable Player voting, despite not making the All-Star team.
Furcal also recorded an incredibly rare feat on August 10, 2003; the unassisted triple play.
Furcal’s final major league season was 2014 with the Miami Marlins. Appearing in just nine games, the veteran posted just a .171 batting average. In 2015, he spent seven games in the Kansas City Royals’ minor league system.