On Friday, veteran utility man Willie Bloomquist announced his retirement with some serious flair — the type that might ruffle the proverbial feathers of “old-school” folks like Hall of Fame reliever Goose Gossage.
Bloomquist, hardly known for his prolific power stroke (he hit just 18 home runs in his 14-year MLB career), announced he was hanging up his cleats with a bat-flip video.
— Willie Bloomquist (@williebloom) March 11, 2016
Over the course of his career, Bloomquist spent nine seasons with the Seattle Mariners (first from 2002 to 2008, then again in 2014 and 2015), though injuries always prevented him from appearing in a full season’s worth of games.
In fact, his career-high for a single season was 125 games, in 2009 as a member of the Kansas City Royals.
Known by most for his “grit” and energy on the field (when he was able to play), Bloomquist had a big moment in the 2011 NLDS as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. With Arizona trailing the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1, he executed a textbook squeeze to bring in the tying run.
The Brewers wound up winning the game and the series, but Bloomquist’s clutch moment was notable nonetheless:
In 2013, Bloomquist was part of the benches-clearing melee between the D-Backs and the Los Angeles Dodgers that was sparked in part by Ian Kennedy buzzing Zack Greinke with a high-and-inside fastball.
Around the 1:18 mark of the video below, notice Bloomquist being restrained by Dodgers infielder/outfielder Jerry Hairston Jr. in the periphery of the madness:
He spent the final two years of his career with the Mariners, though he only managed to play in 47 games in 2014 and 35 a season ago.
Bloomquist retires with a career line of .269/.316/.342, 18 home runs, and 225 RBIs in 1,055 games. Along the way, he logged innings at shortstop, third base, second base, center field, right field, left field, first base and designated hitter.