Six-time All-Star Lance Berkman, who helped spark the St. Louis Cardinals to the 2011 World Series championship and was a key figure in one of the best games in series history, has hung ‘em up after 15 seasons in the majors.
“It doesn’t make sense to play in the physical condition I’m in,” Berkman told MLB.com. “I’ve had a great career. I did everything anyone could have set out to do. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next.”
He described Game 6 of the 2011 World Series as the greatest game he ever played in. With two outs and a 2-2 count in the 10th, Berkman hit a Scott Feldman fastball to right-center to tie the score against the Texas Rangers. The Cardinals eventually won on David Freese’s dramatic homer to dead center in the 11th. Berkman finished 3-for-5 with a two-run homer, three RBIs and four runs scored in that game and ended up hitting .423 in that Series.
Berkman also helped lead the Houston Astros to their lone World Series appearance in 2005, in which they lost to the Chicago White Sox.
Berkman, 37, almost retired last offseason before signing with the Rangers. He then had another injury-plagued year and was limited to 73 games. He played 32 games in 2012 for St. Louis, when he dealt with a strained calf muscle and had two operations on his right knee.
He hit .301 in 2011 and finished his career with 366 home runs and a .293 batting average.
I had the privilege of interviewing the outspoken Texan on a few occasions in St. Louis and he seemed like a great guy, a breath of fresh air. Good luck to him in his future endeavors.