The Legacy of Edgar Renteria

Edgar Renteria made it official on Thursday, announcing his retirement after 16 seasons in Major League Baseball.   The five-time All-Star shortstop was hoping to latch with another team after no one called on his services in 2012.  This concludes a career that has had its share of notable highlights including one of the most iconic plays in baseball history.

Edgar Renteria enjoyed an outstanding 16 year career, retiring on Thursday.  image:  eastbay.com

Edgar Renteria enjoyed an outstanding 16 year playing career in Major League Baseball.  Image:  eastbay.com

At the age of 21, Renteria drove in the Series-ending run in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, propelling the Florida Marlins to their first World Series championship.  The joy was short-lived as the Fish unveiled the first of its fire sales, leaving Renteria as basically the only every day player who stayed in Miami during the entire 1998 season.  The misery was almost equally as short as he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals before the 1999 season.  He spent the next six years in St. Louis helping the Redbirds make four playoff appearances including the 2004 World Series.  It was here that he had some terrific seasons such as the 2003 campaign in which he hit 13 home runs and drove in 100 runs, the only time he hit the century mark in RBI’s.   He spent a forgettable 2005 in Boston before making the switch to the Atlanta Braves, making his final All-Star appearance in 2006.  After a stint with the Detroit Tigers in 2008, it was back to the National League, this time going to the San Francisco Giants.  Renteria seemed to be at the end of the line in 2010, playing in only 73 games.  Then after playing sparingly in the first two rounds of the playoffs, he broke out in the Fall Classic, hitting .412 and capturing MVP honors as the Giants won their first championship since moving to San Francisco.  2011 turned out to be the final year of Renteria’s career, as he hit .251 in 333 at-bats with the Cincinnati Reds.

Edgar Renteria should be remembered as an excellent shortstop who was a clutch postseason player.  He probably is a little underappreciated considering his peers during his prime years were Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Nomar Garciaparra.  His career numbers for his position are nothing to put down in comparison to the other guys.  Renteria drove in 923 runs, stole 294 bases and owns a lifetime .286 batting average and earned three Silver Slugger Awards.  He was a winning ballplayer, making seven trips to the postseason and saved his best play for the World Series where he hit .333 for three different teams.  Perhaps one day he can bring that winning attitude to some team;s manager’s position.

Follow me on Twitter @ltj41 and covering the Arizona Diamondbacks at http://venomstrikes.com

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