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After 13 Seasons, Hosmer Hangs up His Spikes

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By Thomas Harrigan & Anne Rogers, MLB.com/Royals

 

SURPRISE, Ariz. – Eric Hosmer, a former All-Star first baseman and World Series champion with the Royals in 2015, has decided to retire.

Hosmer, 34, announced his retirement Wednesday in a post on social media while promoting his new company with former Royals Minor Leaguer Anthony Seratelli and podcast, which he’ll co-host with former Royal Peter Moylan and performance development coach Justin Su’a.

“Excited to take on this new challenge, MoonBall Media, and our first project, The Diggin’ Deep Podcast,” Hosmer wrote. “The playing days are unfortunately over but I’m committed to giving back to the baseball community.”

Hosmer last played in the Majors as a member of the Cubs in 2023, hitting .234 with two homers and a .610 OPS over 31 games before being released.

The first baseman is best known for his time with the Royals, who selected him third overall in the 2008 MLB Draft out of high school in his native Florida.

Part of a core of young position players alongside Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar, Hosmer played seven years for Kansas City, hitting .284 with 127 homers and a .781 OPS and winning four Gold Glove Awards.

Hosmer played an integral role in helping the Royals win the American League pennant in 2014 and the World Series title one year later. Prior to ’14, the franchise hadn’t reached the postseason since it won the World Series in 1985.

“Really proud of Hoz’s career and everything he did for our organization,” general manager J.J. Picollo said. “His legacy is going to live forever as part of that world championship team, being one of the leaders. The big hits, the big moments that he had personally that affected our city – he’s a pretty special player. You don’t get too many players through the course of your history that leave that lasting legacy, and Hoz is one of them.

“He has a reputation as being one of those types of guys that when he speaks, people listen. And we witnessed it for a long time. It was awesome to be a part of.”

Hosmer earned his lone All-Star selection in 2016, a year in which he finished with 25 homers and 104 RBIs. Serving as the AL’s starting first baseman after winning the fan vote, Hosmer earned All-Star Game MVP honors by going 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs in the AL’s 4-2 win.

Following a 2017 season in which he hit 25 homers and set career highs in batting average (.318), on-base percentage (.385) and OPS (.882), Hosmer reached free agency and signed an eight-year, $144 million contract with the Padres.

Hosmer’s production tailed off after joining San Diego, however, and his Padres tenure came to an end when he was traded to the Red Sox in 2022. After being released by Boston, he landed with the Cubs on a one-year deal last January. Chicago released him in May and he didn’t sign with another team.

Hosmer finishes his career with 1,753 hits, 198 homers, 893 RBIs and a .276/.335/.427 slash over 13 big league seasons.

The play that he’s best known for, though, is his Mad Dash in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series, when, with the Royals down one run in the top of the ninth inning, he took off from third for home on a broken-bat grounder to third base from Salvador Perez.

The decision to go was, to say the least, an aggressive one. But Hosmer did it, he tied the game, and the Royals went on to win the championship in extra innings.

“What’s neat about that play is, you think back to when he was in the Minor Leagues, and we really pushed baserunning and aggressive baserunning, but Hoz always naturally did it,” Picollo said. “To do it on that stage in that moment was amazing. It’ll forever live in Royals history.”

The Royals have already discussed potentially bringing Hosmer back into the organization, perhaps as a guest instructor or advisory role. He’s focused on his new company and his family right now, but it’ll be something to look out for if Hosmer is interested in it eventually.

“It’s definitely something we’ve talked about,” Picollo said. “We’ve got to let the dust settle and talk to Hoz a little bit. We’ve had communication with him, though, the last couple months. We’ll let it play out. Once a player makes a decision like that, there’s probably a lot of things going through his mind.”

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