Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 3/22/13
Although he didn’t play a single game in 2012, it wasn’t until yesterday that Edgar Renteria officially announced his retirement from baseball. The long-time big leaguer told RCN Television in his native Colombia that “I’m definitely retired from baseball and it will soon be announced in the majors … I decided to retire from baseball and try to spend all my time with my family.” Renteria, 37, had a very long and productive career, racking up 39.6 WAR in 2,152 games across parts of 16 seasons. He retires as a .286/.343/.398 (95 wRC+) career hitter with some dynamite individual seasons to his credit — specifically his 128 wRC+ and 6.9 WAR in 2003. If you want to cherry-pick some end-points, Renteria was the fourth best shortstop in baseball from 2002-2007 at 23.7 WAR. Only Derek Jeter (29.8), Miguel Tejada (27.2), and Jimmy Rollins were better (26.4)*. * Alex Rodriguez piled up 49.2 WAR from 2002-2007, but only 19.3 came as a shortstop. That’s only two years at the position, which is nuts. Despite the steady production, I think Renteria really stands out for two specific moments. The first is obvious — the walk-off single against Charles Nagy and the Indians in the 11th inning of Game Seven of the 1997 World Series: WPA measures that hit at +0.34, but c’mon. There should be some kind of “extra innings of Game Seven of the World Series with a franchise that had never been to the postseason before” multiplier worth a couple million WPA points or so. Seriously, hits don’t get any bigger than that. At age 21 with fewer than 300 big league games to his credit, Renteria had already had his career-defining moment. The second memorable moment of his career came more recently — the three-run homer off Cliff Lee in the seventh inning of Game Five of the 2010 World Series. This one wasn’t as dramatic as the 1997 walk-off hit, but it served the same purpose. It was a World Series-winning hit: That homer checks in at +0.36 WPA, but again, WPA’s lack of context doesn’t do the hit justice. It turned a scoreless game into a three-run San Francisco lead and eventually gave them their first World Championship since leaving New York in 1958. That’s two historic, World Series-winning hits that basically bookend Renteria’s career, and in my opinion they raise career accomplishes beyond his WAR total, so to speak. They’re iconic moments, especially to the Marlins and Giants and their fans. There’s also this: Renteria is the greatest Colombian-born player in baseball history and it’s not even close. That isn’t as impressive as being the best Dominican-born player or anything — there have only been 13 Colombian-born players in MLB history — but I think anytime you’re the best player to come out of your home country, it’s significant. Orlando Cabrera is the only other player even in this conversation at 29.1 WAR. Being the best anything from your country is a pretty awesome accomplishment. Since MLB first expanded in 1961, only seven players — Cal Ripken Jr., Omar Vizquel, Dave Concepcion, Alan Trammell, Larry Bowa, and Jeter — have played more games at shortstop than Renteria (2,114). He was a two-time World Series MVP and had a good five- or six-year run as one of the best players at his position in the game. He’s no Hall of Famer or anything, but Renteria had a very significant and memorable big league career that seems to have gone underappreciated since his last game in September 2011.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Is Madison Bumgarner a bully?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: JJ Watt re-injures back, facing extended absence

Nationals GM: Strasburg ‘unlikely to pitch in NLDS’

Nebraska regent wants players kicked off team for kneeling during anthem

WATCH: Wayne Gretzky tells the hilarious story of his secret Hall of Fame visit

Wilson Ramos done for year with torn ACL

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Sam Allardyce, English FA announce contract termination just 67 days into the job

Report: Clint Dempsey to miss rest of 2016 MLS season

Report: Rose not revealing true concern over rape investigation

UFC 205 headlined by Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez

Greg Hardy told police someone slipped cocaine in his wallet

Report: LSU will ‘gauge the interest’ of Saban, Meyer, others

The Worst - NFL Week 3: Steve Smith, Odell Beckham & of course the Browns

FIFA 17 review: O jogo bonito

To save his legacy Chris Bosh must first protect his health

What the NBA (and world) looked like before Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan

A fond farewell to Vin Scully

So where will the ACC football championship be played?

Green Beret shares how he helped alter Kaepernick protest

Gordon: Hitting HR for Fernandez ‘best moment of my life’

Box Score: 9/27 - Goodbyes, farewells and hurdles

Kevin Garnett's unique career proves anything is possible

Jose Fernandez joins tragic list of premature departures

15 greatest calls of Vin Scully's career

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Worst - NFL Week 3: Steve Smith, Odell Beckham & of course the Browns

FIFA 17 review: O jogo bonito

To save his legacy Chris Bosh must first protect his health

What the NBA (and world) looked like before Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan

A fond farewell to Vin Scully

So where will the ACC football championship be played?

Kevin Garnett's unique NBA career proves anything is possible

Jose Fernandez joins tragic list of premature departures

Week 4 in college football as explained by Queen

The good, bad, and ugly from Week 3 in the NFL season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker