Bartolo Colon Set to Retire

Bartolo Colon retire

One of the most durable pitchers in recent memory is ready to hang up his spikes. Bartolo Colon announced he will retire from professional baseball after one more season in the Dominican Winter League. He stated his intentions during an interview with Spanish broadcaster Johnny Trujillo at the New York Mets Old-Timers’ Day event at Citi Field on Saturday. The news is no surprise, given that Colon is 49-years old, and hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2018. However, it is still bittersweet, as “Big Sexy” remained a fan favorite well into the later part of his career.


Bartolo Colon: A Career Retrospective

Colon’s announcement on Saturday brings a close to an impressively lengthy career. The journeyman made his major league debut in 1997 with the then-Cleveland Indians. He struggled in his 19 appearances (17 starts) that season, but then came into his own the next year. In 1998, he went 14–9 with a 3.71 ERA, and 158 strikeouts, earning an All-Star nod. A year later, he finished fourth in Cy Young voting.

Following brief stops with the Montreal Expos and Chicago White Sox, Colon settled down in Anaheim, where he pitched four seasons. In his second year with the Angels in 2005, Colon garnered his greatest accolade, winning the American League Cy Young Award. In 33 starts that season, he amassed a career-best 21–8 record with a 3.48 ERA, a 1.159 WHIP, and 157 strikeouts. Later on, Colon pitched a season each with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, with a second White Sox stint in between. In 2012, he signed with the Oakland Athletics, with whom he pitched two seasons. This tenure was marred by his 50-game suspension following a positive PED test, but he made his third career All-Star Game the following year.



Mets Tenure

Bart then moved on to the Mets, and he quickly became a fan favorite in Queens. He put up very good pitching numbers, especially considering he was in his 40’s at this point. But since he wasn’t used to hitting as a largely AL pitcher, his comical plate appearances stood out. His helmet would routinely fly off as he helplessly flailed at the baseball. However, one night in 2016, his luck would change. He slugged his first career homer in San Diego against the Padres, sending the large Mets contingent in the crowd into a frenzy. Ironically, it is arguably the most memorable moment of Colon’s career.

After his time with the Mets, Colon moved on to stints with the Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins in 2017, and the Texas Rangers in 2018. In subsequent off-seasons, he has occasionally been rumored to make a return, but it hasn’t happened.


Bartolo Colon to Retire

In Saturday’s interview, Bartolo Colon said that it feels appropriate to retire with the Águilas Cibaeñas club of the Dominican Winter League: “God willing, I would like to pitch a couple of games so I can say goodbye to the game of baseball, and to all those Dominican fans, because they deserve it.”

Across 21 seasons, Colon amassed a 247–188 record, good for a .568 winning percentage. He had a 4.12 career ERA, a 1.312 WHIP and 2,535 strikeouts. He garnered four All-Star selections and made two appearances in the World Series. Unfortunately, he was on the losing side in both, with the Indians in 1997 and the Mets in 2015. Despite this, the big righty enjoyed a very successful career, pitching longer than most and staying competitive throughout. This and the fact he was always fun to watch makes Colon a particularly memorable pitcher.

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Bartolo Colon