After 14 seasons in Major League Baseball, veteran infielder Rafael Furcal is leaving the game. The Kansas City Royals announced his retirement on Tuesday.
"To play in the major leagues for 14 seasons was a dream come true,'' Furcal said in an official statement via the team’s official website. "I love the game, but at this point, I don't feel like I can play up to my standards anymore and want to spend more time with my beautiful family.''
Furcal, who was the 2000 National League Rookie of the Year, suited up for the Atlanta Braves from 2000 to 2005 and the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2006 to 2011. He was also part of the St. Louis Cardinals championship squad that won the World Series in 2011. Furcal’s last stint was with the Miami Marlins in 2014.
The 37-year-old Furcal tried to give it a go in the 2015 season, signing with the Royals during spring training. He eventually landed with their minor-league squads Class A Wilmington and Class AA Northwest Arkansas. However, he never fully recovered from hamstring and back injuries.
"I had the honor of representing Raffy for his whole 18-year career," Furcal’s agent Paul Kinzer said on the Royals website. "Baseball lost one of its classiest players today; someone who played the game the right way."
Furcal, who is from Loma de Cabrera, Dominican Republic, made the MLB All-Star team three times, in 2003, 2010 and 2012. In 14 MLB seasons, he accumulated 113 home runs and 587 RBIs with a batting average of .281. Furcal is expected to be offered a non-playing position by the Royals, according to the report.