Garret Anderson made his Major League debut as a 22-year-old on July 27th, 1994. Now, more than 16 years and 2,500 hits later, he's found himself without a job, and so the 38-year-old is announcing his retirement from the game.
For Anderson, it's a career that ends quietly. He signed with the Braves and struggled through a mediocre 2009, and then he spent 2010 as an ineffective pinch-hitter for the Dodgers. However, while Anderson didn't end with any glory, he won't ever be forgotten by Angels fans in Anaheim, the city where Anderson spent most of his career and put up most of his numbers.
Anderson was an Angel from his debut all the way through 2008, coming to the plate nearly 8,500 times and drilling 2,368 hits. He batted .296 with a .469 slugging percentage, and he was a productive everyday player during the team's title run in 2002. He owns several franchise batting records, including plate appearances, hits, runs, and RBI, and his 272 home runs as an Angel are second only to Tim Salmon's 299.
In the statistical community, Anderson was criticized for his low walk totals and OBP, and indeed, Anderson's OBP prevented him from being a real superstar. But Angels fans will miss him all the same, as sentiment isn't always directly tied to player value. Nor should it be.