Former All-Star center fielder Dexter Fowler is retiring after 14 years in the big leagues, according to a social media post by him.
“It’s here. I’m hanging up my cleats,” Fowler wrote Tuesday.
Fowler, 36, played for five different teams in his career, bursting onto the national scene in 2015 and 2016 when he was the leadoff man for the Chicago Cubs. Chicago lost in the NLCS in ’15 but won the World Series the next year, as Fowler was the catalyst for their first title in 108 years.
Fowler had a career-high .393 on-base percentage in 2016, which helped him to a 5-year, $82.5 million free agent contract with the St. Louis Cardinals before the 2017 season.
“Forever grateful,” Fowler wrote. “Soaking wet and freezing on the field with tears in my eyes after winning the World Series in Chicago. The comfort of calling St. Louis home and being a Red Bird. Today is one of those moments where you where you metaphorically step down from your throne with a standing ovation, tip of the cap and the world stops spinning.”
Fowler had a career .358 OBP and .775 OPS, flashing power from the leadoff role. He hit 13 or more home runs in four of five years during the middle of last decade. He hit 19 for the Cardinals as recently as 2019. Injuries plagued him late in his career, as he last played in the majors in 2021.
“I’m mostly proud to look back at my career knowing that I played the game the right way and did my best to make a positive impact beyond the win,” he wrote.
Fowler was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 14th round in 2004, played one season for Houston before two with the Cubs and four with the Cardinals. He appeared in seven games with the Los Angeles Angels in 2021.