On Wednesday Jayson Werth announced he is going to retire from baseball after a 15-year career that includes a World Series championship.
As the saying goes, time stops for no man.
Unfortunately that includes our sports heroes, who age, watch their production decline and eventually decide it’s time to move on from the game they love.
For Jayson Werth, that time has come.
After a 15-year career that includes winning a World Series championship in 2008 with the Philadelphia Phillies, Werth has announced he calling it quits. On Wednesday he told Jon Heyman of MLB Network “I’m done.”
Werth finishes his career averaging .267, an OPS of .816, 229 home runs, one shy of 800 RBIs and 132 stolen bases.
The 39-year-old started his career with the Toronto Blue Jays after being drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 1997. He would spend two season with the Blue Jays and then two more with the Los Angeles Dodgers before arriving in Philadelphia as a free agent in 2006.
It was in Philadelphia where Werth made his most lasting impression on the baseball world. Along with Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Ruiz, he would be part of the nucleus of one of the best Phillies squads to ever take the field.
This team would go on to win the 2008 World Series and bring Philadelphia it’s first championship in 25 years. The Phillies would return the following year only to fall to the New York Yankees but Werth had an outstanding season in 2009. He was named to the All-Star team, stole 20 bases and hit a career-high 36 home runs.
This is probably why after the 2010 season Werth became the first of that now-immortal Phillies roster to leave, signing a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Washington Nationals.
It was a move that Phillies fans still talk about to this day. Some were upset with management that they allowed him to leave while others were upset with Werth for leaving. In any case, many fans make the compelling argument that if Werth was still a member of the club, that Phillies team could have won at least one more World Series title before it all came crashing down.
For years after the deal Werth had to endure boos from fans whenever he came back to Citizens Bank Park, but over the years that has thankfully changed. Werth is now recognized as a key piece of that lineup and now he gets the respect he deserves, as well he should.
Because without Jayson Werth, no one really knows if that 2008 Phillies team would have had enough firepower to win it all.
After a 2017 season filled with injuries, Werth signed a Minor League deal with the Seattle Mariners this offseason but the magic just wasn’t there. After hurting his hamstring in early June, it was just a matter of time before Werth made it official.
While Werth probably had the most to do with changing the Nationals from perennial joke to actual contenders, many fans will always associate him with the Phillies and what he accomplished here as part of that Golden Age of Phillies Baseball.
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With Werth now retired, you can pretty much bet the store that he will be heading to the Phillies Wall of Fame as some point down the road. He more than deserves the honor.
Enjoy your retirement Jayson Werth, from a grateful Phillies Nation.