Right-hander Roy Oswalt announced Tuesday he is retiring as a pitcher, after dominating at times, in parts of 13 major-league seasons. Oswalt won't be riding off into the sunset on the bulldozer like the one former Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane famously gave him, however. Oswalt, who turned 36 in August, has decided to become an agent and represent players.
A three-time All-Star who received Cy Young award votes in six different seasons, Oswalt accumulated 49.9 wins above replacement for pitchers (via Baseball Reference), which is 100th all-time for his position. A hard-thrower, he ranks 80th all-time in strikeouts per nine innings. He won the 2005 NLCS MVP in leading the Astros to the World Series, where things didn't work out against the White Sox. He also won a gold medal for Team USA at the 2000 summer Olympics. He finishes with a 3.36 ERA in 341 career starts, and posted a 3.73 mark in 11 postseason starts for the Astros and Philadelphia Phillies.
In all, not bad for a 23rd-round draft pick our of Weir High in Mississippi.
Via the Associated Press:
The pitcher's agent, Bob Garber, confirmed the decision and said Oswalt would go to work for his agency, RMG Baseball. Oswalt will be vice president of baseball operations. ''Roy is now going to be representing players with me,'' Garber said Tuesday night. ''He's now an agent.'' The 36-year-old right-hander had a 163-102 career record with a 3.36 ERA. Oswalt won 20 games in consecutive seasons (2004-05) with the Houston Astros and was the 2005 NL championship series MVP. He pitched more than 200 innings seven times but was hampered by injuries in recent years.
After being traded to the Phillies in 2010, Oswalt endeared himself to fans there by posting a 1.74 ERA in 12 starts and by playing left field in a blowout game. The 2011 season was made difficult when tornadoes devastated his home town in April, prompting Oswalt to take a leave of absence from the Phillies.
One of his best off-the-field moments came in 2005, when he received the gift of a bulldozer from McLane to use on his farm. You can take the boy out of the country, but not the country out of the boy.
Oswalt finished his career by making nine forgettable appearances with the Rockies in 2013. He also pitched in 2012 for the Rangers. Though a Braves fan growing up in Mississippi, he idolized Nolan Ryan. Oswalt, in fact, posted several seasons better than ones by Ryan. If you asked an expert during the peak of Oswalt's career who the best pitcher in baseball was, many would answer he was.
But an injury even marked the occasion of one of Oswalt's finest hours (at least as a teammate), when he and five other Astros pitchers combined to no-hit the New York Yankees on June 11, 2003. Oswalt had to leave in the second inning with an injury.
Oswalt's relatively young age might make him a candidate to return to pitching at some point, if he doesn't like the agent life. A post at Climbing Tal's Hill wonders if we've really seen the last of Oswalt.
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