Donaldson cherishes Oakland roots after announcing MLB retirement

Donaldson cherishes Oakland roots after announcing MLB retirement originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The city of Oakland forever will hold a special place in Josh Donaldson's heart.

After announcing his MLB retirement on Monday after 13 seasons, the former Athletics third baseman joined Chris Townsend Wednesday on "A's Cast" where he reflected on his time in the A's organization and the players and coaches who helped pave his major-league journey.

"I've never forgotten my roots, and you guys are my roots," Donaldson told Townsend. "I've always had a special place in my heart for Oakland. And even Billy Beane. Billy gave me so many opportunities to get back to the big leagues to figure it out.

"For the guys that we came up with, that we came through the minor leagues together, you add in a Jonny Gomes, you add in a Brandon Inge. The coaching staff, Mike Gallego, Curt Young, Tye Waller, Chili Davis, [Bob Melvin], Chip Hale, all these guys invested time in me and really taught me what it was to be a big leaguer and I'll never forget that."

Donaldson, a former first-round pick, originally was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2007 before he was traded to the A's in a six-player deal that sent former right-handed pitcher Rich Harden from Oakland to Chicago in 2008.

In three-plus MLB seasons with the A's, Donaldson batted .268/.347/.458 with 63 home runs, 228 RBI and a 125 OPS+ in 405 combined games. Donaldson finished fourth and eighth in AL MVP Award voting in 2013 and 2014 respectively while being named to his first All-Star team in 2014.

Donaldson was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in Nov. 2014 where he played three-plus seasons and won the 2015 AL MVP Award. He then was traded to Cleveland midway through the 2018 campaign before stops with the Atlanta Braves (2019), Minnesota Twins (2020-2021) and New York Yankees in 2022 and midway through the 2023 season before a midseason trade to the Milwaukee Brewers.