After playing his entire 14-year career with the Brewers, Ryan Braun announces his retirement

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Ryan Braun, who played his entire 14-year career with the Milwaukee Brewers and became one of the greatest offensive players in club history, announced his retirement from baseball Tuesday.

Braun, 37, played for the Brewers during the pandemic-shortened, 60-game schedule in 2020, with a five-year contract extension expiring after the season. There were no talks between Braun and the Brewers about returning in 2021, but he opted not to announce his retirement until now, keeping his options open.

Now, with less than three weeks remaining in the season and the Brewers running away with the National League Central Division, Braun decided it was time to make official his retirement and thanked Milwaukee fans in a video posted on Twitter.

“While we’re taking it all in, I wanted to take a minute to share some news with you,” Braun said in his one-minute, 20-second video.

“On May 25, 2007, I took the field for the first time in a major-league uniform. Today, more than 14 years later, I have decided to officially retire as an active player.

“While it’s impossible to summarize my emotions right now, what I feel most is one simple thing: gratitude. And I just wanted to take the time to say thank you. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be joined by countless amazing teammates, coaches, support staff, friends and family for this incredible ride.

“To the fans, thank you for showing me and my family unconditional love and always making us feel like we truly belonged to this community. Thank you for filling the ballpark, night in and night out, for 14 years. You made coming to the ballpark every day a joy, and I cannot imagine a better playing experience than being a Brewer for life.

“Thank you for the encouragement, support and motivation. Thank you for the memories, the postseason runs, the moments I’ll never forget. I’m coming back to town for the last home game of the regular season on Sunday, Sept. 26, and I hope you’ll be there to celebrate with me. Until then, go Brewers.”

Braun won rookie of the year honors in the National League in 2007 and the most valuable player award in 2011, a season later tarnished by a positive PED test and ultimate suspension two years later. He played in 1,766 games with the Brewers, finishing with a .296 batting average, 352 home runs and 1,154 runs batted in, with a .891 OPS and 216 stolen bases.

Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun (8) reacts to hitting a single that scored Santana in the fourth inning.  The Brewers play the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series baseball game Friday, October 12, 2018 at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wis.  MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL ORG XMIT: MJS1810122056436010
Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun (8) reacts to hitting a single that scored Santana in the fourth inning. The Brewers play the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series baseball game Friday, October 12, 2018 at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wis. MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL ORG XMIT: MJS1810122056436010

The Brewers' all-time home run leader, Braun finished at or near the top of every career offensive category in club history, and was known for hitting dramatic home runs in the final stages of the team's pursuit of postseason berths.

Braun finished his career as a .296 hitter with 352 HR, 1,154 RBI and 216 stolen bases in 1,766 games. In addition to his MVP and All-Star Game appearances, Braun was a five-time Silver Slugger Award winner and the 2007 National League Rookie of the Year.

Braun, who helped lead the Brewers to the postseason five times (2008, 2011 and 2018-20), retires as the all-time franchise leader in home runs (352). He also ranks among the franchise’s top three in RBI (2nd, 1,154), extra-base hits (2nd, 809), total bases (2nd, 3,525), doubles (2nd, 408), runs (3rd, 1,080), hits (3rd, 1,963), triples (3rd, 49), stolen bases (3rd, 216), at-bats (3rd, 6,622) and walks (3rd, 586). He ranks fourth in franchise history in games played (1,766).

From the date of his Major League debut - May 25, 2007 - through the 2020 season, Braun ranked among the top five in the majors in extra-base hits (T2nd), runs (3rd), RBI (3rd), total bases (4th), hits (5th), doubles (5th) and home runs (5th).

In a more detailed statement released by the Brewers, Braun said, “I have weighed this decision for many months. While I still love this game very much, the time is right for me to retire from my playing days."

Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio also offered his thoughts on Braun's retirement and his career in Milwaukee.

"Ryan brought us many unforgettable moments on the field, from playoff-clinching, dramatic home runs to nearly 2,000 career hits," Attanasio said. "He is unquestionably one of the greatest players in Brewers history.”

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Ryan Braun announces his retirement after 14 years with the Brewers