Ryan Braun retires after 14-year career with Brewers

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MILWAUKEE — Ryan Braun, the Milwaukee Brewers’ home run leader whose production was slowed by injuries during the second half of his 14-year career, announced his retirement.

Braun hasn’t played all season and said during spring training that he was leaning toward retirement. The 2011 NL MVP made it official in a video the Brewers posted on Twitter.

“While it’s impossible to summarize my emotions right now, what I feel most is one simple thing – gratitude,” Braun said.

Braun, 37, batted .296 with 352 homers and 1,154 RBIs. He ranks second among Brewers in RBIs (1,154), extra-base hits (809), total bases (3,525) and doubles (408). He ranks third in runs (1,080), hits (1,963), triples (49), stolen bases (216) and walks (586). He is fourth in games played (1,766).

Braun became a free agent after the Brewers declined to exercise a $15 million mutual option in his contract last October. He batted a career-low .233 with eight homers and 26 RBIs in 39 games last season while dealing with a back issue.

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

Braun was one of baseball’s best hitters from 2007-12, but was never the same after he was suspended midway through the 2013 season for using performance-enhancing drugs. He acknowledged that he took banned substances while rehabilitating an injury and apologized.

From 2014 on, Braun never played more than 144 games in a season and reached the 30-homer mark once after topping 30 homers five times in his first six years, including an AL-leading 41 in 2012.

The Brewers plan to honor Braun at a pregame ceremony Sept. 26 before they face the New York Mets in their regular-season home finale.

Ryan Braun retires after 14-year career with Brewers originally appeared on NBCSports.com