Unfathomable: Bartolo Colon Announces Retirement

Unfathomable: Bartolo Colon Announces Retirement
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The unfathomable has happened as longtime major league pitcher Bartolo Colon has announced his retirement at the age of 50. Over 21 years in the league he pitched for 12 different teams, most notably the New York Mets and the then Cleveland Indians. The four-time All-Star won a Cy Young Award in 2005 with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim when he led the American League with 21 wins. He last pitched in 2018 for the Texas Rangers.


Storied Career

Colon signed out of the Dominican Republic with Cleveland in 1993. He made his big league debut on April 4, 1997 against the Anaheim Angels. In 1999, Colon finished 18–5, pitching over 200 innings with 161 strikeouts and a 3.95 earned run average. At the 2002 trade deadline, he was traded to the then Montreal Expos making him the last active player to pitch for the Expos prior to their relocation to Washington. That year he finished with a combined 20–8 record and a 2.93 earned run average. After a year with the Chicago White Sox, where he threw nine complete games, he signed with the Angels in 2004. During the 2005 season, he went 21–8 with a 3.48 ERA and became the first Angels pitcher to win the Cy Young Award since 1964. He spent most of the following year on the DL with a sore shoulder.

Colon battled injuries over the next several seasons. In 2011, he pitched to a record of 8-10 for the New York Yankees. In 2012, he signed with the Oakland Athletics. He was suspended for 50 games for violating the league’s PED policy late in the season. He returned to Oakland in 2013 for an All-Star season in which he went 11-3 with a 2.78 ERA. Following the season, he signed a two-year deal with the Mets where he recorded his 200th career win. During his three-year tenure in Queens, Colon went 44-34 with a 3.99 ERA. He also became the oldest person to hit their first home run at the age of 42. Colon struggled during the remainder of his career with stops with the Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins, and Texas. Over his 21 seasons in the majors, Colon had a record 247-188 with a 4.12 ERA, 2535 strikeouts, and 13 shutouts in 38 complete games.

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