World Series Champ Announces Retirement Fresh Off Title

Nothing like going out on top. Still soaking in his second World Series title, this time as a member of the Texas Rangers, 17-year major league veteran starting pitcher and reliever Ian Kennedy has decided to hang up the cleats.

“There’s no better way to go out,” the jubilant Kennedy told Evan Thompson of Sports Relay. “You can’t top this feeling.”

And the fact that the Rangers didn't have him on their postseason roster due to an injury didn't stop Kennedy or his teammates from celebrating a tremendous capper to his career. 

“He played for 17 years and was a really good pitcher for a long time," said fellow reliever Josh Sborz. "He stayed with us. They (the front office) got rid of him, and he wanted to stay with us. That’s what kind of person he is. He’s a committed teammate and a good person, and that’s why we love him.”

Kennedy began his career as a starting pitcher, with the New York Yankees in 2007. He got a World Series ring with them in 2009, despite throwing only one regular season inning in Pinstripes that year.

With the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011 he had his career year, going 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA and a 4th-place finish in NL Cy Young balloting. 

He made a successful transition to the bullpen in 2019 with the Kansas City Royals, becoming their closer and saving 30 games. Overall, he'd save 66 games in three seasons of full-time or part-time closing duties. 

Kennedy finishes with a career 4.16 ERA, 1,775 strikeouts... and a World Series ring. 

Photo: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports