Kyle Seager has never been one for the spotlight.
Time after time, the North Carolina native has bucked convention and chosen to keep things simple. Before getting a chance to test free agency, he re-upped with the Mariners in 2014. To this day, he doesn’t have a Twitter account.
So perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised when, minutes ago, Kyle Seager — the greatest third baseman in franchise history, and the 183rd player in baseball history to spend the entirety of a 10+ year career with one team — announced his retirement from the game of baseball in the most nondescript way possible.
Seager was selected in the 2009 MLB Draft, but despite being a third-round pick, he wasn’t the most hyped Mariners selection from his own team. Though that teammate (Dustin Ackley) attracted more attention throughout their minor league odysseys, Seager just...never stopped hitting. In 2010, he dominated High-A ball, hitting .345/.419/.503, and in 2011, across 90 games in AA and AAA, he slashed .333/.399/.495.
His call-up was welcomed with open arms, plus plenty of hope.
Over the 2010s, Seager has had iconic moments...
...he’s had some awesome at-bats...
...and he’s become a veteran leader.
Kyle Seager doesn’t have social media so J.P. Crawford invented a handle for him (@ CAP) pic.twitter.com/9uT4ehlbN1— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) April 12, 2021
It’s true that his numbers declined after he inked his $100m extension back in 2014. As the third Mariner to receive a nine-figure commitment (a club only since joined by Robbie Ray), expectations were high, and as Seager has aged his game has similarly evolved. Despite it all, his consistency rarely wavered, with just one full season below a 100 OPS+ in his career.
And he’s going out on top:
Not counting others this past season: With 35 home runs in 2021, #Mariners Kyle Seager ties for the second most dingers in the final season of a player’s career, alongside Oakland’s Dave Kingman in 1986. The all-time leader is Boston’s David Ortiz 38 in 2016.— Jessica Brand (@JessicaDBrand) December 29, 2021
Seager retires with top-10 places in a host of Mariners all-time leaderboards: bWAR (36.9, 5th among position players); games played (1480, 4th); hits (1395, 4th); total bases (2458, 4th); doubles (309, 3rd); and more. At some point in the next few years, the next top-10 list he’ll join is the Mariners Hall of Fame. You can bet I’ll be wearing my Northwest Green jersey with #15 on the back, and I doubt I’ll be alone.
He hinted this to me the last time I spoke with him but I thought he would want to keep going— I think he is a guy that has his priorities in order— he has had an amazing career and now he gets to watch his kids grow up, pretty cool https://t.co/rmYHoIm3fQ— Angie Mentink (@AngieMentink) December 29, 2021
Oh, and if you want a few more reasons to tear up today:
Saved these last May from one of Julie’s IG stories with the idea “I’ll cry on those later” and I regret to inform you all it is now Later pic.twitter.com/oCLRIdsflE— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) December 29, 2021
Back when Kyle was first called up, the great Jeff Sullivan closed his piece with this:
I don’t know if Kyle Seager is ready to be a Major League-caliber third baseman. I don’t know if he’ll ever be. I do know that he doesn’t have to be much to help out. So welcome to the Mariners, Kyle Seager. Make them better and we will all love you.
Kyle, you made the Mariners better for the last decade. And we certainly love you. Congratulations on a great career, and may the next chapter bring you and your family joy.