The major leagues career wins leader, Cookie Ramirez, announced his retirement during a press conference this morning. Ramirez, 42, had a 266-177 record in 21 major league seasons and had a 3.34 career ERA, but his last season was a frustrating 0-11. Ramirez confirmed that an offer was made to return to the team, but he decided it was time to hang up the spikes.
Ramirez made the following statement at his press conference:
"Over the last few months, I discussed a contract extension with the franchise with which I have played my entire career. After considerable discussion with those closest to me, I have decided not to sign the extension, as I am unable to perform at a level equal to the salary the organization would be paying me or the level that I would be comfortable with. I believe I owe it to this team and our fans to step aside, so that the young talent can pitch as I once did as the team returns to a World Championship-caliber team.
So, I am walking away from the game that has provided me opportunities, experiences, memories and friendships to fill 10 lifetimes. For years I have said my motivation for playing wasn't for fame and fortune, but rather the love of competing. Baseball is a team sport and I have been lucky enough to contribute to the success of some great teams.
I want to thank the organization, and the thousands of Bison faithful for making this my family over 21 seasons. I want to thank the millions of baseball fans around the world and the many worthy opponents who have inspired me to take the mound as often as possible and play the best game in the world for a living."