-Pete Rose, about Mike Schmidt
I am honestly surprised nobody has written anything about this.
I came by today to see about adding my thoughts about the retirement 20 years ago today of one Michael Jack Schmidt, but nobody wrote anything, much to my surprise. Or maybe not. I only found out because they just showed it in the "MLB Remembers" segment on MLB Network.
Mike Schmidt was arguably the greatest slugger to put on a Phillies uniform, and perhaps one of the finest in all baseball history. He hit 548 home runs in his 18 seasons in the big leagues. Although his career batting average was .267, his career OPS was .908, leading the NL 5 times, twice over 1.000. He drove in 1,595 runs (32nd all-time for RBI), and was also 15th all-time with 108 sacrifice flies, and 11th all time with 201 intentional walks. He led the NL 8 times in home runs, and is still 13th all-time.
At the time of his retirement, he was hitting .203 in 42 games in 1989. After going 0-for-3 with 2 walks on May 28, he threw in the towel on May 29 in an emotional locker room speech, eventually ending the press conference because he was crying too much to go on. Interestingly enough, he was still elected to the All-Star Game, but he held firm on his retirement, participating in the starting lineups but not playing.
He was elected into the Hall of Fame on his first ballot in 1995.