Brad Lidge, whose elated, kneeling photographic likeness appears on the rec room walls of countless Delaware Valley sports fans, has announced his retirement. Per Jayson Stark:
Free-agent reliever Brad Lidge has informed his agents, Rex Gary & Jim Turner, that he plans to retire. One of the all-time class acts.— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 3, 2012
Lidge, 35, appeared in 11 games for the Washington Nationals in 2012 before injuries shut him down.
Of course, Lidge's greatest moment in Philadelphia was one of the very greatest moments in Philadelphia sports history, as he capped off his "perfect season" in 2008, converting 48-of-48 save opportunities and striking out Eric Hinske of the Rays for the final out of the 2008 World Series. His remaining time in Philadelphia was mostly a downer, particularly in 2009, when the beleaguered closer posted a 7.21 ERA and memorably brain cramped in the ninth inning of Game Four of the World Series, failing to cover third base on that Johnny Damon double-stolen base WHERE WERE YOU BRAD?!
Lidge's 11.9 strikeouts-per-nine rate is third all-time among relief pitchers, trailing Rob Dibble and former Phillie Billy Wagner.
Best of luck, Brad. Thank you.