Father time catches up to everyone, including professional athletes.
Most players know when it's time to go, but it's never good when they're being told to hang it up. Especially if you're 27 years old.
A co-worker recently sent me a column by Ely Sussman of bleacherreport.com. It lists every MLB team's player that he thinks needs to retire. Out of the plethora of players associated with the Atlanta Braves, Sikeston native Blake DeWitt was chosen to call it quits.
In December of last year, Dewitt signed a minor league contract with the Braves and was eventually assigned to their AAA team, the Gwinnett Braves. DeWitt was called to the big show in early April after the Braves put Freddie Freeman on the disabled list.
DeWitt has had just four plate appearances with Atlanta. Although most of his time has been spent on the DL with a lower back strain, the former Sikeston star has just one hit, a double, for the Braves.
It's an unfortunate situation for one of the area's most celebrated athletes. After a very promising start with the Los Angeles Dodgers (where he was one of the possible front-runners for the National League Rookie of the Year at one point) DeWitt has been stricken with a series of injuries and has never been able to stay healthy. Even when he was able to fill a MLB roster spot, he couldn't quite produce the right numbers to force a manager's hand and give him an everyday spot. Keeping him in the utility role for most of his career.
Although things are going south at the moment for DeWitt, I'd say he's had a pretty good run in the last five years bouncing in and out of the majors.
His rookie year was by far his best. DeWitt played in 117 games with the Dodgers in 2008 with 97 hits, nine home runs, 52 RBIs and a .264 batting average.
As most of us around here will remember, DeWitt was a man among boys with the Bulldogs baseball team.
As a senior at Sikeston, DeWitt batted .558 with 15 home runs and 48 RBIs. He was a High School All-American and was one of the very few Missouri baseball players to be named to the Class 3 all-state team four years in a row. He wasn't too shabby as a pitcher either setting a Missouri high school record of 27 consecutive wins and losing just one game on the hill. He ended up breaking eight Missouri batting and pitching records.
One has to hope something can turn his career around, if he chooses to stick with it. Injuries cut so many promising career's short. It looks like that bug will be sidelining one of southeast Missouri's premier athletes for good.
You can read the Sussman's column here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1628350-every-mlb-teams-player-that-just-need...
FYI -- The Cardinals player chosen to retire is Rafael Furcal. Surprised? I think not.