Former Yankees catcher Erik Kratz announced his retirement on Friday after a lengthy career.
Erik Kratz is retiring. Actually, he’s quitting. Actually, he’s being pushed out of the game by a beetle.
Whatever explanation is the one you choose to embrace, the Yankees‘ catcher who became a free agent at the end of the 2020 season will not be playing baseball in 2021.
“My next season will not be as a player, that’s for sure. I’m deciding to not play,” Kratz said in an interview he posted to social media on Friday.
He was unwilling to call his decision a retirement because he views that as something that all-timers.
At the same time, he isn’t willing to call himself a quitter.
Instead, his decision to step away from the game is officially a response to the ash borer beetle which has killed off many of the ash trees in North America. Since he uses an ash bat, that’s a problem.
“So the ash bore has pushed me out of the game,” Kratz quipped.
More seriously, Kratz spoke about spending more time with his family, including his three children.
To prove the finality of his exit from baseball, he admitted he promised his daughter he would buy her a puppy when he ended his career. The family now has a puppy and that’s that.
Erik Kratz was a journeyman catcher who most recently played for the Yankees
Kratz was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays all the way back in 2002, but he didn’t make a major league debut until he was 30 years old in 2010 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
He went on to play for the Philadelphia Phillies, Blue Jays, Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros, New Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers, San Francisco Giants and Tampa Bay Rays.
In 11 years of action, he had a .209 batting average and hit 31 home runs.