Troy Tulowitzki surprised baseball fans on July 25 when the Yankees infielder announced his retirement. Although the signs were there — he missed the entire 2018 season and only played five games with the New York Yankees — before getting hurt this year, MLB fans hated to see him go out this way.
Troy Tulowitzki’s statement
Although injuries marred the latter part of his career, Tulowitzki was once a perennial All-Star who hit it out of the park. He reflected on his career in his retirement announcement, reported by ESPN:
For as long as I can remember, my dream was to compete at the highest level as a Major League Baseball player. To wear a big-league uniform and play hard for my teammates and the fans. I will forever be grateful for every day that I’ve had to live out my dream. It has been an absolute honor.
Tulowitzki seems at peace with his career. Now, with his playing days behind him, the conversation shifts to Cooperstown.
Is he worthy of the Hall of Fame?
The Colorado Rockies saw Troy Tulowitzki’s best days, spending 10 years of his career in Denver. During this time, he made five All-Star games in his last six years. His prowess behind the plate was consistent. Tulowitzki amassed 225 home runs and 780 RBIs in his 13-year career.
He was a two-time Silver Slugger. Finishing his career at .290, Tulowitzki consistently landed among the highest batting averages in the MLB. On defense, he was a two-time Golden Glove winner, and his skill at shortstop was revered. Not only did Tulowitzki finish with a fielding percentage of .985, but he was a dual-threat who didn’t show many signs of regression.
Due to his skills, clean record as far as PED-use goes, and importance to the Rockies, it’s not absurd to assume Tulowitzki’s Rockies jersey will hang in Cooperstown one day. But it’s not a safe bet, either. The question is whether voters — a notoriously hard-to-assess bunch — will agree during his first, second, or third year of eligibility, if ever.
What’s next for Tulowitzki?
Tulowitzki wasted no time picking a career after baseball. Just four days after his retirement, he announced he’d taken a job on the coaching staff at the University of Texas. Fresh off a playing career, Tulowitzki will add pedigree to the Texas coaching staff.
Whether this extends to a head-coaching gig in college or an MLB bench remains to be seen. Praised for his leadership on the field, Tulowitzki’s ability to work with players will be a natural transition. It’s a luxury for college athletes to have someone like Tulowitzki. So next year’s Longhorns have a lot to look forward to.
Careers come to an end. While most athletes prefer to go out like Derek Jeter or Mariano Rivera, calling it quits due to injury doesn’t diminish accomplishments on the field. Whether Tulowitzki will be honored in Cooperstown remains to be seen. Regardless of what happens, his career was successful and he deserves praise.