SAN FRANCISCO – Torn between being a present father to his three young sons and a professional pitcher, Jeremy Affeldt nearly walked away from baseball for good at the All-Star break before manager Bruce Bochy and catcher Buster Posey talked him into sticking it out a couple of more months.
Now with the season wrapping up, the 14-year veteran is making the move he thought about months ago to turn his attention to family and further involvement with several causes he has worked with for years.
The left-hander announced Thursday this would be his last weekend of baseball as the reigning World Series champions end the year without a playoff berth. Affeldt, 36, was the 2014 World Series Game 7 winner at Kansas City and is completing an $18 million, three-year contract and his seventh season with the Giants.
Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo have been part of four core relievers on each title team three of the past five years.
“I’m very thankful I was able to come through in some big situations to help us win championships,” Affeldt said. “To say I was a part of that for me is a tremendous honor. To say I won three world championships on the same team is an amazing feat.”
While Affeldt had kept open the idea of pitching one more year when this season began, he said he would listen to his sons to help him make the decision – if they wanted him home, that might win out. He and wife, Larisa, discussed the possibility before the season.
Affeldt’s sons – 8-year-old Walker, 5-year-old Logan, and Kolt, 3 – are eager to have him home.
Affeldt also pitched for Kansas City, Colorado and Cincinnati. He missed 34 games this year in two stints on the disabled list. He twisted a knee during an Aug. 24 off day while playing with his sons outside Spokane, where he grew up – attending Northwest Christian – and still lives.
That was just one of several fluke injuries the lefty sustained in off-the-field mishaps in recent years.
“I’ve been accident-prone all my life,” he said.
After going 1-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 67 appearances over 63 1/3 innings during the 2012 season, Affeldt received his last contract.
He has been part of a stable bullpen that has been such a key for Bochy’s club in winning three of the past five World Series titles.
Going into Thursday’s series finale against the Dodgers, Affeldt had a 43-46 career record and 3.97 ERA in 772 appearances spanning 924 2/3 innings with 28 saves.
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