Why Did Kurt Suzuki Retire?

Kevin Smith

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Why Did Kurt Suzuki Retire

Kurt Suzuki, a professional baseball player, announced his retirement from the sport in November 2021. This news came as a shock to many of his fans and followers, as Suzuki was still playing at a high level despite being in his late 30s.

Suzuki had a long and successful career in Major League Baseball (MLB), playing for several teams and earning accolades along the way.

We will explore the reasons behind Suzuki’s retirement and the impact he had on the sport during his career.

Career Overview

Brief History of Suzuki’s Baseball Career

Kurt Suzuki was born on October 4, 1983, in Wailuku, Hawaii. He attended California State University, Fullerton, where he played college baseball for the Titans.

Suzuki was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the second round of the 2004 MLB draft and made his professional debut in 2007.

Accomplishments and Accolades

Suzuki had an impressive career, earning several awards and accolades along the way. He was a two-time All-Star in 2014 and 2017, a Silver Slugger Award winner in 2014, and a Gold Glove Award winner in 2010.

He also won the Darryl Kile Good Guy Award in 2018, which recognizes a player’s professionalism, character, and leadership qualities.

Role in the Teams He Played for

Suzuki played for several teams over his 14-year career, including the Oakland Athletics, Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Angels, and Los Angeles Dodgers.

He was known for his defensive skills as a catcher, his ability to call a good game, and his clutch hitting in crucial moments. Suzuki was also a respected veteran player and a mentor to younger players.

Notable Moments

Throughout his career, Suzuki had many notable moments. One of his most memorable moments was during the 2019 National League Championship Series when he hit a home run in Game 2 to help the Washington Nationals secure a win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Suzuki also played a key role in the Braves 2020 playoff run, where he hit a walk-off home run in Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Miami Marlins.

Reasons for Retirement

Age and Physical Condition

Suzuki was 38 years old at the time of his retirement, which is considered old for a professional baseball player.

Over the course of his career, Suzuki had suffered several injuries and undergone surgeries, including one on his elbow in 2020. These factors could have played a role in his decision to retire.

Family and Personal Reasons

In an interview with The Athletic, Suzuki cited spending more time with his family as one of the reasons for his retirement. He mentioned wanting to be present for his children’s activities and events and being able to spend more time with his wife.

Future Plans

Although Suzuki retired from playing professional baseball, he expressed an interest in staying involved in the sport. He mentioned the possibility of coaching or working in a front-office role. Suzuki also stated that he wants to continue giving back to his community in Hawaii.

Quotes and Statements From Suzuki and Others

In an interview with MLB.com, Suzuki stated, “It’s been a great run, but it’s time to move on. It’s time to be a dad and a husband, and do those things that I’ve always put on the back burner.”

His former teammate, Braves outfielder Adam Duvall, said, “He’s a guy that’s going to be greatly missed in the clubhouse. He’s a great teammate, a great person. He’s always positive, always upbeat.”

Impact on Baseball

Legacy as a Player and Mentor

Suzuki leaves behind a legacy as a respected and accomplished player who was also a mentor to younger players.

He was known for his leadership, work ethic, and dedication to the sport. Suzuki’s ability to call a good game, handle pitchers, and play solid defense made him a valuable asset to any team he played for.

His positive attitude and willingness to help younger players improve their skills made him a beloved figure in the baseball community.

Contribution to the Sport

Suzuki’s contributions to the sport of baseball go beyond his on-field accomplishments. He was involved in several charitable organizations, including the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation and Athletes in Action.

Suzuki was also a vocal advocate for expanding baseball’s reach to underrepresented communities, particularly in Hawaii, where he has been instrumental in promoting baseball among young people.

Future Involvement in Baseball

While Suzuki’s playing days may be over, he has expressed an interest in staying involved in baseball. He has mentioned the possibility of coaching or working in a front-office role.

Suzuki’s experience as a player and his knowledge of the game make him a valuable asset to any organization.

Additionally, his commitment to giving back to his community in Hawaii means that he will likely continue to have an impact on the sport for years to come.

Kurt Suzuki’s Career Accomplishments

All-Star selection2014
Silver Slugger Award2009
World Series Champion2019
Gold Glove Award finalist2008, 2014
Hit for the cycle2010
Caught four no-hitters2008, 2010, 2012, 2013

Note: This table is not an exhaustive list of all of Suzuki’s accomplishments, but rather highlights some of his most notable achievements during his career.


What was Kurt Suzuki’s most significant accomplishment in baseball?

One of Suzuki’s most significant accomplishments was winning the World Series championship with the Washington Nationals in 2019. He played an instrumental role in the Nationals’ playoff run, providing solid defense and contributing key hits.

Did Suzuki retire due to any controversies or scandals?

No, there were no controversies or scandals associated with Suzuki’s retirement. It appears that he simply decided to retire due to a combination of age, injuries, and a desire to spend more time with his family.

Will Suzuki be eligible for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

It’s hard to say at this point. While Suzuki had an impressive career, he may not have accumulated enough accolades or statistical achievements to be considered a Hall of Famer. However, his contributions to the sport and his reputation as a leader and mentor may work in his favor.

Will the Atlanta Braves retire Suzuki’s jersey number?

It’s possible that the Braves may retire Suzuki’s number in the future. While he only played for the team for two seasons, he was well-respected by his teammates and made significant contributions both on and off the field. However, it’s ultimately up to the team’s management to make that decision.


Kurt Suzuki’s retirement from professional baseball marks the end of an impressive career that spanned 14 seasons.

His contributions to the sport go beyond his on-field accomplishments and include his charitable work and advocacy for expanding baseball’s reach to underrepresented communities.

Suzuki’s legacy as a player and mentor will live on, and his future involvement in baseball as a coach or front-office executive is eagerly anticipated.

While his retirement may leave a void in the game, Suzuki’s impact on the sport and the community will continue to be felt for years to come.

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Kevin Smith

I am a dedicated learner who is constantly pursuing my dreams in many areas of life. I am a Finance major at the University of Maryland, a professional baseball player for the Toronto Blue Jays and the owner of my personal brand, Elevate Baseball. I hope to inspire younger learners of all sports and interests to tirelessly pursue their dreams, whatever that may be. LinkedIn

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