KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Former NL Rookie of the Year Rafael Furcal is retiring after 14 major league seasons.
The 37-year-old signed a minor league contract with Kansas City during spring training, and the Royals placed him on the voluntary retired list Tuesday. He hit .240 with one double in 25 at-bats for Class A Wilmington and Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
“To play in the major leagues for 14 seasons was a dream come true,” Furcal said in a statement. “I love the game, but at this point, I don’t feel like I can play up to my standards anymore and want to spend more time with my beautiful family.”
A three-time All-Star who won a World Series title with St. Louis in 2011, the 37-year-old shortstop hit .281 with 311 doubles, 113 homers and 314 steals for Atlanta (2000-05), the Los Angeles Dodgers (2006-11), the Cardinals (2011-12) and Miami (2014). He won the rookie award with the Braves in 2000.
An All-Star in 2012, Furcal missed the 2013 season after right elbow ligament-replacement surgery that March. He appeared in nine big league games last year, leaving what turned out to be his finale on June 21 after injuring his left hamstring.