40-year-old Bronson Arroyo has announced his retirement after playing 16 seasons in the MLB.
Though Arroyo finished out his career with the Cincinnati Reds, he had a three-year stint with the Boston Red Sox. What most of Red Sox Nation will remember him by is his role on the squad that broke the 86-year curse back in 2004 (specifically when he started a bench clearing brawl after hitting Alex Rodriguez with a pitch), and his exaggerated left leg kick that could’ve landed him a spot on the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
Arroyo was a special kind of player, both in physicality and personality. On the mound, the best word to describe Arroyo would be consistent. He went fourteen seasons without landing on the disabled list or missing a match due to injury. That’s a 396-start stretch, in case you were wondering.
Off the field, he’s been called a “free-spirit,” and has been seen sporting corn rows and jamming out on his guitar; he even played a brief concert for fans following Saturday’s game.
Before Saturday’s match up against the Red Sox, Arroyo was honored with a ceremony and series of gifts including a rocking chair from the franchise, his No. 61 from the Red Sox, a photo and memento collection, and a custom-made guitar, case, and strap made from one of his road jerseys.
The part of the ceremony that meant the most to Arroyo, however, was the series of heartfelt testimonials from familiar faces including former Red Sox and Reds teammates, as well as former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, who identified himself as “the dumb guy who traded you.”
Arroyo says his next step is unclear, but he is ready to move on to the next phase of his life.
“It feels now like my senior year in high school and I’m ready to get out,” Arroyo said. “I’m honestly ready to go.”
Though we won’t be seeing him in a baseball uniform, it is likely that fans will see Arroyo in the near future.
“I’m going to be around here a lot,” Arroyo said. “I just don’t know what I want to get into.”