Former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Kyle McClellan has announced his retirement from the game, posting the news on the Facebook page of his charity Brace For Impact 46…
I got news yesterday from my doctor that after a long rehab process from shoulder surgery last November my shoulder was not going to get back to where I would be able to pitch at a high level again. As I heard the news and processed it I have several thoughts that I wanted to share….My first thoughts were how thankful I am to the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers. First the Cardinals… T…he Cardinals drafted me when I was a 17 year old kid who grew up here in St. Louis as a lifelong Cardinal fan. During my time with the organization I not only grew as a baseball player but I grew as a person. I learned lessons in my 11 years with the Cardinals that I will take with me for the rest of my life.The Texas Rangers…. I only spent one season with the Rangers but I will always be thankful for them because they gave me a chance after coming off of a surgery. They treated me with such respect and were honest with me from day one and that is something that I will always appreciate. I wasn’t able to perform to the level that I would have liked in my short time there and to those fans and teammates I apologize for that. I will always be a fan of the organization and am rooting for you.I also need to thank the fans and my teammates. If it weren’t for the fans we would not have this great sport. I was so fortunate to be a part of two great fan bases who showed up every night to support the team. Many players can only hope to be a part of organizations and fan bases like these and I did not take that for granted. My teammates…. I have had some of the most amazing teammates who have shaped my character and taught me so much. I wish I had more time in the game to be able to pass the things I learned from you guys to the younger kids like you guys did to me. I have relationships now because of the game that I will have for the rest of my life and I will cherish those. I will include staff as my teammates, Dr. Paletta saved my career 4 times with repairing my arm so I can get back to pitching. The training staffs, rehab teams, clubhouse guys, traveling secretaries, coaches, (if I left someone out I’m sorry) you guys made such a difference in my career and I can’t thank you enough. Your jobs tend to be overlooked and not enough people tell you thanks but know that I tried to not overlook the work you did to make things easier on us as players.
Last and not least I would like to thanks my friends and family. To my friends who have supported me and be on this amazing ride with me I’m sorry that I have missed weddings, birthdays, and just getting together but am so thankful for you support and helping me through the good and hard times over my career. My family, your support has been incredible and allowed me to be able to focus on baseball and know that everything else has been taken care of at home. My wife Bridget, you always were understanding and encouraging to me to chase my dream all the way back in the minor league days. You have done an amazing job raising the kids while I have been gone so much and now I’m home and I’m sure you will be looking for ways to get me out of the house!
I can honestly say that this is not a sad day but a day of excitement. I get to move on to a new chapter and I’m excited to see what that chapter brings. The verse James 1:2 comes to mind, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way consider it an opportunity for great joy” As I sit here today I am both very joyful and thankful for the time I had to play the game.
As many of you have cheered me on throughout my career this picture is my tip of the cap and thanks to you…
A graduate of Hazelwood West High School, McClellan was selected by the Cardinals in the 25th round of the 2002 draft. He made his big league debut in April of 2008 and primarily pitched out of the bullpen-until 2011, when he stepped into the rotation to make 17 starts (12-7) after Adam Wainwright required Tommy John surgery in Spring Training.