BOSTON (CBS) — After a 16-year career in Major League Baseball that saw him bring World Series titles to both the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs, Jon Lester has announced his retirement. The 38-year-old lefty called it a career on Wednesday.
Lester retires with a 200-117 record and a 3.66 ERA during the regular season, to go along with a 9-7 record and 2.51 ERA during the postseason. Lester won three World Series rings during his career — two with the Red Sox and one with the Cubs — sporting a 4-1 record and a 1.77 ERA in the Fall Classic.
His legacy as a big-game pitcher started with the Red Sox, when the southpaw helped Boston win titles in 2007 and 2013. He won the deciding Game 4 of the 2007 World Series over the Colorado Rockies, and was 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA against the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2013 World Series. The lefty also tossed a no-hitter for Boston during the 2008 season.
Lester made three of his five All-Star teams over his nine-year stint with Boston, winning 110 games for the Red Sox. He made two additional All-Star teams during his six years with the Chicago Cubs, winning 19 games in 2016 and 18 games in 2018. He split his final MLB season with the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals.
“It’s kind of run its course,” Lester told ESPN when announcing his retirement. “It’s getting harder for me physically. The little things that come up throughout the year turned into bigger things that hinder your performance.
“I’d like to think I’m a halfway decent self-evaluator. I don’t want someone else telling me I can’t do this anymore. I want to be able to hand my jersey over and say, ‘Thank you, it’s been fun.’ That’s probably the biggest deciding factor.”
Lester, a cancer survivor, was as good a human being as I’ve ever met. A big heart and a great sense of humor. Was an honor and pleasure covering him as a minor leaguer thru his time in Boston. Great career. @JLester34 #RedSox
— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) January 12, 2022
Lester was a second-round pick by the Red Sox in 2002 and made his MLB debut in 2006. Late that season, he was diagnosed with anaplastic large T-cell lymphoma and underwent chemotherapy. He was able to return to the mound in 2007, winning four regular season games before helping Boston win its second World Series title in three years.
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