ATLANTA - Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann is hanging up his gear. The 35-year-old from Athens, Georgia made the announcement following the Braves loss Wednesday to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Division Series.
Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann is hanging up his gear. The 35-year-old from Athens, Georgia made the announcement following the Braves loss Wednesday to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Division Series.
“It's just time to go,” McCann said in a post-game interview. “Fifteen years of catching, you know, it's sad, you know, but it's time. I knew about a month-and-a-half ago.”
McCann is Georgia-grown, having attended Duluth High School before committing to play for Alabama.
"I went to high school here, I grew up here, I got to play nine years here to start my career," McCann said. "I got to play with some of my heroes growing up and coming back to play with a new generation, I'd say it was a success."
The Braves drafted McCann in the second round of the 2002 MLB Draft.
"I've known Snit for a long time, since he was a Double-A manager," McCann said. "I enjoyed the chance to do this with him."
After playing for the minor league Rome Braves, McCann got the big call up on June 10, 2005. He would play in a Braves uniform for the next seven seasons.
Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Mark Melancon gets a hug from catcher Brian McCann after striking out the last batter of the game during the NL Division Series game 2 between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves on October 4th, 2019 at SunTru (Getty Images)
The seven-time All-Star and 2010 All-Star MVP would go on to play for the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros, helping Houston win the 2017 World Series, before returning to Atlanta this season.
McCann signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Braves and put back on his number 16 jersey. He said one of the big reasons was to come back and play in front of his family in his hometown.
"I wanted to be a part of this team, to be back home and play in front of my family every night," McCann said, adding he didn't think he would change his mind on ending his playing career.
On June 14, 2019, the six-time Silver Slugger Award winner hit his 1,000th career RBI, a walk-off single against the Philadelphia Phillies.
“I'm really proud I got to put the uniform on again.
McCann said it would have always been nice to see the Braves go further, but he ended his career the right way.
“It's never easy at the end of the season when it's over, but like I said before, this organization, it's right where it needs to be. It's got so much talent,” McCann said.
McCann's final regular season saw him hitting .249 -- his highest average since 2013 -- with 12 homers and 45 RBIs while he shared playing time with Tyler Flowers.
McCann ranks fifth in Atlanta history with 236 doubles, sixth with 706 RBIs, seventh with 1,139 hits and eighth with 188 home runs. Overall, he hit .262 with 282 homers.
But fans can expect to see McCann around. He said he has two kids who love baseball as much as he does.
Reactions came quickly on social media from fans and former teammates:
The Associated Press contributed to this article