Lance Berkman may be done as an active major league player. With a Cardinals season shortened again by knee trouble that has required additional surgery on his right knee, there’s now a good chance that Lance will retire rather than return for his 15th season as a big leaguer. Adding to that possibility are Berkman’s recently expressed desires for moving back to Rice for graduate school work and a place on Rice baseball coach Wayne’s bench as a special assistant.
The call to his baseball roots – and a possible place in Rice’s baseball future – appear to be strong. Add to the mix that Lance Berkman is one of the wealthiest MLB players, by his own merits, et cetera, and we have the makings of a man with a free shot on pursuing his own passion at the galloping gate of middle age with no financial pressure to take on anything he really doesn’t want to do.
Nice deal for Lance.
If he does put the lid on his career now, Lance leaves with a 14 season career (1999-2012) that will always be capped by his World Series ring and role with the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals championship year and backed by his ten plus years with the Houston Astros as one of the driving forces behind our “Killer B” years and that solo unsuccessful trip to the 2005 World Series as an Astro.
If this is it, Berkman leaves with a .296 career batting average, a .544 slugging percentage, and .409 on base percentage. His 1,200 RBI halt at a nice round number, but his 1,843 hits and 360 career home runs fall short of some easier. more memorable landmark spots at 2,000 and 400.
Berkman’s career 412 doubles include two seasons, 2001 and 2008, when he led the National League with 55 and 46 doubles on the season. He also led the 2002 NL season with 128 RBI.
Lance Berkman will be 37 years old next February 10th. No one can blame him for retiring at his age with his health issues and with his accomplishments.He’s had a good career, good enough to put him on the roster and probably the starting lineup of any 25-man all time Houston Astros club, just not good enough for any serious National Baseball Hall of Fame consideration.
Whatever you do now, Lance, most, if not all of us Houston baseball fans still thank you for being one of the greatest Astros in franchise history.