Eric Thames (37), recognized as the best foreign hitter in the history of the KBO League, announced his retirement from active play.안전놀이터
Thames wrote in Korean on his Instagram on the 16th, “I never thought I would fall in love with a country so quickly. I had no idea how much fun it would be to play in the KBO.” I trained with all my heart,” he wrote.
He then expressed his affection, “Thank you for embracing me and Dinos. No matter which team I support, I love all of you. I plan to visit Korea often, and if you see me, please do not hesitate to say hello.”
Thames, who made his big league debut with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011, was an ordinary mid-to-long-distance hitter in the major leagues.
In 2013, when he was contemplating retirement without ever reaching the big leagues, the NC Dinos offered a contract, and the choice of Thames, who signed the contract, changed the history of Korean professional baseball.
In 2014, the first year of joining the NC, he played an active role with a batting average of 0.343, 37 home runs and 121 runs, and in 2015, he dominated the league with a batting average of 0.381, 47 home runs, and 140 runs.
In particular, with 47 home runs and 40 stolen bases in 2015, he joined the only 40 home run-40 stolen base club in the KBO League so far and became the league’s best player (MVP).
Thames’ three-season career performance in the KBO League until 2016 was a batting average of 0.349, 124 homers, and 382 RBIs.
Based on his performance in the KBO League, Thames returned to the big leagues by signing with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2017 for a total of 16 million dollars (about 20.5 billion won) over three years.
After hitting 72 home runs in three seasons at Milwaukee, he moved to the Washington Nationals in 2020, but there he batted just .203 with 3 homers and 12 RBIs.
Thames joined the Yomiuri Giants in Nippon Professional Baseball in 2021.
However, in his first team debut, he suffered a serious injury in which he broke his Achilles tendon while defending, and returned to the United States immediately.
Since then, Thames has been consistently mentioned as a candidate for a foreign hitter in the KBO League, but eventually signed a minor league contract with the Oakland Athletics in 2022 without returning to the Korean stage.
In Oakland, he failed to get a call-up to the big leagues, and eventually took off his uniform without finding a team to join.
Thames left a separate message about his retirement in English.
He greeted the fans, saying, “I have been blessed enough to say that baseball is a job for 14 years,” and “Thank you for supporting my rich facial hairstyle (beard).”
Thames, a native of San Jose, California, USA, hit his last professional home run in a Triple-A game in Sacramento, a city right next to his hometown, in May of last year.
Thames said, “It’s unrealistic to hit my last home run near my hometown with my parents watching,” and expected the next page of my life to be insanely amazing