Atlanta Braves rightfielder Nick Markakis of Woodstock, GA announced his retirement at age 37 on Friday according to David O’Brien and Dan Connolly of The Athletic. Over the last 15 seasons, Markakis has been in the Major League Baseball outfield. He was with the Baltimore Orioles for nine seasons from 2006 to 2014, and then with the Braves over the last six seasons from 2015 to 2020.
In 2154 career games, 9321 plate appearances and 8302 at bats, Markakis had 189 home runs and 1046 runs batted in. He also scored 1119 runs, and had 2388 hits, 514 doubles, 22 triples, 66 stolen bases, 891 walks, 3513 total bases, four sacrifice hits, and 73 sacrifice flies. Markakis actually led the American League with 10 sacrifice flies while as a member of the Orioles in 2009.
It should not come as a huge surprise that Markakis is retiring. That is because he was hesitant of playing the 2020 Major League Baseball regular season due to coronavirus. Markakis initially opted out when Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman tested positive for the disease, but then changed his mind after conversing with Freeman.
In 2021, Markakis batted .254 with one home run and 15 runs batted in. During 37 games, 130 at bats, and 141 plate appearances, he scored 15 runs, and had 15 doubles, 10 walks, a .312 on base percentage, .392 slugging percentage, 51 total bases, and one time hit by a pitch. Markakis’s home run came in a 4-3 Braves win over the Toronto Blue Jays on August 6.
Three years ago, Markakis was a National League All-Star while with the Braves. That season he batted .297 with 14 home runs and 93 runs batted in, and won the gold glove award for a third time, and the silver slugger award for a first time. Markakis previously won the gold glove award with the Orioles in 2011 and 2014.
On a personal note, I had the opportunity to watch Markakis live at the 2003 European Baseball Championships in the Netherlands. Markakis helped Team Greece win the silver medal.