Jun 19, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers designated hitter Lance Berkman (27) hits a two run home run in the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Former Texas Rangers DH Lance Berkman told MLB.com that he will not be returning to baseball in 2014. The Texas Rangers signed Lance Berkman who was a free agent after only playing 32 games and had 97 plate appearances with a batting average of .259/.381/.444/.826 with the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.
In early January of 2013, the Texas Rangers picked up Lance Berkman for a one year deal with possibly a vesting option worth about $11 million.
When the 2013 season started, it appeared that Lance Berkman was healthy and was on his way to having a great season at DH for the Texas Rangers. At the end of April, he was batting .319/.449/.486/.936 and undoubtedly had one of the bats hottest on the club.
But as the calendar turned to May, is average started to decline and maybe his health did too. At the end of June, Lance Berkman was leaving the charter plane and some how fell down the stairs and hurt his knee. He had already had prior injuries to his knee and this one might have been the one that lead to his retirement.
After his knee injury, Lance Berkman only appeared in 9 games and only managed to get 1 hit over his 12 at-bats.
Even though his time with the Texas Rangers didn’t live up to exceptions, over all he’s had a very successful career. Berkman spent a majority of his time with the Houston Astros (12 seasons). He was part of what the people around Houston and other’s called the Killer B’s. Lance Berkman holds the record for the Houston Astros for the on-base percentage at .410, slugging percentage at .549, and most home runs at Minute Maid Park at 151. He was definitely part of the reason the Houston Astros made it to the World Series in 2005.
Berkman has appeared in 6 All-star games, has finished top in the MVP voting 7 times, and finished 6th in the rookie of the year voting. Also, he was voted as the 2011 NL comeback player of the year.
From 2001 to 2009 and including 2011, Lance Berkman was in the top 10 for on-base percentage and has been in the top 10 for slugging percentage for a large portion of his career.
Where ever Berkman has played, he’s had success. After his time in Houston, he played for the New York Yankees, then the St. Louis Cardinals then finally the Texas Rangers.
For Berkman, he probably would have hoped he would have finished as strong as he started in 2013, but it didn’t work out that way. But he did help the Texas Rangers start off red hot in April and overall has had a very successful career. In my opinion, he’ll be in the Hall of Fame some day.