This evening, former All-Star baseball player Edwin Jackson made the decision to retire public on Instagram. The right-hander spent chunks of the years 2003–19 pitching at the major league level. Jackson set a record by wearing the uniform of the most Major League Baseball teams, 14.
In his letter, Jackson reflected on his 19-year baseball career, writing, “19 years ago today I was blessed with an opportunity to tie my laces and step on the field to make my debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers.” “Today I am proudly ending my 22-year baseball career by putting up my cleats.”
After Jackson thanked his family (wife, mom, dad, sisters, kids), he went on to thank the coaches, trainers, and physicians who had helped him along the way. I’ve grown and changed so much because of what I’ve learned and experienced in this game! The game I love and have devoted my life to has given me memories that will never die. He continued, “Baseball, you gave me an experience in life that I will never forget.
After being drafted by the Dodgers in the sixth round in 2001 out of high school in Georgia, Jackson quickly gained a reputation as a top pitching prospect in baseball. On his twentieth birthday, precisely 19 years ago, he made his major league debut, starting three of four games in the final weeks of the season.
Over the following few of years, he was on and off the active roster for the Dodgers, and then in the 2005–06 offseason, he was traded to the team that was then known as the Devil Rays.
Although Jackson spent much of his first season in Tampa Bay as a reliever, he started every game in 2007. The start of that streak marked the beginning of seven seasons in which he would throw more than 160 innings and make at least 30 starts.
Jackson was a starting pitcher for the Rays from 2006 to 2008, when he was traded to the Tigers in exchange for outfielder Matt Joyce. The following year, he threw a career-high 214 innings at a 3.62 ERA. With a 2.52 ERA through the first half of the season, Jackson was named to the All-Star team.
When the next offseason rolled around, he kept right on truckin’ with his itinerant profession. As part of the three-team transaction that sent Curtis Granderson to the Yankees and brought Max Scherzer to Detroit, the Tigers traded Jackson to the Diamondbacks.
Although his time in the desert was brief (he was sent back at the trading deadline that summer), it delivered one of his most memorable memories in the league. In a game against his previous team at Tropicana Field on June 25, 2010, he threw a no-hitter.
In the game, he threw a whopping 149 pitches, striking out six batters but also walking eight. With the support of the manager at the time A.J. Hinch, Jackson was able to finish the game with a tremendous pitch count and a performance that ranks among the best by a player in recent memory.
Congratulations to Edwin Jackson, who announced his retirement following a 17-year career where he pitched for a record 14 teams. Caps from his 14th team – the @BlueJays – in 2019 and his 2010 no-hitter with the @Dbacks are part of the Museum collection. (Jon Willey/Diamondbacks) pic.twitter.com/y2vqq2dfXL
— National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum ⚾ (@baseballhall) September 10, 2022
Soon later, the last-place team traded Jackson to the White Sox for Arizona’s Daniel Hudson. Jackson was effective in his final 11 games, and he has continued his strong play into 2011. He was on the move again when the White Sox were eliminated from playoff contention.
After acquiring Jackson from the White Sox early on the morning of July 27, Jackson spent only a little time with the Blue Jays. In a subsequent trade that sent Colby Rasmus to Toronto, Toronto swiftly dealt him to the Cardinals.
Jackson finished the season with a 3.58 ERA for St. Louis after making 12 starts for them. He made four postseason starts, and though his numbers weren’t outstanding, the Cardinals were able to beat the Rangers and win the World Series.
Jackson, having just won a championship, decided to sign with the Nationals in his first year of free agency. He was a regular starter for the Nationals in 2012, the year they made the playoffs for the first time since moving to Washington, DC.
Next winter, Jackson signed a four-year, $52 million contract with the Cubs. In Chicago, he continued to eat up innings but failed to produce impressive results. Two and a half seasons later, he was finally let go.
Over the next four years, Jackson played for the Braves, Marlins, Padres, Orioles, Nationals (again), Athletics, Blue Jays, and Tigers (again), among other teams. Over the course of that period, he was used both in the starting rotation and the bullpen, as a depth pitcher in both locations.
Jackson did sign a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks in 2020, but he was never called up to the majors. Although he made an appearance with the U.S. Olympic team last summer and voiced his desire to return to the major leagues, he was not offered another contract by a major league affiliate.
Jackson made appearances on the mound in 412 total MLB contests. Tossing 1960 innings while winning 107 games and allowing just 478 earned runs, he struck out over 1500 batters. Jackson made almost $66 million and played for surprisingly nearly half the league, per Baseball Reference. MLB Trade Rumors would like to congratulate Jackson on a long and successful career and wish him well in retirement.
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