I know we’re a couple weeks late on this one, but that’s how long it’s taken for the news to sink in: Mark Kotsay has retired. He’d spent the 2013 season with the Padres, primarily in a pinch-hitting role. It was Kotsay’s second stint with San Diego, and his seventeenth season in the Big Leagues.
All told, Mark Kotsay suited up for seven different teams in his 17-year career, a weak plurality of which (parts of five seasons) he spent with the Padres. Kotsay was also a part of the 1997 World Series winning Marlins, though he was not on the team’s playoff roster. His best years came in Oakland, where in 2005 he tallied 15 home runs and 82 RBI, making him one of the Athletics’ best hitters.
After his A’s days, Kotsay bounced around to a few more teams– from Atlanta and Boston in 2008 to the White Sox in 2009, to Milwaukee in ’11, back to San Diego the past couple years. Versatile player, very dependable, but never stuck around too long, which, I feel, contributed greatly to how underrated he was.
Kotsay finishes a .276 hitter for his big league career, with 1,784 hits in 1914 games played. He made it in the big leagues for 17 years, and made just a shade over $50 million for his time. Kotsay’s a class act, and a friend of Obscure Athletes. Be well, and have a happy retirement Mark!