Sean Doolittle was hoping to make his way back to the Washington Nationals this season.
The former All Star had signed a minor league deal with the Nationals during the offseason as he worked his way back from having an internal brace put in his elbow. His recovery, and a subsequent knee injury, limited him to 11 games across four levels. He had been on the minor league IL since June and would not be coming back this year.
Ultimately, those injuries would be too much. Doolittle announced his retirement on Friday, ending what was a fine, and unexpected, career.
Looking back at Washington Nationals’ reliever Sean Doolittle
Doolittle had originally been drafted as a first baseman by the A’s, making his way to Triple-A as a 22 year old. However, injuries stalled his career, with Doolittle ready to retire before his career had a chance to take off. The A’s suggested that he give pitching a try and the rest is history.
He would go on to become an All Star reliever, serving in a variety of roles for the A’s, Nationals, Reds, and Mariners. Doolittle posted a 3.20 ERA and a 1.014 WHiP over his 450.2 innings, striking out 522 batters with 103 walks. He notched 112 saves over his career, reaching the 20 save plateau four times.
Doolittle was more than his success on the mound. He was a fan favourite, going out of his way to interact with fans wherever he played. He used his platform as a professional athlete to call for acceptance and support for the LGBTQ+ community. Doolittle attempted to make everyone feel welcome, something that may be his greatest legacy of all on the diamond.
Washington Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle has announced his retirement. We wish him the best in his future endevours.