Earlier this week, we learned that Nelson Cruz is retiring from Major League Baseball. He is going to be done after what was 19 years in the league. It was a remarkable career for him as he was a top slugger for a very long time.
Cruz played for the Milwaukee Brewers, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins, Seattle Mariners, and Texas Rangers over his 19-year career. Most of his great years were spent with the Twins, Mariners, and Rangers.
This is a player who absolutely loved playing against the Chicago White Sox. He played against them the most as a member of the AL Central's Minnesota Twins. He was great against everyone but he only hit better against a few teams.
When the White Sox were in the opposing dugout, he always seemed to have a little bit of extra motivation. In 109 games against them, he slashed .267/.326/.510 for an OPS of .836. He hit 25 home runs and had 72 RBIs and 54 runs scored.
The Chicago White Sox don't have to face Nelson Cruz anymore.
Over the course of his career, Cruz was a 42.3 WAR player and he hit 464 home runs. He never was a World Series champion but he did earn himself an ALCS MVP in his career. He was also a 4x Silver Slugger and a 7x All-Star.
It is hard to tell if he will be a Hall of Fame hopeful. His numbers are borderline so he probably misses out but he will certainly appear on the ballot.
This man deserves respect for the way he played in his career. He was dominant against the White Sox and fans feard him every time he came up to bat. There were some really good battles over the years.
White Sox fans won't have to deal with him anymore as an opponent and that is the ultimate compliment. Hopefully, he can have a great life post-retirement.