Mike Lieberthal, a two time All-Star, a Gold Glove winner, and a Jew, has decided its time to hang his jock strap up and move away from the game of baseball. Mike’s career began back in 1990 when the Phillies selected him with the third pick in the draft. Mike was taken in the round before such players as Mike Mussina, Jeromy Burtnitz, Garrett Anderson, Troy Percival, and everyone’s hero Paul Bako.
(Sidenote: The 1990 Draft Sucked; Aside from Chipper Jones [#1 Pick], the majority of round 1 was awful [Adam Hyzdu, Midre Cummings…http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/?year_ID=1990&round=1&draft_type=junreg]
But back to the important story, on Saturday, Michael Scott Lieberthal held spoke at the Garciaparra/Hamm Soccer Classic where he said, “”I’m done,” Lieberthal said on Saturday. “I decided a couple weeks after the season ended. If [the Dodgers] had picked up my option, I probably would have played one more year. But I didn’t want to go anywhere else.” It’s going to be tough to be a Dodger fan this year knowing that they more or less aided in the ending of Lieby’s career.
(Sidenote: After declining the option on Lieberthal, the Dodgers signed free-agent Gary Bennett to a one-year contract to back up Martin….GARY BENNETT)
Mike’s career as an All-Star catcher was centered around his first thirteen seasons in the big leagues as a Phillie. During this period, Mike hit 150 home runs and he drove in 609 runs. Mike’s career started off in 1994 when he played in 24 games and hit .266 with one home run and 5 RBI’s, as stellar as 1994 was for Mike, 2007 was a year that will never be forgotten. The Dodgers signed Mike to a 1.15 million dollar contract to backup Russ Martin. Unfortunately for the home town hero, Grady Little was a Nazi and ultimately hated playing Lieberthal. In the ’07 season, Mike played in a grand total of thirty-one games where he failed to hit a home run and drove in a grand total of one run. With that said, SOMEHOW, Baseball References is convinced that at the age of 35, Mike Lieberthal is most similar to Jason Varitek, the starting catcher of the World Series Champs. That my friend, is like saying Olmedo Saenz should be Mr. Universe.
Mike Lieberthal, you will be missed.
Did You Know…
-Lieberthal has hit the 5th-most home runs of any Jewish major league baseball player, behind Hank Greenberg, Shawn Green, Sid Gordon, and Al Rosen, and is 7th on the all time list in hits and RBIs.
-Lieberthal’s is listed as Jewish by the American Jewish Historical Society.
– Dwight Schrute has a bobblehead doll of Lieberthal on his desk.
-Lieberthal is tied with Shawon Dunston in 416th place for the most home-runs hit in MLB history.