Confirming intentions he first voiced eight months ago, Aramis Ramirez formally announced his retirement on Thursday, ending an 18-season career as one of the standout third basemen in Major League history.
Ramirez affirmed his plans during an ESPN radio interview in his Dominican Republic homeland, saying, "I'm not pulling out because I don't like baseball, but because I want to be with my family. I'm almost certain that I'll stay involved in baseball, but I don't know in what [capacity] yet."
Most immediately, Ramirez hopes to give his countrymen the last opportunity to see him swing and pick, tentatively planning to suit up for Tigres del Licey of the Dominican Winter League.
During a full-circle career that began and ended in Pittsburgh, Ramirez hit 386 home runs, seventh all-time among third basemen, while compiling a .283 average and .833 OPS.
Ramirez had strongly hinted that his 20th year in professional ball would be his last, telling MLB.com in the early days of Spring Training with the Brewers, "I'm going to play this year, and probably be done after this year. I don't know if I want to play after this year. I think this is it. I had a nice career, and I think enough is enough."
Four months into his fourth season in Milwaukee, Ramirez was dealt to the Pirates, with whom he had made his big league debut in 1998 as a 19-year-old. He played in Pittsburgh for the first five-and-a-half seasons of his career.
Traded to the Cubs on July 23, 2003, Ramirez was a two-time All-Star in nine seasons in Chicago prior to moving onto Milwaukee as a free agent.
Rejoining a powerhouse team in Pittsburgh, in contrast to the downtrodden club he had left a dozen years earlier, provided a thrilling element to Ramirez's career coda. Concluding his unofficial farewell tour of the league with the Bucs, Ramirez was saluted in both Milwaukee and Chicago as he made his last visits to those cities.