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Dodgers honor Andre Ethier as he says goodbye to baseball

MLB: Houston Astros at Los Angeles Dodgers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

A staple of the Dodgers lineup over the last 12 years said goodbye to fans and teammates Friday. Andre Ethier officially retired from baseball in a ceremony at Dodger Stadium with family and friends at his side.

“It’s flattering, it’s humbling to have all this fuss,” Etheir said. “For a guy who was just another player in a long line of great Dodgers to walk these hallways and put this uniform on, it means a lot.”

Ethier walks away from the game having only ever worn a Dodger uniform at the major league level. The Dodgers traded Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez to the Athletics for the former second-round pick back on December 13, 2005.

In regular season play, Ethier ranks eighth all-time in franchise history in doubles (303), 12th in home runs (162), 13th in RBI (687), 14th in games played and 17th in hits (1,367). His 51 postseason games are the most in franchise history.

Earning the nickname “Captain Clutch” with 14 walk-off hits over his career, Ethier ranks second to Dusty Baker (16) in franchise history.

Houston Astros v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

A broken leg in 2016 and a bad back during 2017 limited the 36-year-old to just 38 games over the past two seasons. But that didn’t mean retirement was always the option.

“I was honestly geared up and ready to go,” Ethier said this past offseason. “The business side, you just start to realize there’s not a market. Markets just don’t develop. I had been joking a lot that if you can’t find a job, then I guess you retire. That’s what happened.”

Several Dodgers showed up to the press conference prior to the ceremony on the field, leading to Ethier joking with Joc Pederson. “I’m not gonna lie, I’d love to be out there,” said Ethier. “If Joc can get a hit, I can get a hit.”

The last hit of Ethier’s career was an RBI-single in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series against the Astros. After 1,455 regular season games, it was his only trip to the Fall Classic.

It was fitting that Matt Kemp was able to be there for the moment after coming back to the Dodgers in the offseason. Kemp and Ethier were teammates for nine seasons.

“If I could do one more thing,” Ethier said, “it would be to play one more game with Matt.”