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Edwin Jackson announces retirement on anniversary of his MLB debut with Dodgers

Jackson pitched for a record 14 teams in his 17-year career

Edwin Jackson, making his major league debut for the Dodgers against Randy Johnson and the Diamondbacks at Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, Arizona on September 9, 2003.
Edwin Jackson, making his major league debut for the Dodgers against Randy Johnson and the Diamondbacks at Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, Arizona on September 9, 2003.
Photo by Jon Soohoo/Getty Images

Former Dodgers pitcher Edwin Jackson, who pitched for a record 14 major league teams in a 17-year career, announced his retirement on Friday.

Jackson made the announcement on Instagram:

In case the Instagram embed does not show up, here’s what Jackson wrote:

19 years ago today I was blessed with an opportunity to tie up my laces and step on the field to make my debut with Los Angeles Dodgers…today I am happily hanging up my cleats and closing a 22 year Basbeall career. I’m super grateful to have had 14 different organizations allow me the opportunity to represent them. I was once told by a mentor that you are only as strong as the team you have around you, and I have an amazing team. I want to start by thanking my wife. She’s been by my side through the ups and downs of this journey. I love you E! I want to thank my parents for always believing in me and always making ANY sacrifices that had to be made in order for me to be able to get out on the field and play. My sisters have always been in my corner no matter what and their love and support has never changed! Love all of yall! Thanks to my kids for being my biggest cheer squad. To my in-laws, friends, and other family members, all of y’all have been nothing short of amazing for all of the motivation throughout all of these years. I want to thank all of my coaches, trainers, and doctors, on the field and off, for all of the hours of hard work put in to help me have an amazing career. This game has taught me many life lessons and allowed me to evolve into the person I am today! I will forever have memories that will live within me from the game that I loved and dedicated my life to. Thank you baseball for an amazing life experience that I will never forget!!

The timing of the announcement was special to Jackson for two reasons. Friday was his 39th birthday, and it was the 19th anniversary of his major league debut with the Dodgers, beating Randy Johnson — who at the time was one day shy of being literally double Jackson’s age — and the Diamondbacks in Arizona.

The Dodgers drafted Jackson in the sixth round in 2001 out of Shaw High School in Columbus, Georgia. A little more than two years later, the right-hander was pitching for the Dodgers in a race for the wild card spot. Jackson put up a 2.45 ERA in four games and 22 innings that month in the majors, including allowing one run in six innings to beat the D-backs in his major league debut, throwing 98-mph fastballs.

“There’s not a whole lot more to ask of a guy, especially at that age. If he stays healthy, he’s going to pitch up here a long time,” Kevin Brown said after Jackson’s birthday debut, per the Los Angeles Times.

A long time was an understatement, as Jackson pitched 17 years in the majors. The Dodgers traded him with Chuck Tiffany to the Rays for Danys Báez and Lance Carter before the 2006 season, one of seven times Jackson was dealt in his career.

Most innings by drafted Dodgers pitchers

Pitcher Year (round) Innings
Pitcher Year (round) Innings
Charlie Hough 1966 (8th) 3,801.3
Doyle Alexander 1968 (9th) 3,367.7
Orel Hershiser 1979 (17th) 3,130.3
Bob Welch 1977 (1st) 3,092.0
Rick Sutcliffe 1974 (1st) 2,697.7
Dave Stewart 1975 (16th) 2,629.7
Rick Rhoden 1971 (1st) 2,593.7
Clayton Kershaw 2006 (1st) 2,551.0
Ted Lilly 1996 (23rd) 1,982.7
Edwin Jackson 2001 (6th) 1,960.0
Career totals by pitchers selected and signed by the Dodgers in the standard June draft through September 9, 2022

Jackson pitched for the Dodgers, Rays, Tigers, Diamondbacks, White Sox, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Nationals, Cubs, Braves, Marlins, Padres, Orioles, and A’s. Fourteen teams is a major league record.

With the D-backs, pitched a no-hitter on June 25 against the Rays in Tampa, working around eight walks and throwing 149 pitches, a total that hasn’t been reached by a major league pitcher since.

Jackson last pitched in the majors in 2019 with the Tigers. He signed a minor league contract with Arizona in 2020, but did not pitch that season.

That year, Jackson did help found The Players Alliance, a nonprofit group focused on increasing diversity in baseball and addressing “baseball’s systemic barriers to equity and inclusion by creating pathways to opportunities on and off the field for an undeniable pipeline of Black talent.”

Jackson currently sits on the board of directors of The Players Alliance as secretary.

Jackson pitched one inning in one game in 2021 for High Point in the Atlantic League, but his highlight of the year was pitching two games for Team USA, winning a silver medal at the Summer Olympics.

In 17 major league seasons, Jackson had a 4.78 ERA (an 88 ERA+) and 4.48 FIP in 412 games, including 318 starts, with 1,508 strikeouts in 1,960 innings. That’s the 10th-most career innings pitched by anyone drafted and signed by the Dodgers in the standard June draft.