WASHINGTON — Gerardo Parra says he is retiring from baseball after 12 seasons in the major leagues and will become a special assistant to Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo.
“It's time for me to step aside to take on new professional and personal challenges,” the 35-year-old outfielder wrote Monday on Instagram. “It's not an easy decision to make for any athlete, but I am happy with what I have achieved in these 12 years in the major leagues.”
Parra said his new role with the Nationals “is undoubtedly a dream job to start a new chapter."
Parra became a fan favorite as he helped Washington win the 2019 World Series, making “Baby Shark” his walkup song. The Nationals released a video tribute to Parra, who signed a minor league contract with the team before this season but did not appear iny any games.
He hit .237 with 90 homers and 532 RBIs for Arizona (2009-14), Milwaukee (2014-15), Baltimore (2015), Colorado (2016-18), San Francisco (2019) and Washington (2019, 2021) and spent 2020 with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan's Central League.
The city of Phoenix is home to five major professional sports league teams; The NFL's Arizona Cardinals, NBA's Phoenix Suns, WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, MLB's Arizona Diamondbacks and NHL's Arizona Coyotes.
The Cardinals have made the State Farm Stadium in Glendale their home turf and the Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix is home to both the Suns and the Mercury. The Indoor Football League’s Arizona Rattlers also play at the Footprint. Phoenix has a soccer team with the USL's Phoenix Rising FC.
The Valley hosts multiple major sporting events on a yearly basis, including college football's Fiesta Bowl and Cactus Bowl; the PGA Tour’s highest-attended event, the Waste Management Phoenix Open; NASCAR events each spring and fall; and Cactus League Spring Training.
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