Former Red Sox fan favorite Brock Holt retires from baseball

Former Red Sox fan favorite Brock Holt is calling it a career. The 34-year-old took to Instagram on Thursday afternoon to officially announce his retirement from baseball.

“Damn it that was fun,” Holt wrote. “For parts of 10 years I got to do the only thing I ever wanted to do…play Major League Baseball. Today I hang them up knowing I did the best I could for me, my family, and my teammates. I’m proud of every single second of it. If you were a part of it at any point…know that I love you and I am forever grateful! We had one hell of a ride.”

Originally selected by the Pirates in the ninth round of the 2009 amateur draft out of Rice University, Holt first broke in with Pittsburgh towards the tail end of the 2012 season. That December, he and veteran reliever Joel Hanrahan were traded to the Red Sox in exchange for four players, including Mark Melancon.

Holt would spend the next seven seasons in Boston, gradually establishing himself as a versatile and valuable utility player. In 2014, he finished eighth in American League Rookie of the Year voting. The following year, he hit for his first career cycle and made his first career All-Star team.

From 2016-2018, Holt helped the Red Sox win three straight American League East titles. During Boston’s memorable World Series run in 2018, the left-handed hitter hit for the first (and only) cycle in MLB postseason history in Game 3 of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium.

In his seven seasons with the Red Sox, Holt played every defensive position besides pitcher and catcher. Off the field, the native Texan was Boston’s nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award on four separate occasions thanks in part to his work as the Red Sox’ Jimmy Fund captain.

After reaching free agency at the conclusion of the 2019 campaign, Holt signed a one-year deal with the Brewers the following February. But he was limited to just 16 games with Milwaukee during the COVID-shortened season before being designated for assignment that August. He finished the year with the Nationals and made his return to an empty Fenway Park later that summer.

Last February, Holt signed a minor-league deal with the Rangers and made the club’s Opening Day roster out of spring training. While his .579 OPS left much to be desired, he made one appearance as a pitcher against the Athletics on Aug. 7 and threw the slowest pitch to be called a strike in an MLB game since the league began tracking pitches in 2008. It was a 31.1 mph first-pitch eephus that got Josh Harrison looking.

Holt once again became a free agent last winter before inking a minors pact with the Braves in March. The deal included an invite to major-league spring training, but Holt ultimately asked for and was granted his release when he realized he was not going to make the team out of camp.

While Holt was unable to latch on with another club this past season, he did keep himself busy. In June, he paid a visit to Fenway Park to reconnect with some old teammates. In September, he was a part of NESN’s pre- and postgame coverage as a studio analyst while the Red Sox were in Cincinnati for a two-game series against the Reds.

Now that he has officially retired from playing baseball, Holt very well could be in NESN’s future plans for 2023 and beyond. As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the network has previously discussed bringing on Holt as part of its Red Sox coverage moving forward. Whether that coverage comes from the studio or broadcast booth has yet to be determined.

In the meantime, Holt is planning on running the Boston Marathon in 2023. He and his wife, Lakyn, will run to support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute next April.

All told, Holt steps away from the game as a veteran of 10 big-league seasons. He collected 621 career hits and clubbed 25 home runs over 751 total games between the Pirates, Red Sox, Brewers, Nationals, Rangers. A career .262 hitter, Holt’s accolades include one All-Star selection and two World Series championships in 2013 and 2018. He was also a well-respected teammate and is still to this day adored by Red Sox fans.

(Picture of Brock Holt: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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