Former Red Sox infielder Travis Shaw is calling it a career. The 32-year-old took to Twitter on Monday evening to officially announce his retirement from baseball.
“For the last eight years, I’ve been blessed with to live my childhood dreams of playing Major League Baseball,” Shaw wrote. “But today, that dream comes to an end! 12 years ago, being a 9th-round pick, I would never have imagined what this game provided me. The memories will last a lifetime. To everyone that made an impact on my career (the list is endlessly long), I will forever be indebted to you! As this chapter closes, the only two words that come to mind is THANK YOU!”
The son of longtime reliever Jeff Shaw, Travis was originally selected by the Red Sox in the ninth round of the 2011 amateur draft out of Kent State. While the Ohio native was not heralded as a premier prospect, he gradually worked his way through Boston’s farm system and made his major-league debut at the age of 25 in May 2015.
Shaw proceeded to put together a solid rookie campaign, as he batted .270/.327/.487 with 10 doubles, 13 home runs, and 36 RBIs in his first 65 games (248 plate appearances) with the Red Sox. While being dubbed “The Mayor of Ding Dong City” by fans, Shaw slashed .242/.306/.421 with 34 doubles, 16 home runs, and 71 RBIs in 145 games (530 plate appearances) the following year.
That September, however, there was a falling out of sorts between Shaw and then-Red Sox manager John Farrell following the promotion of top prospect Yoan Moncada, who cut into Shaw’s playing time. Three months later, Shaw and two others were traded to the Brewers in exchange for reliever Tyler Thornburg.
Thornburg was marred by injuries and appeared in just 41 games in three seasons with the Red Sox. Shaw, on the other, hand broke out in Milwaukee by clubbing 31 homer runs in 2017 and putting up a career-best 32-homer campaign in 2018 as the Brewers’ everyday third baseman.
Beginning in 2019, though, Shaw’s production began to dip. The left-handed hitter was limited to just 86 games due in part to a right wrist strain and struggled to the tune of a .157/.281/.270 slash line before being non-tendered by Milwaukee that December.
After spending the COVID-shortened 2020 season with the Blue Jays, Shaw returned to the Brewers in 2021. He got off to another tough start and was placed on release waivers that August. The Red Sox then claimed Shaw, who provided the club with a bit of a spark off the bench. He most notably hit a walk-off grand slam in the 11th inning of an 8-4 win over the Rangers on Aug. 23.
Shaw got into five games during Boston’s run to the American League Championship Series that October. He spent four months on the open market before returning to the Red Sox on a minor-league deal last March and making the Opening Day roster out of spring training.
To start the 2022 season, Shaw went 0-for-19 with zero walks and seven strikeouts in his first seven games. He was designated for assignment on April 29 and went unclaimed on waivers, thus becoming a free agent again. After not landing with another team last year, Shaw has ultimately decided to hang up his cleats.
All told, Shaw was a lifetime .237/.319/437 hitter with 127 doubles, three triples, 114 home runs, 366 RBIs, 310 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases in 733 career games (2,690 plate appearances) between the Red Sox, Brewers, and Blue Jays. He saw playing time at first base, second base, third base, and left field as part of an eight-year tenure in the big-leagues.
(Picture of Travis Shaw: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)