Veteran MLB catcher Robinson Chirinos announced his retirement on Twitter Wednesday after 11 seasons in the league. The Venezuelan catcher spent most of his career with the Texas Rangers but played for six teams between 2011 and 2022.

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“With a happy, yet heavy heart, I am announcing my retirement from professional baseball,” Chirinos said. “After much contemplation and reflection, I have decided to close this chapter of my life. It has not been an easy decision, but I feel that it is the right one for me as I have given my heart and soul to this sport over so many years.”

Born in Venezuela, Chirinos signed a contract with the Chicago Cubs in 2000 at the age of 16. He spent more than a decade in Chicago’s farm system until he was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011. He made his MLB debut with the team but did not make the 2012 roster because of a concussion. He was later traded to the Texas Rangers where he played from 2013 to 2018 and again in 2020.

Over the course of his career, Chirinos batted .226 with 95 career homers, but these numbers are deflated by unsuccessful stints with the Mets, Cubs and Orioles later in his career. In his prime, he was a dependable bat for the Rangers and later the Houston Astros, hitting 17 home runs for the latter team in 2019 at age 35. He also caught Justin Verlander’s third career no-hitter that season.

In 2017 and 2023, Chirinos got to represent Venezuela at the World Baseball Classic. He thanked his nation’s baseball team, as well as all the MLB organizations he played for, in his sendoff message.

“Baseball has been more than just a game to me,” Chirinos said. “It has been my passion, my love, and my identity for as long as I can remember. From little league to the major leagues, I have spent my life pursuing my dream of becoming a professional baseball player.”

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