NEW YORK (AP) — Troy Tulowitzki was frustrated his body kept letting him down.
“There came a point in time this year after I strained my calf that it just wasn’t as enjoyable as it once was because I couldn’t do some of the things work wise that I had had done before,” the shortstop said Monday during a conference call to explain his decision to retire at age 34 “I started thinking to myself: I have a son, who’s obviously 5 years old, and I want to be a part of what’s going on in his life and be there for him as a father. And everything just started lining up and decided to make a decision.”
A five-time All-Star with the Colorado Rockies who was limited to just five big league games since July 2017, Tulowitzki announced his retirement last Thursday. He finished with a .290 average, 225 homers and 780 RBIs in 13 seasons with Colorado (2006-15), Toronto (2015-17) and the Yankees.
He agreed to become a volunteer coach with the Texas Longhorns baseball team under head coach David Pierce.
“I had a great experience at Long Beach State — always get kept that in the back of my mind, saying one day when I was done playing that I’d like get back in the college game,” Tulowitzki said. “I have good friends there, as well.”
Tulowitzki was NL Rookie of the Year runner-up in 2007, when he helped the Rockies reach the World Series for the only time in franchise history. He was traded to Toronto in July 2015 and helped the Blue Jays reach the playoffs for the first time since winning the 1993 World Series. They were eliminated in the AL Championship Series by Kansas City, and then lost to Cleveland in the ALCS the following year.
Tulowitzki was proud of his time in Colorado, though he regrets the ending.
“To this day, to be honest, I still wish communication was a little bit better, but it’s a business. I understand that,” he said. “Before I got there they didn’t win many games. And I felt like my time there we had multiple playoff appearances, so I would like to think that I played a big role in just creating a winning culture there.”
He hit .254 with 24 homers and 79 RBIs in 2016, his last full season in the majors. He spent most of 2017 on the disabled list with leg and ankle injuries, and then missed all of last season following surgery on both heels. The Yankees signed him in the offseason, and he won the shortstop job in spring training while starter Didi Gregorius opened the season on the injured list. But Tulowitzki lasted just five games before going on the IL himself, straining his left calf on April 3.