In the immediate aftermath of being eliminated in the National League Division Series, multiple Los Angeles Dodgers spoke with disappointment of not only the early exit as a whole but because of what it meant for some members of the roster.
Changes are afoot this winter, both via free agency and retirement, as well as potential trades. Cody Bellinger, Walker Buehler and others didn’t specify who was likely to retire, but the candidates were obvious.
One being David Freese, who officially announced after 11 Major League seasons he was sailing off into the sunset. Freese nearly retired after the 2018 campaign but was convinced by the Dodgers to return for a final year.
With Freese still in the early stages of his post-playing career, the 36-year-old shared a modest retirement gift he received from a person who said it was from Texas Rangers fans.
— Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015) October 13, 2019
The reference is of course to the 2011 World Series, which Freese was named the MVP of. He started in all seven games and helped lead the Cardinals to a title by going 8-for-28 with three doubles, one triple, one home run, seven RBI and five walks.
Freese’s triple came in the ninth inning of Game 6 as he drove in a pair to force extra innings and he later added a walk-off home run in the 11th. He set an MLB record with 21 RBI during the 2011 postseason and was also named NL Championship Series MVP that year.
Beyond becoming something of a modern day Mr. October, Freese was revered by teammates for his veteran leadership and ability to relate to the younger generation. He helped fill a void for the Dodgers that was created after Chase Utley retired before the 2018 season.
The Dodgers acquired Freese in August of last year, minutes before the now-defunct waiver trade deadline. He proved to be a valuable right-handed bat off the bench over parts of the last two seasons and was a key contributor in the postseason.
Freese hit .328/.421/.607 with 15 doubles, 13 home runs and 38 RBI in 98 games with the Dodgers.