“It is with mixed emotions that I have decided to retire from baseball," Anderson said in a statement released by the club. "I know I will miss many aspects of the game, the grind of playing every day, hitting with the game on the line, the clubhouse banter, making a good defensive play, the guys, the roar of the crowd after a win, and the friendships made throughout the years.
"It was truly a privilege to play this wonderful game."
A three-time All-Star selection -- winning MVP and Home Run Derby Champion honors in 2003 -- Anderson holds franchise records for games (2,013), at-bats (7,989), runs (1,024), hits (2,368), total bases (3,743), extra-base hits (796), doubles (489) and RBI (1,292). He is also tied for third in average with Johnny Ray at .296, third in triples (35) and second in home runs (272).
“Garret was an incredible player, one with a calm demeanor and quiet confidence that allowed him to excel in this game,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. “Garret’s role in where the Angels organization is today cannot be overstated. He had a tremendous passion to play this game and a deep understanding of how to play to win, and that was very important to this organization. We wish him and his family nothing but the best as he begins the next chapter of his life.”
Anderson, 38, was a three-sport star at Kennedy High School in Granada Hills, winning all-City honors and helping his school to a City Section title in baseball. Drafted by the then-California Angels in the fourth round of the 1990 draft, Anderson made his major league debut in July 1994 against Oakland, going 2 for 4.
A year later he made the team out of spring training and hit .321 with 16 home runs and 69 RBIs, finishing second in the American League Rookie of the Year voting to the Twins’ Marty Cordova. He batted better than .300 seven times, but his biggest hit came in Game 7 of the 2002 World Series when his bases-clearing double drove in the game-winning runs in the Angels'' 4-1 victory over San Francisco, resulting in the club’s only world championship.
Anderson spent the final two years of his career as a part-time player with Atlanta and the Dodgers, hitting .181 in 155 at-bats for the Dodgers last summer.
-- Kevin Baxter in Tempe, Ariz.
Photo: Garret Anderson. Credit: Danny Moloshok / Reuters