Jason Giambi retires from MLB

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

CLEVELAND -- Jason Giambi is retiring after 20 seasons in the majors.

The 2000 AL MVP announced his decision Monday in a statement that was first sent to the New York Daily News.

He ends his career as one of 20 players in MLB history with at least 400 home runs, 1,400 RBIs, 1,200 runs and 1,300 walks. The 44-year-old played for Oakland, the New York Yankees, Colorado and Cleveland.

After last season, Giambi said he would discuss with his family whether to keep playing. The longtime slugger appeared in just 26 games for the Indians in 2014.

A five-time All-Star and fearsome power hitter, Giambi batted .277 in his career with 440 home runs and 1,441 RBIs. He had a .399 on-base percentage and slugged .516.

The first baseman's legacy was tarnished by his involvement in the BALCO performance-enhancing drug investigation. He publicly acknowledged PED use in an interview with USA Today in 2007, apologizing for his actions and saying he "was wrong for doing that stuff."

"I want to thank the fans for being a part of this incredible journey," Giambi said in his statement. "I especially want to thank the fans that gave me a second chance to let me show you the human being you see today."

Despite the PED scandal, Giambi remained a popular and well-respected player in clubhouses around the majors -- especially his own. Before joining the Indians in 2013, he was a finalist for Colorado's managerial job.

Indians president Mark Shapiro lauded Giambi via Twitter.

In his statement, Giambi also thanked everyone from his family and agents to the media, his managers and coaches -- even the companies that supplied his baseball equipment.

"Ever since I was 5 years old, all I ever wanted to be was a Major League Baseball player," he said. "To the game of baseball: I started playing you when I was a kid, and I'm leaving you a man. Thank you."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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