Once a budding young star on a World Series champion, former All-Star and Gold Glove-winning Joe Panik is retiring at the age of 31.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported the story, saying that Panik “has quietly retired after a fine career.”

“His child Mikayla was born last year, and he’s enjoying family life. One of baseball’s nicest guys retires with a .264 average, and, of course, that 2014 ring.”

Panik elaborated on his career in a text message with Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area.

Panik was a part of the San Francisco Giants team that won the World Series in 2014. His bat was quiet throughout most of that postseason, as Panik hit .233/.273/.356 with a home run. Panik did make one of the most important defensive plays of that run, though.

With Game 7 of the World Series tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the third inning, the Kansas City Royals appeared poised to have runners on first and third with nobody out when Eric Hosmer smoked a ball back up the middle. But Panik made a brilliant diving stop, flipped the ball to Brandon Crawford with his glove to retire Lorenzo Cain at second. Crawford then threw to first to complete the double play, after a review.

That play was also the first successful replay review in World Series history.

Panik hit .305/.343/.368 during the 2014 regular season, which was good enough for sixth place in that year’s National League Rookie of the Year voting. The following year, Panik hit .312/.378/.455 and found more power with eight home runs and was a National League All-Star. While Panik’s offense dropped in 2016, his defense did not as he earned the Gold Glove Award.

During the 2016 postseason, Panik delivered a walk-off double in the 13th inning of Game 4 of the NLDS, giving the Giants their only win in the series over the eventual World Series champion Chicago Cubs.

While Panik’s career was relatively short, he made a big impact among baseball fans.

Panik played most of his career with the Giants, breaking in with San Francisco in 2014. The Giants waived Panik in August of 2019, when he was signed by the New York Mets. Panik finished 2019 with the Mets, then signed with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2020. In June, 2021, he was traded from Toronto to the Miami Marlins. He finished the 2021 season (and, as it turns out, his MLB career) in Miami.

[New York Post, Alex Pavlovic]

About Michael Dixon

Michael is a writer and editor for The Comeback Media. Fan of most sports, nerd when it comes to sports history. Bay Area based for now. Likely leaving sometime early in 2023.

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