By Kyle Krajewski
Former KU pitcher and two-time World Series Champion Ryan Vogelsong officially retired as a member of the San Francisco Giants and was honored before the game on Sunday, Sept. 17.
Vogelsong was drafted in the fifth round of the 1998 MLB Draft by the Giants and made his major league debut with them in 2000. After starting five games of the 2001 season and showing signs of struggle, he was traded to the Pirates where he was eventually cut in 2006.
This lead to Vogelsong playing three seasons in Japanese leagues where he caught the attention of other MLB teams. After a few minor league stints, he eventually made his way back to the Giants on a minor league contract in the 2010-2011 offseason. A few months into the 2011 season he was called up as a replacement in the majors and exceeded expectations posting a 13-7 record with a 2.71 ERA en route to an All-Star nomination.
His success made him a key piece in the Giants’ 2012 and 2014 playoff rotations and lead to two World Series rings for the KU alum.
The Pirates then decided to bring Vogelsong back to Pittsburgh in the 2016 season, but the pitcher struggled and was ultimately released. So, he tried again this season, signing a minor league deal with the Twins, which lead to Vogelsong not making the team out of spring training.
Vogelsong also faced two rough injuries while batting throughout his career. He had to get pins inserted into his pitching hand after being hit with a fastball in 2013. In 2016, he was hit in the face by a pitch and needed surgery to repair multiple facial fractures.
In the end, Vogelsong’s career comes to an end with a 61-75 record and a 4.48 ERA through 1190 major league innings pitched. These stats don’t include another 37 innings of 2.92 ERA along with a 29-to-16 K/BB ratio and a 7-0 record in Giants postseason starts.