01/22/2009 2:14 PM ET
Second Baseman Jeff Kent retires after 17 major league seasons
Bellflower native hit more home runs as a second baseman than any other player in big league history
LOS ANGELES - Second baseman Jeff Kent today announced his retirement after 17 seasons of Major League Baseball and a 20-year professional career.
Jeffrey Franklin Kent batted .290 with 560 doubles, 377 home runs, and 1,518 RBI in 2,298 games with Toronto (1992), the New York Mets (1992-96), Cleveland (1996), San Francisco (1997-2002), Houston (2003-04), and the Dodgers (2005-08). He ranks 47th on baseball's all-time RBI list, just ahead of Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle, who had 1,509. Kent also ranks 62nd in career home runs, and is tied for 20th on baseball's all-time doubles list. He is 95th on baseball's all-time hits list with 2,461.
Kent, 40, is the all-time leader among Major League second basemen with 351 home runs, 74 more than Ryne Sandberg. He also leads all second basemen with 1,389 RBI, 282 more than Roberto Alomar. Kent's 508 doubles as a second baseman rank first, and his 2,215 hits rank fifth. Kent played 2,034 games at second base, the fifth-highest total in Major League history behind Alomar (2,322), Lou Whitaker (2,311), Willie Randolph (2,153), and Frank White (2,141).
Kent logged eight 100-RBI seasons, the most ever by a second baseman. He is also one of only three second basemen to register three 30-homer seasons (1998, 2000, 2002), joining Rogers Hornsby (1922, 1925, 1929) and Alfonso Soriano (2002-03, 2005). Kent registered 20 or more homers in nine straight seasons (1997-2005), a record for second basemen.
Kent was the National League Most Valuable Player in 2000, when he hit .334 with 33 homers and 125 RBI with the Giants. He is a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner for NL second basemen, and is a five-time All-Star (1999-01, 2004-05), including four starts in the Mid-Summer Classic. Kent played in the postseason seven times, including one World Series with the Giants in 2002. In 49 post-season games overall, he batted .276 with nine homers and 23 RBI. Three of those home runs came in the 2002 Fall Classic against the Angels.
During his four seasons with the Dodgers from 2005-08, Kent led the club with 551 hits, 122 doubles, 75 homers, 311 RBI, 281 runs scored, and 521 games played. He was the National League's starting second baseman in the 2005 All-Star Game at Detroit's Comerica Park. He ranks eighth in club history in batting average (minimum 1,800 AB), while also placing among franchise leaders with 73 home runs as a second baseman (third) and 497 games played at second base (fifth).
Kent broke into the Majors in 1992 with Toronto, and was awarded a World Series ring that year despite being traded to the Mets during the regular season. He played all but 104 of his 2,298 big league games in the National League, with Cleveland his only other American League stop. Kent was selected by Toronto in 20th round of the 1989 First-Year Player Draft. He played just 344 minor league games before making his Major League debut on April 12, 1992 vs. Baltimore.