Washington Nationals: Howie Kendrick, we feel the same way, man

Howie Kendrick #47 of the Washington Nationals hits a two-run home run against the Houston Astros during the seventh inning in Game Seven of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 30, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Howie Kendrick #47 of the Washington Nationals hits a two-run home run against the Houston Astros during the seventh inning in Game Seven of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 30, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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After 15 years of playing Major League Baseball, Howie Kendrick has decided to retire. Washington Nationals fans feel the same about him as he does us.

Now that Howie Kendrick has decided to call it a career, baseball fans can begin to dissect his numbers and speak about the player he was. For most people in the game, Kendrick will be known for his time in a Los Angeles Angels uniform. He did spend the first nine years of his career there. He played over one thousand games in LA. He was an All-Star in LA. He garnered MVP votes in LA.

In my book, he’ll always be a Washington National.

Kendrick took to Instagram to say goodbye and after thanking all three other professional teams he played for (Angels, Dodgers, Phillies), he had this to say to the Nationals:

"Thank you for embracing me as one of your own. I feel as though I’d been a National my whole career, and the wild, humbling and crazy ride we had in 2019 truly culminated everything I’d learned in my career, and we all became World Champions."

Howie, for many of us Nationals fans we felt as if you were meant to be on our roster. From day one. When you were acquired as a deadline deal in 2017 we were just happy to have you on board. Your veteran presence and quiet leadership was going to be a God-send, regardless of the outcome in the standings.

More. Howie Kendrick clocks cardboard cutout with HR. light

When you torn your Achilles Tendon, we cringed along with you. At 35 years of age we knew it would be hard for you to come back and compete at a high level, and you did. You hit .344 with an OPS of .966 at age 35. Both career highs. And the highlights kept on coming.

The grand slam against the Dodgers in the NLDS to give the Nationals their first playoff series win.  The three doubles in Game 3 of the NLCS, along with your MVP award sending the team to the World Series, and then the game winning home run in Game 7 of the Fall Classic. On the biggest stage, your star shined the brightest.

For all of us with the “This Is Howie Do It” shirts, and all the kids who mimic your drag car, dugout-home run celebration, you’ll always have a special place in our hearts.

We embraced you as one of our own, because you are one of our own. We’ll miss your infectious smile, your constant energy, and the way you approach the game of baseball.

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Some players play their entire careers with one organization and leave not meaning as much as you do to the Washington Nationals, after just parts of four seasons. Thank you, Howie Kendrick. Thank you for everything.

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