After the Braves season came crashing down in a 13-1 loss in Game 5 of the NLDS, veteran catcher Brian McCann announced that he had played his final game. While the season didn’t end the way he and the Braves wanted, McCann was happy to play his final season in his hometown Atlanta and have one more run in the playoffs.
McCann grew up in suburban Atlanta and dreamed of playing for his hometown. It was a dream come true when the Braves drafted him in the second round in 2002, and he helped the Braves clinch the last of their 14 consecutive division titles along with Atlanta legends Chipper Jones and John Smoltz.
McCann was selected to 6 consecutive All-Star teams starting in 2006, and his 6 Silver Sluggers are third all-time on the catcher’s list, only behind Ivan Rodriguez (7) and Mike Piazza (10). His 282 career home runs rank 8th all-time at his position, but McCann will not only be remembered for his offense.
After playing for the Yankees from 2014-16, he was traded to the Astros and was instrumental in their 2017 World Series title, both in terms of offense and leadership. Many Astros players heaped praise on him when they heard of his retirement, including Lance McCullers Jr., a key piece on the Astros pitching staff in ’17.
McCann got to go out the way he wanted, in front of his family and friends in one last game in Atlanta. Although his family got to see him play a lot recently, he says he is looking forward to spending more time with his wife and children, a befitting start to the retirement of a great catcher and team leader.