By Dallas Bordon
Madison County’s Jake Westbrook has taken the mound for the final time in the big leagues.
That start came in game number 162 of the 2013 season for the St. Louis Cardinals. Not only was it his final start of the season, but it was his final start of a 17-year professional baseball career.
The Cardinals honored Westbrook one final time by giving him the start on that day against the Cubs. As he worked just one inning of scoreless baseball, he departed for a final time and was greeted by his Cardinal teammates with hugs in the dugout, a final farewell as the Cardinals declined his final year of his contract eventually sending him into the free-agent market.
Now, for the first time in his long career, Westbrook will not board a plane for spring training as he has announced his retirement from Major League Baseball. After receiving a few offers while a free agent, he decided that his family life is more important than a return to baseball at this point in his life.
“I decided to shut it down,” said Westbrook. “The few offers I was getting weren’t worth the grind of another year and being away from the family anymore. It’s time to start the next chapter of my life.”