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A Tribute to Chad Cordero: Retired MLB Closer

Wednesday June 22, 2011



MLB reports:   The man with the straightest brim in baseball, Chad Patrick Cordero formally announced his retirement from baseball on Monday, at the tender age of 29.  Cordero originally suffered a torn labrum and missed most of the 2008 season.  He was never able to return back to full health and form following the injury and his 2010 season with the Mariners will remain his last in the majors.

Chad Cordero was originally drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 26th round of the 2000 draft, and later was a 1st round pick of the Montreal Expos, 20th overall, in 2003.  Cordero was one of the rare college closers who graduated to the same role in the majors.  He attended Cal State Fullerton and made it all the way to a College World Series title.  Cordero made his major league debut the same year he was drafted and stayed with the Expos/Nationals organization for the majority of his career. 


Here are Chad Cordero’s final major league numbers: 

2003 MON 1 0 1.64 1 3 12 0.636
2004 MON 7 3 2.94 14 43 83 1.343
2005 WSN 2 4 1.82 47 17 61 0.969
2006 WSN 7 4 3.19 29 22 69 1.105
2007 WSN 3 3 3.36 37 29 62 1.387
2008 WSN 0 0 2.08 0 3 5 2.077
2010 SEA 0 1 6.52 0 5 6 1.552
7 Seasons 20 15 2.89 128 122 298 1.208
162 Game Avg. 4 3 2.89 28 26 65 1.208
WSN (6 yrs) 20 14 2.78 128 117 292 1.198
SEA (1 yr) 0 1 6.52 0 5 6 1.552
NL (6 yrs) 20 14 2.78 128 117 292 1.198
AL (1 yr) 0 1 6.52 0 5 6 1.552

The year 2005 will always stand out as Cordero’s best, as he led the Majors with47 saves that year.  Cordero was taken out of baseball in his prime and the game has lost one of its top relievers much too early.  Cordero played with teamUSAin the inaugural edition of the World Baseball Classic in 2006.  After departing from the Nationals in 2008, Cordero went on to play in the minors and majors for the Seattle Mariners.  He also played in the minors for the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays organizations.  Cordero was released by the Jays on May 17th and was last playing for the St. Paul Saints, an independent baseball team, before announcing his retirement on Monday.

In addition to his baseball injuries, Chad Cordero has also suffered from personal tragedy.  In December 2010, Cordero and his wife lost an eleven-week old baby daughter.  The cause was Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  Cordero is quoted as saying, “I’m just using her as motivation, trying to find strength.  Because I know, now, she’ll always be with me, no matter what.”  From the time of his daughter’s passing, Cordero has been active in raising awareness for SIDS.  It is very uplifting to hear that despite all the adversity suffered by Cordero, that he could still work so hard to try to continue his baseball career, while assisting with SIDS awareness.  SIDS is a subject that must be very difficult for Cordero and his family to discuss and deal with, but he still fights on to continue the memory of his dear daughter.

A true fighter in every sense of the word, Chad Cordero gets our sympathies and respect.  Cordero has faced many roadblocks and hills to climb and he has continued to see through all the hardships that life has handed to him.  Still young, there is always a chance that Cordero could try to make a return to organized baseball.  The torn labrum that he suffered though is not a “fixable” injury in the same category as Tommy John surgeries, which has become very common in baseball circles.  It is unlikely that we will ever see the Chad Cordero of old on the mound and if he never returns to baseball, we will always remember him for the competitor he was on the mound.  But given the circumstances surrounding his family, baseball and sports takes a back seat to the human element of life.  We wish all the best to Chad Cordero and his family.  For everyone that can go purchase a baseball hat today and leave the brim unfolded, wear your hat this week as a tribute to one of the best relievers in the game:  Chad Cordero.


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***Note:  The Wednesday E-mailbag is on hiatus this week so that we can bring you this tribute.  The E-mailbag will return next week.  Please feel free to continue to send all your baseball questions***

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