There was a time when Doug Fister was a part of the best pitching rotation in baseball, and this week, just as pitchers and catchers report to their camps, he has announced that he is retiring from the game.
During the 2012 and 2013 Detroit Tigers seasons, Fister did some of the best work of his career. In his three-season total with the team he had a 3.29 ERA, 3.20 FIP, and 1.191 WHIP. He went to the World Series in 2012. Also in 2012 with the Tigers he set an American League record, striking out nine batters in a row (September 27 against the Royals).
Possibly one of the most memorable moments of Fister’s tenure with the Tigers came during the second game of the 2012 World Series when he took a Gregor Blanco line drive right to the head. Instead of being pulled after such a scary moment, he recalls informing Kevin Rand, “There are two runners on, two out, it’s Game 2. And I’m going to get the third out.”
He stayed on until the sixth inning.
After leaving the Tigers he went on to do great work with the Washington Nationals in 2014 then bounced around different teams, battling injury. He played in 12 games for the Texas Rangers last season with a 4.50 ERA, 5.25 FIP, and 1.394 WHIP.
According to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi and Fister’s agent Page Odle, the decision to retire was not due to lack of options — he had received offers to play in the majors in 2019 — but rather that the 35-year-old was ready to focus his attention on his family instead of baseball.
Odle explained, “The main reason is that he wants to start a new chapter in his life. This is 100 percent family driven. He’s really excited about being a dad and husband. He’s very much a family-oriented guy.”
Fister spent 10 seasons playing major league ball, and was an integral part of some of the best years of Tigers baseball in recent memory.