Houston Astros: A tip of the cap to Brian McCann’s retirement

Former Houston Astros catcher Brian McCann (Photo by Loren Elliott/MLB via Getty Images)
Former Houston Astros catcher Brian McCann (Photo by Loren Elliott/MLB via Getty Images) /

Former Houston Astros catcher Brian McCann has called it a career after the Braves were eliminated. Here’s a hearty tribute to a great player.

The Houston Astros remain on their quest to #TakeItBack as of this writing. It, of course, refers to the World Series championship they won back in 2017. A big part of that championship squad was veteran catcher Brian McCann.

Last week, as the St. Louis Cardinals advanced to the National League pennant and left the Braves eliminated from further postseason contention, BMac, as he’s nicknamed, decided to hang up the catching gear for good. ESPN was one of a number of sources to confirm the announcement to the public.

The career of Brian McCann has had a combination of insatiable highs and a handful of crushing lows. To better understand how he came about to the Astros, we have to first start where it all began. That was in Atlanta with the Braves, the very same team he rooted for as a kid.

Brian McCann was drafted by the Braves in 2002. In that year, he was the 26th ranked high school prospect and was taken straight out of Duluth High School. His brother, Brad, played for Clemson and was drafted by the Marlins, but ended up out of the league within three seasons.

Put Him In, Coach!

BMac made his debut with the major league Braves club in 2005. During that season, he was the team’s backup catcher, but the main one used when John Smoltz was on the mound. Ironically, it was Game 5 of the National League Division Series against the very same Houston Astros he would later become a part of.

Brian McCann would also homer off of Roger Clemens that very same game. However, the Astros would go on to win that series. Funny how things would eventually come full circle on the roller coaster ride that is the career of BMac.

As the Braves traded Johnny Estrada to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Brian McCann would assume the role of starting catcher. It was a decision that paid off tremendously for all teams that were fortunate enough to have him on their roster, including the two current ALCS competitors in the Astros and Yankees.

McCann would be with the Braves until the end of 2013 when another burly slugging catcher by the name of Evan Gattis would assume the role of starting catcher for the Braves. Meanwhile, BMac would sign a contract with the Yankees that was set to last through the end of the 2018 season.

Ready to Launch

Much to the good fortunes of the Houston Astros, the Yankees were willing to trade McCann

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to H-Town for a pair of pitching prospects. That was where the fun began for Astros fans. Not only did they get a great veteran presence behind the dish, but he and Evan Gattis were reunited once more.

Throughout the season, I officially dubbed the tandem of those two #BearSquared. Both players have departed since the end of last season. Sadly, Evan Gattis has not gotten signed to any team, and Brian McCann only got a one year deal for $2 million to literally get back to where he once belonged in the Atlanta Braves.

So what does he leave behind in the baseball world? Simple, a stellar career that includes the following highlights:

  1. 7X All-Star selection at NL catcher.
  2. 6X Silver Slugger at NL catcher.
  3. All-Star MVP in 2010
  4. World Series Champion with the Astros in 2017.
  5. Offensive numbers that would rival, or even exceed, both Johnny Bench and Mike Piazza.

Next. Astros: Gerrit Cole should get a blank check this offseason. dark

The debate on whether or not he should be inducted into Cooperstown at the Baseball Hall of Fame will continue for years to come. But in the humble opinion of this writer, Brian McCann has long since earned a spot to be enshrined in baseball history forever.