“Wader, check please” became a common phrase uttered by Rex Hudler after relief pitcher Wade Davis threw the last pitch of a win. Today, Davis has asked for the proverbial check on his career: at 36 years of age, the legendary Royals relief pitcher—the man who will be forever known as the pitcher who closed out the clinching game of the 2015 World Series—has retired.
Competitor. Closer. Champion.— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) November 24, 2021
Congratulations on your retirement, Wader. pic.twitter.com/uIZ6uBTiGc
The Royals acquired Davis in what had originally been known as “The James Shields Trade” along with Shields in exchange for Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, and Jeremy Jeffress. But it is to Davis’ credit that you could argue that the trade was simply “The Wade Davis Trade.”
That’s because, after one mediocre season as a starter, Davis turned in three of the most dominant relief seasons in MLB history. In 182.2 innings from 2014-2016, Davis had a 1.18 ERA and 47 saves as a combination fireman and closer. Over the Royals’ two playoff runs, Davis was an unstoppable pitching cyborg, and gave up one (1) earned run in 22 appearances.
This season, Davis returned to Kansas City to try and resurrect his career with mixed results. Still, Davis added some additional moments to the Royals catalogue of moments, notching two more saves to move him into the ninth spot on Royals’ saves leaderboard at 49.
Davis ends his career with three All-Star selections and votes for the Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and MVP awards. Davis played for four teams over his 13-year career, where he threw 990.1 regular season innings and earned over $87 million.
Long live Wade Davis, bullpen cyborg.