"There comes a moment when you have to have the dignity and the sense to recognize that something is not functioning," the 38-year-old said. "You can’t swim against the current."
Delgado finished his career with 473 home runs, the most by any player born in Puerto Rico. He played for 17 seasons, though the last time he was in the majors was in 2009. He attempted to come back with the Boston Red Sox last season, and until recently was still rehabbing from his latest hip surgery with the hopes that he could return to the majors in 2011.
On a scale of retirement-related surprise that ranges from Jaime Moyer to Grant Desme, this news is certainly closer to the former, as the 38-year-old Delgado was struggling to come back from offseason hip surgery, a procedure he had already undergone twice before. He was able to make only 15 plate appearances last season for the Boston Red Sox' AAA affiliate in Pawtucket, after playing only 26 games for the New York Mets in 2009.
Delgado came up through the minor leagues as a catcher, but quickly made the switch to first base once he was called up. He finishes his career with 473 home runs, good for 30th on the all-time list, and his .546 career slugging percentage ranks 28th. He played for the Toronto Blue Jays for 12 seasons before signing a four-year deal with the Florida Marlins in 2005. After one season the Marlins traded him to the Mets, for whom he played his last four seasons.