Brad Ziegler's Career Almost Wasn't

Brad Ziegler retired on Wednesday. The 39-year-old veteran reliever known for his submarine pitching style hung it up via Twitter. He had a tough road to major league baseball, and we think it’s pretty remarkable this guy had a solid 11-year career. 

Ziegler was taken in the 20th round of the 2003 MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. He was released in spring training the following year.

In 2004, he stuck with his dream and found a spot with the Oakland Athletics’ farm system. That year, Ziegler took a line drive to the head that sent him to the ICU with a fractured skull, nearly ending his baseball career.

“I was wondering if I’d ever play again,” he said in his tweet. “And in reality, just praying I’d be able to live a normal life. Thank you, Lord…”

Ziegler returned to the mound and played another three seasons in the minors. He made his MLB debut in 2008 with Oakland before spending time in Boston, Miami and Arizona. He has the most appearances of any Diamondbacks’ pitcher in franchise history.

Our favorite part: The guy started a nonprofit called Pastime for Patriots; an organization that offers servicemen and women the opportunity to attend MLB games as a gesture of appreciation for their sacrifice. Atta boy, Brad.

Read Ziegler’s Full Retirement Tweet

The Underdog, MLBJeff Yoder