In 2013, whenever you heard “Sandstorm” playing over the loud speakers at Fenway Park, that only meant one thing: it was Koji time! Koji Uehara was not the first choice for the Red Sox closer role. But, he ended up winning it in convincing fashion during that magical year. Well now, the former Red Sox closer has officially called it quits. Uehara announced his retirement from baseball yesterday.
Koji Uehara announces his retirement, a legend forever. One of the greatest single seasons in Red Sox history and the all-time leader in high-fives. pic.twitter.com/ZGiYkdOA44
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) May 20, 2019
Koji Was Dominant In A Red Sox Uniform
Obviously, Koji was huge for the Red Sox World Series run. But he did other things that really make you sit back and think “WOW, this guy was GOOD.” The 2013 season saw Koji earning the ALCS MVP award. During the 2014 season, he was an All-Star. With that in mind, during 4 seasons in a Red Sox uniform; he recorded a 2.52 ERA or lower in 3 of them. That is something that we probably won’t see again. Plus, he played more than just the 9 seasons he registered in the MLB.
Congratulations to Koji Uehara on his retirement after 21 seasons in professional baseball, including nine years in MLB. In 2013 he won the ALCS MVP Award and helped the @RedSox to a World Series Championship. He donated his cleats from that World Series. https://t.co/ywhKQdZbz7 pic.twitter.com/G2gSrL3yu4
— Baseball Hall ⚾ (@baseballhall) May 20, 2019
Relief pitchers (0 starts) in Red Sox history to record a season with 70+ innings and a sub-1.50 ERA:
1. Koji Uehara (74.1 IP, 1.09 ERA)
End of list.
— Tucker Boynton (@Tucker_TnL) May 20, 2019
Koji will always be loved in Boston. For one, he was a great clubhouse guy, while also doing his job on the mound. Also, he didn’t throw the hardest, but he proved that you can be just as efficient of a reliever if you spot your pitches. Koji knew when to use his fastball and when to make guys look SILLY with his splitter. There will never be another Koji Uehara in our lifetime again, especially as Red Sox fans. Let’s enjoy all of the good times we had with him.
-Alan Nahigian (@BigAl2793)