Coming off the 2012 season, the Cleveland Indians were looking for a veteran bat that could provide the occasional homerun. They got exactly that with Jason Giambi. Signed to a small one year, one million dollar contract, Jason was expected to be a part-time designated hitter for the Tribe. Not only did Giambi bomb nine balls over the fences, but three of them were in pinch hit appearances. That season had one of the most memorable calls I have ever heard—my explanation cannot do this call justice, so just watch this video.
The 2014 season wasn’t quite as memorable for Jason due to an injury he sustained early on. However, he was still present in the clubhouse. The mere presence of Jason provided such tremendous value to the Indians. His jolly personality always inspired the guys on the field. I think he was just such a great guy to have around. After only 70 plate appearances in 2014 (and two homeruns) Jason decided to retire, 19 years after his first season. He finished his career with 440 career homeruns!
When Giambi wasn’t crushing dreams for opposing teams (hey, that rhymed!), he was a respected leader and beloved in the clubhouse. His teammates loved the guy and always joked around with him. He was a true teammate and seemed to enjoy his time in Cleveland. I think he’ll be a manager somewhere down the line—and a great one at that.
I always admired Giambi for his honesty. He admitted to using steroids earlier in his career and that’s something I’ve always respected about him. It takes a lot of guts for a man to admit his mistakes. It will be interesting to see if he is inducted into the Hall of Fame someday. He certainly has the numbers to warrant consideration, but we will have to see if the voters look past the steroid use.