Best known for a 2005 season that featured 47 saves for the Washington Nationals in their inaugural season, closer Chad Cordero retired from professional baseball Monday night, signaling the end of a once-promising career marked by tragic milestones.
Cordero had been pitching with the St. Paul Saints, an independent team, in his latest comeback attempt after the one he was trying to make with the Toronto Blue Jays was ended abruptly earlier this season.
Cordero was the Nationals’ 2005 All-Star, finished fifth in the Cy Young Award balloting and 14th in the NL MVP race. He was 2-4 with a 1.82 ERA that season, appearing 74 times, saving 47 games and striking out 61 in 74 1/3 innings pitched.
Since it was announced he’d need major shoulder surgery in 2008 and then-Nationals GM Jim Bowden revealed the club would not be tendering him a contract, Cordero had bounced around professional baseball. He last appeared in the big leagues in 2010 with the Seattle Mariners, who come to town to play the Nationals tonight. Through his comebacks, Cordero also endured a heart-wrenching personal tragedy, losing his 18-month old daughter to SIDS.
In his last shot at pro ball, Cordero came out firing. He gave up just two hits in his first four appearances with the St. Paul Saints but allowed nine runs in just two innings in his final three outings.
Cordero finished his brief but sometimes dazzling major league career with 128 saves and a career ERA of 2.89.