For the better part of the past 15 years, Jered Weaver held a spotlight role in the world of baseball, both amateur and professional.
Today, that came to an end.
Weaver, 34, announced his retirement in a statement issued Wednesday by the Padres. He went 0-5, 7.44 in nine starts this year with San Diego and has been on the disabled list since May 20 with left hip inflammation.
“While I’ve been working hard to get back on the mound, my body just will not allow me to compete like I want to,” Weaver said in the statement.
Weaver won 150 games, pitched a no-hitter and was a three-time All-Star in his decorated big league career, but attained star status well before he made his debut with the Angels in 2006.
Weaver put together one of the greatest seasons in college baseball history as a junior at Long Beach State in 2004. He went 15-1, 1.62 and set the school record for strikeouts in a game (17), season (213) and career (431) to lead the Dirtbags within a win of reaching Omaha for the College World Series. His 213 strikeouts that year remain tied for sixth-most in a single season in Division I history, and he was named Baseball America’s 2004 College Player of the Year. The previous season he went 14-4, 1.96 at Long Beach State and followed with 45.2 consecutive scoreless innings for Team USA in the summer.
Weaver remained front and center after his college career ended. He was BA’s top draft prospect in 2004 but slid to the Angels at No. 12 after reportedly seeking a $10 million signing bonus. It took him almost a year to get signed, and he ultimately agreed with the Angels for $4 million on May 31, 2005, hours before the signing deadline.
He proved to be worth the wait.
Weaver made his big league debut less than a year later, went 11-2, 2.56 as a rookie, and was off on his expected, decorated career. He finished in the top five in American League Cy Young voting three years in a row from 2010-12, anchored the rotation of four playoff teams, and led the AL in wins twice and WHIP once. Overall he went 150-98, 3.63 in 12 seasons.
Injuries eventually took their toll and sapped his stuff, dropping his fastball velocity to the low-80s over the final three seasons of his career with disastrous results.
Weaver was inducted into Long Beach State’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011, and he is second in Angels history in wins behind just Chuck Finley and third in strikeouts behind Nolan Ryan and Finley.