Vladimir Guerrero retires with 449 career home runs and 2,590 hits, the most all-time by a Dominican MLB player. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)
After struggling to recover from multiple knee surgeries, former Montreal Expos and Los Angeles Angels great Vladimir Guerrero officially announced his retirement from baseball on Saturday.
"I decided to announce my retirement due to my desire to spend more time with my family, "as well as because of the two operations that I've had on my right knee," Guerrero told (in Spanish) Hector Gomez of the Dominican news outlet Listin Diario, according to MLBTradeRumors.com.
The 38-year-old played his final MLB game for the Baltimore Orioles on Sept. 28, 2011. While he insisted during the 2012 offseason that he would not retire, he drew little interest as a free agent, ultimately signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays and appeared in just four games before asking for his release.
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He went on to play eight games in the Dominican Professional Baseball League, and signed with the independent Long Island Ducks on April 4, 2013, but never reported to the team.
The nine-time All-Star and 2004 American League MVP finishes his career 51 home runs shy of 500, which he told Listin Diario was one of his "principle goals."
In 16 seasons -- the first eight with the Expos and the next six with the Angels -- he posted a .318 batting average and .931 OPS to go along with 2,590 hits (82nd all-time, first among Dominican-born players) and 1,496 RBI (53rd all-time).