Atlanta Braves: Chad Pinder announces that he is retiring from baseball

Atlanta Braves Minor League utility man Chad Pinder retires.
Atlanta Braves Minor League utility man Chad Pinder retires. / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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Late Saturday afternoon, long-time utility man Chad Pinder announced through his agent that he would retire after tonight’s game for the Atlanta Braves AAA franchise Gwinnett Stripers.

The Athletics selected Pinder as a shortstop out of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the second round of the 2013 Rule 4 Amateur Draft and signed him for a $750K bonus.

Pinder batted .288/.336/.489/.824 for Low-A Vermont in 2014 and followed that by batting .317/.361/.486/.847 for AA Midland in 2015. He started the 2016 season with AAA Nashville and earned his call-up to Oakland on August 16. and became the 21,339th player to make his Major League debut at second base for the Athletics on August 20 against the White Sox.

Pinder held a permanent spot on the Athletics Major League roster from 2018 through 2022, playing every position except catcher, including pitching an inning in 2022.

Pinder played like a star when the Athletics reached the playoffs in 2020. The club didn’t advance, but that wasn’t his fault; he batted .318/.385/.636/1.021 hit a solo homer off Framber Valdez in game two of the ALCS and a three-run homer off Josh James in game three.

Last season, Pinder hit a game-tying homer off someone Atlanta Braves fans will recognize.

The Athletics nontendered Pinder after the 2022 season as they emptied the books of veterans making significant money. Pinder signed a series of minor league deals before signing with the Braves on May 11. Sixteen days later, he’s hanging up his spikes.

Epilogue

Fans remember stars and some of the players who remain with a club for a long time, but the players that fill in the gaps and allow the team to carry on when injuries poke holes in the roster are often lost in the shuffle, but those players are essential to every team’s success.

Chad Pinder was the guy who owned a locker full of gloves, took ground balls at every infield position, shagged flies in every corner of the outfield, and waited for the manager to drop the next challenge on him, at game time, with little or no warning, for six-years with Oakland, and always answered the call.

That’s a Wrap

Reaching the majors is hard, staying there for six years is harder. Chad Pinder retires with six years of Major League service time, 388 Major League hits, including 62 homers, and a final line of .242/.294/.417/.711.

He won’t get a plaque at Cooperstown as a player, but he and his wife Taylor should be proud of the work he’s done.

Though he never suited up for the Atlanta Braves, his play at Gwinnett helped the club prepare the players there for the next step. The staff at The House That Hank Built salutes Chad Pinder’s career and wishes Chad and Taylor the best of luck in their future endeavors.