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The legend of Boylston St., Mike Napoli, calls it quits

Rob Bradford
December 08, 2018 - 3:45 pm

The guy known in Red Sox circles for prodigious power, a huge postseason home run and the perhaps the most memorable post-World Series celebration in the history of Boston sports has retired.

Mike Napoli took to Twitter Saturday to announce he was ending his 12-year major league career.

Napoli joined the Red Sox after the 2012 season after signing a three-year, $39 million deal. He was immediately asked to learn to play first base, where he manned for the Sox for the next two-plus seasons before being dealt to Texas in August, 2015.

Napoli was a key contributor to the '13 world championship season, finishing the regular season with 23 home runs and a .843 OPS. In the postseason the righty slugger delivered one of the biggest home runs in the playoffs that season, taking Detroit's Justin Verlander deep in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series for the game's only run.

But as much as Napoli delivered during the World Series run it was his exploits in the days after clinching the title, as photos documenting his three-day journey up and down Boylston St. showed.

In his 356 regular season games with the Red Sox Napoli hit .242 with a .785 OPS and 54 home runs. One of his unique qualities was always the ability to manage the strike zone, finishing his career having averaged 4.38 pitches per plate appearance.

After tearing a ligament in his hand during the 2017 season, Napoli was attempting to prolong his career in the minors in 2018 before tearing an ACL in his right knee in April.

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