St. Louis Cardinals: Will Adam Wainwright get a retirement tour?

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 17: Adam Wainwright
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 17: Adam Wainwright /

With Ichiro’s recent retirement tour in Japan, St. Louis Cardinals fans may be thinking about our own aging star. Will he get a retirement tour?

Adam Wainwright embodies everything any great leader on the St. Louis Cardinals should embody. To this day, Waino has been a humble, helpful, kind, respectful, a fiercely competitive leader for this team for the past 13 years. As he enters his 14th year, there is a legitimate case to argue that this year could be his last in the MLB.

In his career, Waino has been a three-time All-Star, finished in the top three for Cy Young voting three times, and has won two Gold Gloves. Waino certainly isn’t a National Hall of Famer, but there is an argument for the Cardinals Hall of Fame for sure. Growing up, he was always one of my favorite players that I hope continues to perform this year.

Now to the topic at hand. If you have not been watching anything recently, you know that for-sure Hall of Famer, Ichiro, was given a very special retirement celebration while the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics opened the 2019 MLB season in Tokyo.

This tribute to an all-time great was very heartfelt given the background of his long career and is 100% deserving.

That being said, the question I had is what a retirement for Adam Wainwright would look like. Before you comment it, know that I realize the caliber of player is very different between the two. What I imagine a Waino retirement tour would look like is something less than this, but I believe he deserves more than what Matt Holliday received.

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If you’ll remember with me, after informing Holliday that they would not be exercising his 2017 option, Matt Holliday was activated then put into a game where he hit a very emotional homer. The link to the video and coverage by Jenifer Langosch can be found here.

I wanted to qualify myself because I feel like fans are going read the title and comment on how dumb I am before they realize what I mean. Ichiro’s retirement celebration is deservedly more than what Waino’s should be. That being said, we can’t discount how great he has been in his career, and more importantly, how important he has been to the Cardinals and this city.

What I am trying to argue is that Waino is absolutely deserving of a retirement tour in St. Louis and even in the NL Central. Waino just about missed out on anything last season.

After starting the year confident that he would contribute to the starting rotation, persistent injuries kept him throwing just 40.1 innings in the Majors last year. Had it not been for a late-season resurgence, it could’ve been very easy for Waino to just retire and be gone in the wind without a final celebration of his career.

Waino deserves more than that. He deserves more than one final at-bat like what Holliday got (he was here a lot longer than Holliday). He has meant too much to this team. That is all I am trying to argue here.

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Ichiro’s retirement was very emotional. Even for someone like me who hasn’t closely followed him his whole career, you couldn’t help but love the affection that was coming from the crowd in Tokyo as well as the other players. Adam Wainwright deserves that love too.