On Saturday, August 11, former Kansas City Royals infielder Johnny Giavotella decided to hang up the cleats and officially announced his retirement from baseball.
The Lousiana native tweeted out the news confirming his departure from baseball during the weekend. Johnny Giavotella was drafted in the 2nd round with the 49th pick by the Kansas City Royals in the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft.
The Kansas City Royals called up Giavotella on August 5, 2011, and he made his debut the next day. On August 7, 2011, Giavotella hit his first career home run off of some guy named Max Scherzer, whoever that is…
With four seasons for the Royals, Giavotella slashed .238/.277/.334 with 5 home runs. Though not always the best option on the field with his ups and downs with Kansas City, Johnny will be remembered in his career as a Royal as an undersized player with an oversized passion for the game of baseball. His true grit and hustle playstyle is a manager’s dream of modeling his players after and a positive example of clubhouse morale.
At the end of the 2014 season on December 19, 2014, Giavotella was traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Myself, being a SoCal native and living down the freeway from Angels Stadium, followed Johnny’s career as an Angel and was excited to see what the future had in store for him.
Johnny instantly became a favorite in Anaheim due to his hard work and clutch performances, even having his own theme music when he reached base (Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry). I was ecstatic for Gio, as he was finally getting opportunities that he hadn’t in Kansas City and was slowly making a name for himself.
Unfortunately, his good fortune with Anaheim only lasted so long, as the Angels cut Johnny nearing the end of the 2016 season. Their once opening day starter at second base for the 2015 and 2016 season was on the road again in search of redemption elsewhere.
Though his career wasn’t as successful as we had hoped, we can all learn from Johnny Giavotella: it’s not always about being the biggest or the strongest. With enough hard work and perseverance, any goal you wish to achieve can be possible. For our younger readers that are aiming for the big leagues, I recommend going back and watching Johnny play. His attitude towards the game is definitely something managers and scouts love to see.
How did you feel about Johnny Giavotella? What were some of your favorite moments of him? Feel free to comment and let us know!