Armies Ramirez spent the best years of his career on Clark and Addison, and before his final regular season game in Chicago was honored by his former club.
The 37-year-old Ramirez will retire after the 2015 season, ending an 18-year tenure in the major leagues with just shy of 400 home runs. He starred for the Cubs from 2003-2011 and was a key part of the team’s last three playoff appearances in 2003, 2007 and 2008.
Before Sunday’s game, Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro presented the Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman with a No. 16 placard -- his number with the Cubs -- from the center field scoreboard to a warm round of applause from the Wrigley Field crowd.
“Any time they do something like that, you have to appreciate it,” Ramirez said. “That means they appreciate what I did here for a long time.”
The Cubs acquired Ramirez and outfielder Kenny Lofton from Pittsburgh on July 23, 2003, a move that helped spur the team’s run to the National League Championship Series. Ramirez hit 15 home runs in 63 games for the Cubs in 2003, the first of 239 home runs hit with the Cubs. Ramirez, who made a pair of All-Star appearances (2005 and 2008), hit .294/.356/.531 with 806 RBIs from 2003-2011.
Ramirez began his major league career with Pittsburgh in 1998, and hit 34 home runs as a 23-year-old in 2001. He signed a four-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers after leaving the Cubs following the 2011 season and reached his third All-Star Game in 2014. The Pirates acquired him on July 23, exactly 12 years after trading him away to the Cubs.
“I’m pretty proud of what I did in my career, not only here in Chicago,” Ramirez said. “In Milwaukee, back in Pittsburgh. I’m proud every single moment in my career.”