GLENDALE, Ariz. — Mark Buehrle apparently has retired after all.
The longtime White Sox pitcher, who never officially called it quits, will have his No. 56 retired on June 24.
Buehrle, who won 161 games and completed at least 200 innings in 11 straight seasons for the White Sox, last pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015. The White Sox will honor their former ace — he's the 12th player in franchise history to have his number retired — before they host the Oakland A's at 1:10 p.m. in June.
Buehrle was a human highlight reel over his 12 seasons with the White Sox. Whether it was his fancy glovework, a perfect game, his no-hitter or recording a save in the 14th inning of Game 3 of the 2005 World Series, Buehrle was a South Side legend.
"Mark Buehrle is one of the most accomplished pitchers in franchise history," White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement. "Mark carried himself with class and professionalism throughout his career, and his popularity with staff, teammates and Sox fans is very well deserved. Although a very humble person, he certainly showed a flair for the dramatic on the mound, from a no-hitter to an unforgettable perfect game to a World Series title. A standout on the field and a standup teammate in the clubhouse, it is our honor to retire Mark Buehrle’s No. 56 and to welcome him into the legendary class of all-time White Sox greats."
The White Sox selected Buehrle in the 38th round of the 1998 amateur draft and he debuted in 2000, going 4-1 in 28 games (three starts). Buehrle also earned four All-Star nods while with the team (five overall) and was a three-time Rawlings Gold Glove winner (four overall). He also won two of three starts during the team's 2005 World Series run as the team snapped an 88-year championship drought.
"Mark is one of my favorite people and that is saying a lot," former manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He was the best teammate ever. Everyone loved this man. Everyone."
Buehrle signed a four-year, $58-million deal with the Miami Marlins ahead of the 2012 season and was later traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. He pitched 200 innings in 14 consecutive seasons before falling four outs shy of the feat in his final campaign (2015). Though Buehrle never officially retired, he hasn’t pursued pitching for another team since.
Pitching coach Don Cooper said he broached the subject with Buehrle last April, asking him if he wanted to try a comeback with the White Sox. But Cooper said he sensed that Buehrle was ready for retirement and to spend time with his family.
“There’s a text message from him and I sent it back and I said, ‘You want to come back?’” Cooper said. “He says something to the effect of, ‘You’ve got guys that outdo me now.’ I said ‘I’m not so sure about that.’
“We talk from time to time and I think now he’s enjoying his retirement, enjoying his family, his kids, which are important to him, enjoying his house, his farm, his hunting, all of that staff. Obviously we wish him all nothing but the best.”