Although he hasn't spent any signifcant time on the diamond since appearing in 121 games for St. Louis in 2012, I was still saddened by the announcement of Rafael Furcal's retirement yesterday.
"Fookie" was one of my favorite players during his six-year stint with Atlanta. His combination of speed, surprising pop and an absolute cannon of an arm made the 5'8" Furcal one of the game's most exciting players for his first six major league seasons (2000-2006).
During the 2008 offseason, it was reported that a deal had been agreed upon for Rafael to return to his first professional home. Rafae's agents reneged on the deal, drawing the ire of then-GM John Schuerholz. I remember the excitement of the prospects of him returning to the organization and the disappointment in him re-signing with the Dodgers. Still, I held no ill-feelings towards Furcal, choosing instead to blame his agency.
Thanks again, Fookie, for all you gave to the Braves organization, its fans, and the game of baseball.
Finally, another one of the finest to come out of Atlanta- The Black Crowes