Key SF Giants player from 2014 championship team quietly retires

San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies
San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

There were plenty of key players and plays from the 2014 SF Giants team that enabled them to win a championship. Jon Heyman of the NY Post reports that one player from that team has "quietly retired."

Key SF Giants player from 2014 championship team quietly retires

Joe Panik has hung up his spikes after an eight-year career that began back in 2014. The left-handed bat played for four teams, most notably with the Giants, as well as the New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays, and the Miami Marlins.

San Francisco originally drafted the middle infielder in the first round of the 2011 draft out of St. John's University in Queens, New York. Panik played primarily as a shortstop in college but shifted to second base early in his pro career. That is a move that paid dividends for the Giants later on.

He debuted with the Giants midway through the 2014 season as they cycled through a pair of veteran second basemen including Brandon Hicks and Dan Uggla. Panik immediately impressed, slashing .305/.343/.368 (105 OPS+) with one home run, 18 RBI, and 31 runs in 287 plate appearances.

His second home run came in a series-clinching NLCS game against the St. Louis Cardinals as they secured the Game 5 victory by a score of 6-3. Michael Morse and Travis Ishikawa each blasted memorable home runs during an improbable postseason run.

Of course, that would not be the most memorable moment for Panik in 2014. His moment came in Game 7 of the World Series as he dove to field a ground ball off the bat of Eric Hosmer and flipped it to Brandon Crawford to begin a clutch double play.

The Giants secured the 3-2 victory in that game to take home their third championship in five seasons. That may not be the case without Panik's stellar play.

The second baseman continued to excel in 2015 as he earned an NL All-Star nod while registering a .312/.378/.455 line (129 OPS+) with eight home runs, 37 RBI, and 59 runs in 432 plate appearances.

He sustained a career-altering concussion in the middle of an at-bat in 2016 and was never able to fully regain the form that he demonstrated in 2014 - 2015. However, he had a knack for the big moments as he recorded six hits in 10 at-bats with two doubles and two RBI in the 2016 NLDS against the Chicago Cubs.

Panik's tenure in San Francisco came to a surprising end in 2019 as he was designated for assignment after he struggled to the tune of a .627 OPS in 388 plate appearances. He made stops in New York and Toronto before rounding out his career in Miami.

The Giants will undoubtedly find a way to honor Panik's career as he quickly became a fan favorite and will continue to be one. We at Around the Foghorn want to extend our best wishes to him as he transitions into the next stage of life that includes a family and fatherhood.