Once hailed as Blue Jays’ future, Travis Snider retires with peace and perspective

TORONTO – As August turned into September and the final weeks of the 2021 triple-A season loomed, Travis Snider did some thinking and picked up his phone. The fire that had driven him through 16 seasons of pro ball, that had once made him one of the sport’s top prospects, that had persisted even as the game cruelly chewed him up, was out.

He had enjoyed playing for the Gwinnett Stripers, Atlanta’s affiliate, and loved manager Matt Tuiasosopo, someone he’d long admired, but sporadic at-bats and poor results had sapped what was left of his will. A couple months earlier, his wife Isabel had given birth to their third child, a daughter, and the baseball life is especially hard on families, particularly amid the pandemic. He just wanted to be at home with them.

So he called Alex Anthopoulos, Atlanta’s president of baseball operations and GM, and Ben Sestanovich, the assistant GM, player development, and asked for his release, which they granted. He wasn’t certain then if the double-play grounder to second he hit in the fifth inning Sept. 5 against visiting Memphis was going to be his last at-bat, but he was OK if it was.

“The game wasn’t the same for me,” says Snider. “I didn’t have the same fire, I didn’t have the same passion. … Going into the off season, 60-40 I was going to retire unless something crazy happens. But I wanted to see how…

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