RENO, NV (KOLO) - Not many baseball players get to leave the game on their own terms, but for Aces outfielder Cody Decker everything just fell into place.
"You can't write it up any better", Decker said.
Decker's walk-off blast wound up being the last at-bat of his baseball career. While he knew it'd be the last time he dug into the batters box, believe it or not, the home run is not what gave him the most satisfaction.
"It was everything that happened afterwards that was very special to me. Coming off the field and hugging every single player for a long amount of time because they knew what that was. I knew what that was. And getting a curtain call from the crowd that didn't even know, I don't even think they realize what they were curtain calling and then seeing my whole team on the top step giving me a standing ovation, man, I tear up just thinking about it right now," he remembered.
Decker's accomplished just about everything there is to accomplish on the baseball diamond. Before retiring he was minor league baseball's active leader in career home runs with 204. He also got called up to the majors in 2015 for a stint with the San Diego Padres. But the memories Decker's made along the way is what stands out the most.
"Athletes are so big on legacies. I don't care about any on-field legacy. If I can have any legacy it's these relationships. I want them to have felt I affected them the way they affected me."
Decker said he'll now get to spend more time with his wife doing a national radio broadcast. He'll also devote his time to developing up-and-coming baseball stars in El Paso. But he'll never forget his final two seasons in the Biggest Little City.
"I've been a guy that's been off the bench the last couple years.I never came to the plate without an ovation. It's been so special to be here. It's been great."