Five-time All-Star Jon Lester retires after 16 seasons

Jon Lester, MLB, St. Louis Cardinals

After a 16-season career that included five All-Star appearances and three World Series titles, Jon Lester has announced his retirement.

Lester was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the second round of the 2002 MLB June Amateur draft and made his big-league debut in June 2006. Just months into his MLB career though, the southpaw was diagnosed with anaplastic large T-cell lymphoma and underwent chemotherapy.

The 200-game winner was able to return to the Red Sox midway through the 2007 season, though, went 4-0 down the stretch and helped Boston win its second World Series in four years by tossing 5 2/3 scoreless innings in the Game 4 clincher.

“I was in Triple-A on a rehab assignment in Pawtucket after cancer,” Lester said, per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. “My parents were there and they were leaving that day or the next day to go home, and I told them they have to change their flight and I said, ‘I’m starting the next night in Cleveland.’ … That’s one of the top moments of my career. Seeing their faces was pretty cool. Once I got back to baseball, I tried not to take anything for granted and really appreciated being around the guys.”

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