Jared Hughes made just 25 of his 542 career major league appearances as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, though because of a viral meme he’ll likely be remembered most in red pinstripes.
Hughes, known for sprinting from the bullpen to the mound, announced his retirement from baseball Sunday, saying in an Instagram post that his family was “worn out from all the sprinting.” He’ll finish his major league career with a stellar 2.96 ERA to pair with a 4.17 FIP.
The Phillies claimed Hughes off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds in August of 2019. His brief time with the Phillies wasn’t especially successful, as he posted a 3.91 ERA and 6.47 FIP in 23 innings.
Still, the most notable thing that happened during his time with the Phillies came when Hughes was making a beeline into a late-August game, and without context, J.T. Realmuto appeared to roll his eyes at Hughes sprinting into the game:
Of course, with context, we learned that Realmuto was frustrated that the Phillies had just given up a go-ahead single to the New York Mets, not that Hughes was coming into the game.
“It had nothing to do with Jared running into the game,” Realmuto told the collective media, including MLB.com‘s Todd Zolecki. “I had to explain it to him as well. He knew. He was just laughing it off. It was terrible timing. I’ve seen some people online saying that I was mad at something that Gabe [Kapler] had just said. That was also not the case. It was 100% to do with the fact that we just gave up the lead.”
Hughes would later tell the hilarious story of Realmuto’s first interaction with him the next day.
“The next day, Realmuto came up to me and was like ‘dude, I totally didn’t mean to do that,’” Hughes said. “‘I’m so sorry. It was about the previous pitch. It wasn’t about you. It looked terrible.’ And he was like ‘I talked to the TV guys’ and he was like ‘I can’t believe you cut right to me after he was sprinting in,’ and I don’t know, it was just unfortunate timing. But now it’s a very, very popular and famous meme and I’m very honored to be a part of it.”
Hughes – or as Phillies Nation‘s Destiny Lugardo would put it, HUGHES – spent his final major league season with the Mets, posting a 4.84 ERA in 18 appearances.
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