MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee fans paid tribute to a Brewers great on Sunday, Sept. 26 as Ryan Braun officially retired. A special ceremony was held before the Brewers clinched the NL Central Division championship.
For Braun, retirement is bittersweet. He's saying goodbye to a team and a city he loves.
A standing ovation greeted Braun as he walked across American Family field for a final goodbye.
"It starts with overwhelming gratitude and joy, but there’s also a real sadness that it's over, that this has actually come to an end," said Braun.
The former left fielder and Brewers' all-time franchise home run leader retired in front of a packed ballpark Sunday.
"I will forever appreciate what I think are the greatest fans in the game," said Braun.
Braun leaves the team where he spent his entire Major League career remembering the highs and lows of the last 14 years, bouncing back after injuries and an admission to using performance-enhancing drugs.
"If I had the opportunity to go back and do some things differently, I absolutely would, but I, I don’t have that chance," said Braun.
Fans were happy to pay tribute.
"I think he was a great Brewers player and career, solid, and he was clutch," said Matthew Smith.
"It was really neat to watch him grow and build the team up around him," said Jake Reimer.
Braun threw out the first pitch for a team he helped build as they made their way to the postseason.
"More than anything, just grateful to have the opportunity to try to just say thank you," said Braun.
Braun said he'll be working with an asset management firm, helping with athlete financial literacy. He hopes to continue a relationship with this team.