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Drew Robinson, who returned to baseball after losing eye in suicide attempt, announces retirement

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Editor's note: This story contain a description of a suicide attempt. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.

Drew Robinson may be retiring, but that doesn't mean his story is ending.

The San Francisco Giants minor leaguer announced Friday he will retire from baseball after his current team's series, which ends on Tuesday. Robinson said the Giants offered him an opportunity to transition toward a role as a mental health advocate for the organization.

Robinson thanked the Giants for giving him a chance one year after losing his eye in a suicide attempt.

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Robinson's full statement:

This is one of the things in a player's career and life that no one can prepare you for. How could they? Everyone's circumstances are so different. Mine included. I'm writing to announce my retirement. This series in Sacramento will be the last games play. Over the last year I've promoted self-love and self-care, and the @sfgiants are offering me the opportunity to transition to a role as a mental-health advocate. I couldn't be more excited to remain in the game that saved my life. I remember the day after my suicide attempt, the first thought had toward choosing to live came from thinking about playing baseball again. I did that, with one eye, and I'm grateful for my time with the @rivercats and the 11 incredible years I spent with the @rangers and @cardinals. For so many of them, relied solely on putting in the work physically. This past season has been a steep learning curve as I've prioritized putting in the work mentally and emotionally. While I'm proud of my progress, growth is a continuous journey. For the Giants to believe can help other players address their emotional well-being more comfortably and gain insight from my lessons learned is truly humbling. I can't fully describe what these last 15 months have been like, but some of the most rewarding times were persevering through the physical and mental challenges I faced while attempting this comeback. Even more special was the way you all inspired me to keep going. I saw your messages. And I've appreciated every single one of them; it's a beautiful thing to be able to receive people's most positive energy.

To all the front office personnel, coaches, trainers, field personnel and teammates that were like family that I was lucky enough to be around, I hope you enjoyed our time spent together as much as I did. The memories and relationships throughout are things I think about or talk about almost daily. To my family and close friends that have been my biggest fans and biggest support. And most importantly, to Daiana, my everything. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all. 

Before his time with the Giants, Robinson spent 11 years in the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals organizations, reaching the majors with Texas in 2017. He never saw more than 125 plate appearances in a season though and was released by the Cardinals in Aug. 2019, signing a minor league deal with the Giants that October.

Robinson attempted suicide with a handgun on April 16, 2020, he would later tell ESPN's Jeff Passan. While he survived, the gunshot and subsequent surgeries left him without his right eye and senses of smell and taste.

Despite those obstacles, Robinson still made it back to baseball. He made the roster of the Giants' Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento a year after his suicide attempt and was soon back to hitting home runs. He might have struggled overall at the plate — he was hitting .128/.240/.267 for Sacramento entering Friday — but managing even one hit after what he has gone through is an inspiration.

Now, he can help other players struggling with mental health issues in the future.

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