Bubba Starling announced his retirement from professional baseball Monday.
His baseball career ends after 10 seasons at various levels. Starling, 29, reached the majors with his hometown Kansas City Royals, played several seasons with the Omaha Storm Chasers, won an Olympic medal and was briefly a Husker quarterback.
Starling was the fifth overall draft pick of the Royals in the 2011 draft, and at the time his $7.5 million signing bonus ranked second in draft history. Despite enrolling at Nebraska and going through training camp with the football team that summer, Starling instead opted to go for professional baseball.
Starling rose up the ranks through the Royals' minor league affiliates, eventually reaching Triple-A Omaha in 2016. He played in 237 games over parts of five seasons with the Storm Chasers.
He made his MLB debut with the Royals in 2019. He appeared in 91 games for Kansas City during the 2019 and '20 seasons. He finished with an MLB career batting average of .204 with 17 RBIs and five home runs while playing in all three outfield spots.
He was sent back to Omaha to start the 2021 season and played in 27 games this year for the Chasers. He left the team this summer after making the U.S. Olympic team in Tokyo, where he earned a silver medal.
He didn't return to the Storm Chasers after the Olympics, and has now decided to hang up his cleats.