Ryan Howard, 38, officially retires

Ryan Howard officially retired from Major League Baseball.

Howard, 38, was a three-time All-Star and spent his entire career with the Philadelphia Phillies.

?I?m glad that I got to stay on it for as long as I did,? Howard wrote in an essay for The Players? Tribune.

?Which I guess has really also kind of become my overall perspective on things: How, when it?s come to these last 14 years of mine -- nothing has ever been easy for long, and nothing has ever been perfect for long. But I wouldn?t have it any other way.?

A career .258 hitter with 382 home runs and 1,194 RBIs in his 13 seasons with the Phillies, Howard signed minor-league contracts with the Atlanta Braves and Colorado Rockies but did not appear in an MLB game.

Howard had 58 home runs and 149 RBIs in 2006, his third pro season, and was named the National League MVP.

Howard was a prolific home run hitter, twice leading the majors in homers and setting the league pace in RBIs three times during a dominant six-year stretch from 2006 to 2011, when he averaged 44 homers and 133 RBIs per season.

He tore his Achilles in 2011 on the final play of the NLDS and his career was hampered by injuries from that point forward.