Blue Jays farmhand retires due to lingering shoulder injury
Toronto Blue Jays minor leaguer Blake McFarland has officially retired as a result of a lingering shoulder injury he was unable to overcome, the pitcher will now embark on a new artistic venture away from baseball.
Blake McFarland has battled a nagging shoulder injury that limited the hurler to just five relief appearances over the course of the past two seasons. After unsuccessful shoulder surgery, the 29-year old will now focus his attention full-time on his career as an artist specializing in recycled materials including rubber tires and wine corks.
The pitcher took to his Instagram feed to announce his retirement from baseball and to thank all the trainers, coaching staff, mentors, rovers, and teammates who have assisted him along the way. McFarland stated he tried everything to get back onto the mound but at the end of the day, the shoulder was not healthy enough to continue pitching.
The 6-year minor league veteran will hang them up with a career 4.07 earned run average fanning 308 hitters in 327 career innings on the bump. McFarland had back to back seasons with an earned run average under 3.00 in 2014 and 15 earning a promotion to Triple-A Buffalo near the end of the 2015 season.
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According to the McFarland’s website, the artist was commissioned to replicate tire sculptures for the Goodyear Cotton Bowl of the participating team’s mascots. As you can see in the below video, the sculptures are definitely one of a kind and truly a work of art.
Aside from tire and cork sculptures the former farmhand also specializes in original paintings, his pieces can be purchased from his site at BlakeMcFarland.com. He currently has an awesome wine cork Canadian flag piece for sale in which he utilized over 1200 naturally stained corks.
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Although the baseball chapter in McFarland’s life has come to an unfortunate close, we wish him all the luck in his new gig and by the looks of his work, he will be a major league artist in short order.