Marc Topkin is reporting that Rocco Baldelli will announce his retirement later today. Rocco is also expected to accept a position as a “special advisor” for the Rays working in scouting and player development.

“I don’t anticipate ever playing baseball again. I’m retired. The paperwork will be filed,” Baldelli said Tuesday night. “And you know what. The only time I feel like it’s good to retire is when you’re happy to retire. And I’m happy.”

Baldelli, the 6th overall pick in the 200 draft, played parts of five seasons for the Rays. But after playing in 292 games in 2003 and 2004, he would only play 165 more games with the Rays, with his final appearance coming in game 1 of this past season’s ALDS. In that game, he went 0-3 with 2 strikeouts. His final at bat as a big leaguer was a pop up to shortstop.

The Woonsocket Rocket finished his career with a .278 average, 60 home runs and 60 stolen bases.

Thank you Rocco. You will be missed.

 
 

9 Comments

  1. Gatorbuc15 says:

    I don’t really like looking back and saying “what if” but there is no question that if he didn’t have that neuromuscular disease he would of had a fantastic career. Sadly, it didn’t work out that way. By Rocco, you’ll be missed. :(

    • D-Rome says:

      I agree. He had so much potential. As long as he can walk away from the game a happy man then all the more power to him. I’m sure he made several million over the course of his career so he’s fine.

  2. a.j. says:

    B.J. Upton can thank Rocco’s disease for playing CF for the Rays…no doubt that Rocco would be one of the top players in the game right now if it weren’t for this disease! You will be missed Rocco!

  3. Don says:

    Too bad Maddon made a fool out of him in the 2010 playoffs against the Rangers…. a game he should have never been playing in….not the way I would want to go out…… in an otherwise great “potential” career….

  4. Gus says:

    Congrats Rocco. More important than baseball is the fact that he’s apparently found the source of his medical troubles and hopefully will live a long and realtively healthy and normal life. Somewhat appropriate that CC and Rocco leave the Trop field together (with Hamilton on the same field). One of the all-time what ifs in sports — what if the Rays had been able to field a healthy and sober OF of Crawford-Baldelli-Hamilton from 2004-2010? (Chucky LaMar may have been thought of in an entirely different light).

    • Don says:

      Even if Baldelli got sick… you could insert Delmon Young…still have an all star outfield…instead…. we got 9 prospects and $25,000 (Hamilton)…

  5. Rich says:

    You will be missed… thank you and good luck Rocco

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