Texas Rangers designated hitter Mickey Tettleton, who ranked eighth in major league history in career homers by a switch-hitter with 245, retired on Sunday.
“This wasn’t a roster decision,” said an emotional Tettleton. “This was totally my decision. It was something I had talked about before and it just didn’t happen then. The time is right. Every athlete has the day when they have to come to that decision.”
Tettleton, who played for 14 years, hit 56 homers for the Rangers the last two years after he was signed as a free agent in 1995. He started his career with Oakland and also played for Baltimore and Detroit.
He had a .241 career average with 732 RBIs and 949 walks in 1485 games. He had four 30-homer seasons in a five-year span and was twice chosen to the A.L. All-Star team.
“We thank him for the outstanding contributions he has made to this franchise,” said Rangers general manager Doug Melvin, who had to wipe away tears. “We salute Mickey for his long and distinguished major league career.”
Tettleton, 36, underwent off-season surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee. Two weeks into the season a deep bone bruise required more surgery. He was out of the lineup from mid-April until June 23.
Since returning to the roster he was 1 for 9 as a pinch hitter. For the year, he was hitting .091 with three homers in 44 at-bats.
Child injured by line drive
A young girl wearing glasses was hit in the face by a foul line drive by the Indians’ Kevin Seitzer during their game with the Royals Sunday in Cleveland.
The child was taken to a hospital and needed stitches for cuts on her face, but suffered no broken bones.
Seitzer, who was hit in the face with a pitch in 1995, was obviously shaken. He lined out to right field, looking into the stands to see what happened as he returned to the dugout.
Names in the news
Dodgers starter Ismael Valdes, who strained his left hamstring in Saturday’s game, is likely to be put on the 15-day disabled list. … Cardinals pitcher Donovan Osborne, out more than two months with a torn groin muscle, begins a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville today … Kenny Lofton, traded by the Indians to Atlanta during spring training, will not play in Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Cleveland because of a groin injury. Steve Finley of the Padres was picked to replace Lofton. … Mets catcher Todd Hundley has decided not to play in the All-Star Game, in order to rest the stretched ligament in his right elbow. Marlins catcher Charles Johnson will replace Hundley.
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