Rocco Baldelli To Retire

Rocco Baldelli told Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times that he will retire as a major league player. The former sixth overall pick will remain in the Rays front office as a special adviser in scouting and player development, the team has confirmed with a press release.

After a promising debut in which Baldelli played center field, stole 27 bases and added 51 extra base hits, the injuries started piling up. He missed the entire 2005 season and considerable chunks of the 2006-10 seasons as he dealt with foot, hamstring, and hip injuries, plus a type of channelopathy, which has caused muscle fatigue.

"It's tough, because you almost never put playing and being an athlete behind you," Baldelli told Topkin. "But in my mind, I already feel like it's a step behind me."

Baldelli, who is still just 29, decided to retire in October and spent a few months making sure he was ready to call it a career.


40 Responses to Rocco Baldelli To Retire Leave a Reply

  1. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    sad…he could have been a pretty special player if it weren’t for his health conditions

    • Karkat 4 years ago

      Most guys would have just given up a lot sooner. Gotta give a lot of respect to Baldelli for sticking with it and pushing himself as long as he did.

  2. penpaper 4 years ago

    Crawford. Hamilton. Baldelli.

    True Devil Ray fans will never forget the hype surrounded by these three. :(

  3. Chiburgh 4 years ago

    Wish you all the best, Rocco

  4. mike292929 4 years ago

    It’s sad when someone so young, with a great attitude and love for the game, can’t reach their potential.

    • The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

      It seems unfair Baldelli has to retire, but punks like Milton Bradley keep lingering around.

  5. The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

    This is heartbreaking news and a damn shame. Baldelli was the guy who had all the tools you look for in a player that you build a team around. He is a wonderful person, I remember he took the time (during bp) at the Trop and signed a ball for me and he was giving me a hard time (playfuly) about me being a Yanks fan (had all my Yanks gear on). I’m just glad he can still be involved in MLB in any capacity.

  6. Redsoxn8tion 4 years ago

    That’s too bad. I thought he was a great player.

  7. Should have done it a while ago, but these guys just can’t hang em up.

    • tiger313 4 years ago

      It’s a shame that tools like you post on here. These guys? You mean guys that have a muscle illness and can’t always be at full strength but could probably do more then you ever could?

  8. ellisburks 4 years ago

    I agree with everyone (except Kickme) that it’s a shame someone so talented has to retire so young because of illness. It happens all the time to other people I know and people that aren’t as set up as him, but it still sucks rocks.

    Good luck Rocco.

  9. EarlyMorningBoxscore 4 years ago

    Man that is so too bad that injuries got in the way of such a promising young career. I was really excited to see him in Boston when he played there in 09. He was a classy guy. I think its great that he can stay with the organization in some capacity.

  10. Rocco Baldelli…..Rhode Island Italian-American Hall of Fame.

  11. Kevin 4 years ago

    Poor guy… it’s a shame his career had to end this way. Good luck in the future, Rocco.

  12. Rocco was great when healthy!!!

  13. I remember when he had the nickname, rocco balldimaggio. I wish you good health and happiness rocco!

  14. Cubbie 4 years ago

    Sad wasn’t he really young?

  15. Really depressing. While it never ended up mattering, I’ll never forget how Rocco tied game 5 against the Phillies with a homerun that he just muscled through the swirling winds when seemingly no one else could. Really sums up Baldelli very well. He did things everyone else told him he wasn’t supposed to be able to do. Farewell, Rocco, and I hope you do great things in your new position with the team.

  16. If someone was going to pay you 20 million to not hang it up, you would retire anyway? lol good one!

  17. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    how can you compare a 29 year old trying to overcome serious injury to Brett Favre??

    what a ridiculous claim, you deserved the responses you got

  18. flickadave 4 years ago

    While I would agree that the retiring/unretiring/retiring/unretiring thing got a little… well… tiring, I don’t think that you can even say that Favre “didn’t know when to walk away”. I think he had a pretty good year in 2009 being named to the pro bowl and losing in the 2009 NFC championship game in OT. He had a bad year in 2010 and he is retired. How is that holding on too long?

  19. I will try to explain this for those of you that are having a hard time understanding. I wasn’t comparing Rocco’s situation with Brett Farve’s. I was merely pointing out that they are similar in the way that they hung around their respective games too long. Statistics don’t lie. He’s been unproductive for years. Regardless of whatever unfortunate circumstances Mr. Baldelli has been through the last several years, in my opinion, he should have retired a few years ago.

  20. Rocco’s year to year salary from ESPN.com:

    2003 $300,000
    2004 $320,000
    2005 $369,000
    2006 $2,000,000
    2007 $750,000
    2008 $2,250,000
    2009 $500,000

    If he were to play this year he would probably have had to settle for a minor league contract with little to no guaranteed money. More than you’ll make in 10 lifetimes, but not near $20 million.

  21. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    well in my opinion, your opinion is stupid

  22. Still don’t like your re-explaination. He should have retired a few years ago at what, age 27?

    It appears to me that he loves the game and was giving it all he had, and still had the posibility of making back to a regular in the majors. I won’t deny that he statistics have been poor recently, but given his first couple of mlb campaign stats, and youth, I don’t think that he “hung around” too long at all.

  23. aaronanderson16 4 years ago

    You may not be meaning it in this way but since you are saying he was unproductive for years that he should have given up, not retired. IF he would have retired 3 to 5 years ago it would have been giving up, he fought to play and regain form and overcome an illness, he could not so he retired. He did not stick around too long like Brett Farve, Farve was falling because of age and refused to recgonize it and kept playing despite knowing his ability could not come back. while rocco was fighting against illness not age and he was not giving up he was trying to get over being sick not being old.

  24. Skinnyboy401 4 years ago

    How, exactly, did he hang around too long? He tried to come back from injury and illness. And, actually, you were comparing Rocco to Favre – pointing out that they are similar – I’d say that would be comparing. You have been pretty unproductive today, time to hang ’em up

  25. You’re entitled to your opinion, and I will respect it, regardless of how incorrect it is.

  26. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    andy, kickme clearly knows better than Rocco himself.. who cares about overcoming adversity, believing in your passion and following your heart, he should have quit right away!

  27. jwsox 4 years ago

    guys dont forget he actually did technically retire a year or two ago and was a minor league manager then gave it another go last year and it didnt work out

  28. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    thanks Voltaire

  29. Perhaps you could help Disney with the writing of the big screen adaptation of Rocco’s sticktuitiveness.

  30. Now you’re getting it.

  31. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    did you watch the brett favre spoof of the lebron james commercial on youtube??

    pure gold.

  32. jwsox 4 years ago

    i believe he was referencing favre, sugar rey, and most other guy who cant walk away

  33. aaronanderson16 4 years ago

    Maybe you could make a point that is somewhat relative to the topic, relating Favre to Rocco is moronic and dumb, but I guess that is what you get from a person of that mental capacity.

Leave a Reply