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.


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40 Comments on "Rocco Baldelli To Retire"


Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

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

Karkat
4 years 7 months 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.

penpaper
4 years 7 months ago

Crawford. Hamilton. Baldelli.

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

Chiburgh
4 years 7 months ago

Wish you all the best, Rocco

mike292929
4 years 7 months 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 7 months ago

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

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

file it under “life is unfair, why am I broke and Paris Hilton is loaded”

The_Silver_Stacker
4 years 7 months ago

lol, but sadly that is reality

Cubbie
4 years 7 months ago

Good point

The_Silver_Stacker
4 years 7 months 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.

Redsoxn8tion
4 years 7 months ago

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

4 years 7 months ago

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

tiger313
4 years 7 months 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?

RepOak
4 years 7 months ago

He deserves a big kick in the nads!!

ellisburks
4 years 7 months 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.

EarlyMorningBoxscore
4 years 7 months 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.

4 years 7 months ago

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

Kevin
4 years 7 months ago

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

4 years 7 months ago

Rocco was great when healthy!!!

4 years 7 months ago

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

Cubbie
4 years 7 months ago

Sad wasn’t he really young?

4 years 7 months ago

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.

4 years 7 months ago

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

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months 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

flickadave
4 years 7 months 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?

4 years 7 months ago

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.

4 years 7 months ago

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.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

well in my opinion, your opinion is stupid

4 years 7 months ago

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.

aaronanderson16
4 years 7 months 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.

Skinnyboy401
4 years 7 months 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

4 years 7 months ago

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

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months 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!

jwsox
4 years 7 months 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

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

thanks Voltaire

4 years 7 months ago

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

4 years 7 months ago

Now you’re getting it.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

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

pure gold.

jwsox
4 years 7 months ago

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

aaronanderson16
4 years 7 months 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.