Alomar recalls ending his Hall of Fame career in St. Pete
Second baseman Roberto Alomar, elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame Wednesday, had many stops during his impressive 17-year-career, including winning two World Series titles with the Blue Jays.
But Alomar's final - albeit very brief - stop was in St. Petersburg with the then-Devil Rays in the spring of 2005. Signed to a $600,000 contract, Alomar struggled, missing a week with a sore back and going 0-for-11 with three errors in five spring training exhibitions. He said at the time that, in his mind he wanted to play, but his body wouldn't allow it, and retired before the season even started.
Alomar, in a conference call with reporters today, reflected back to ending his career with the Devil Rays.
“There’s always going to be an end to your career," Alomar said. "I wasn’t going to be the ballplayer that I was going to go out there play one game, two games and sit down. I’ve always been the kind of guy who had all the at-bats...I had lot of pride in playing the game, I didn’t want to go out there and just play the game to play the game. I either played it right or go home, and that’s what I did.”
After barely missing out on election last year - his first year eligible - Alomar was picked on 90 percent of the ballots by the Baseball Writers' Association of America this year. Alomar was a 12-time All-Star and had 10 Gold Gloves at second base, hit .300 for his career, but said he's most proud of the two World Series titles with the Jays in 1992-93.
"I feel real honored to be part of the Hall of Fame," Alomar said. "I didn't expect to get so many votes. Last year was a little disappointing, but on the other hand I feel happy with what happened last year. And I'm excited. It's an exciting moment for me."
-- JOE SMITH