Former All-Star reliever Grant Balfour officially retires
Former AL All-Star reliever Grant Balfour has decided to officially retire, ending a 19-year pro career.
"I had a pretty good career,'' Balfour told the Tampa Bay Times on Friday. "I was lucky to play for such a long time. .. I got to do a lot of things. ... It was definitely a lot of fun.''
The Australian native pitched parts of 12 seasons in the majors, making the 2013 AL All-Star team when with Oakland and five trips to the postseason, including the Rays' 2008 run to the World Series. He last pitched for the Rays in April 2015, and after being released made a brief comeback attempt with Triple-A Durham.
Balfour, 38, read some remarks he had composed:
"I want to thank firstly my family for their support throughout my career. If not for them I would never have had the opportunities that I got.
"Secondly I want to thank every organization who I played for during my career - the manager and coaches who helped me develop into the player that I was, and also the teammates I played with.
"Also, the fans who made the game so fun. To play in such an amazing atmosphere was something I always thrived on.
"It was honestly a great ride, meeting a lot of people and developing friendships along the way. I now look forward to sitting home and being a spectator and be able to spend more time with my family. Thanks again.''
In playing parts of 12 seasons in the majors, with the Twins, Brewers, Rays and A's, Balfour compiled a 30-23, 3.49 record with 84 saves in 534 appearances.
Balfour said he considered seeking a spring training invitation to give it one more try but after playing catch a few times decided it was time to retire.
He is spending more time with his wife and two daughters at their Clearwater home and working on a home butying and flipping business he has started. He said he has not yet thought if he wants to go into coaching.
"Right now I'm just enjoying being away from the game,'' he said. "When you step away it's nice to just look back and reflect on your career. It feels like it went so quick.''