Tuesday, January 11, 2011

VINNY CASTILLA RETIRES FROM NARANJEROS, PLAYING CAREER OVER

Major League Baseball’s all-time leader in career homers among Mexican-born players is hanging up his glove and spikes for good. Vinny Castilla, the 43-year-old third baseman whose 2010-11 winterball season with the Hermosillo Naranjeros concluded this month with an opening round playoff loss to Obregon, announced his retirement as a player Monday.

Castilla, who hit 320 homers and drove in 1,105 runs while compiling a .276 batting average during his 16-year LMB career (mostly with the Colorado Rockies), has played ten winters with Hermosillo. He went 1-for-12 in three regular season games with the Naranjeros before batting .278 with two homers and four RBIs in five playoff contests for the defending champions.

“Thanks to all who accompanied me,” Castilla said during an emotional press conference announcing his retirement. “First I want to say thanks to the people of Hermosillo, who behaved wonderfully. Since I arrived here they received me with open arms. The ovations, the applause offered me here during all my stay in Hermosillo: They are memories I am going to take away.”
Castilla will soon return to Denver, where he is an assistant general manager with the Rockies.