Petrick cites mental drain as reason

Updated: May 22, 2004, 7:14 PM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- Ben Petrick, a 27-year-old catcher who once played for the Colorado Rockies, announced his retirement from baseball this week and disclosed he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Petrick said he doesn't believe the problem had affected his physical ability but it had taken a mental toll.

"I was not enjoying playing as much as I used to," he told the Rocky Mountain News on Thursday from Oregon, where he lives. "I began to wonder if it was worth the time and medication. I felt it is time to step back and reorganize my life. I still love the game, but I don't love playing it as much. I have other things I want to do."

Petrick was a second-round draft choice by Colorado in 1995. He appeared in 197 games for the Rockies from 1999 to 2003, hitting .264. He was traded to Detroit last July and was released by the Tigers this season.

He later signed with San Diego's AAA affiliate in Portland, Ore., batting .225 in 24 games before reaching his decision.

Petrick said he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease after the 1999 season. He said he plans to go to college and coach at the high school or college level.

Petrick's father also suffers from Parkinson's disease.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press