MINNEAPOLIS – Brad Radke could have made millions more as free agent in baseball’s exploding market this winter. His mind was made up, though, and the Minnesota Twins are losing one of the franchise’s most consistent pitchers â€” and most important players.
“There’s not enough money in the world that’s going to bring me back,” Radke said at a news conference Tuesday to officially announce his retirement after a 12-year career in the majors, all with Minnesota.
Though the 34-year-old right-hander left little doubt during this past season that he would be calling it quits, it wasn’t until this summer when he realized his shoulder injury would keep him from coming back.
Radke has pitched with a torn labrum for the last two years, and a stress fracture in the joint added to the pain. Surgery would have been required to continue, and he wasn’t interested in a lengthy rehabilitation.
Radke reached 20 wins once, in 1997, and his lone All-Star game appearance came in 1998. He finished 148-139 with a 4.22 ERA and allowed a lot of home runs for someone who wasn’t a power pitcher, but his impact on the team went beyond simple statistics.
I never saw Radke pitch but do have a memory of him. From 1996-2002 I played in these tournaments and Brad was part of my October 2000 Orlando squad. Down 3 games to 1, Brad pitched me a 4-hitter for a 9-0 victory. I went on to win the tournament, my first of two lifetime wins. That’s my Brad Radke moment.
Good luck in retirement Brad.
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