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Giants catcher Mike Matheny announces retirement02/01/2007 6:20 PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco Giants Gold Glove catcher Mike Matheny announced his retirement today after a 13-year Major League career. The four-time winner of baseball's prestigious fielding award (2000, 2003-05) had one year left on a three-year contract signed prior to the 2005 campaign, however he was forced to end his playing career due to post-concussion syndrome.
Matheny, 36, garnered his fourth National League Gold Glove award in 2005 with the Giants, having posted the highest single-season fielding percentage for a catcher in San Francisco history with a .999 mark (one error, 862 total chances). He batted .242 during his initial campaign with the club, while amassing career highs in doubles (34), homers (13), RBI (59) and average with runners in scoring position (.311). For his effort and inspiration, he was named by his teammates and coaches as the 2005 Willie Mac Award winner.
"Mike is one of the toughest competitors that we have ever witnessed and a true leader," said Giants Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Sabean. "As a player, he will be missed not only on the field, but in the clubhouse, the scouting meetings and on the road with his teammates. On behalf of the Giants, I wish Mike and his family all the best. He'll always be a Giant."
The 6-3, 227-pound catcher had his 2006 season cut short due to a series of concussions from foul tips, last appearing May 31 in a game at Florida. He finished the campaign with a .231 batting average, three home runs and 18 RBI in 47 games, having started 44 of the club's first 53 contests.
The University of Michigan product, who won his first three fielding awards with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2000, 2003 and 2004, compiled a .994 lifetime fielding percentage in 1,285 games behind the plate (43 errors in 7,774 total chances while being charged with just 60 passed balls. He also set two Major League records for backstops, establishing the catcher's errorless streak of 252 games (Aug. 1, 2002-Aug. 4, 2004) and the consecutive chances without an error string with 1,565 (also in 2004).
Matheny is one of only three receivers in Major League history to catch at least 100 games in a single season without committing an error, when he logged 138-errorless contests behind the dish in 2003 for St. Louis (823 total chances). Only Philadelphia's Buddy Rosar in 1946 (117 games, 605 chances) and Florida's Charles Johnson in 1997 (123 games, 973 chances) have accomplished the feat.
Originally the Brewers' eighth round pick in the 1991 Draft, the Reynoldsburg, Ohio native posted a .239 lifetime big league mark with 67 home runs and 443 RBI over 1,305 games for Milwaukee (1994-98), Toronto (1999), St. Louis (2000-04) and the Giants (2005-06).
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