October 19, 2015 / 7:49 PM / 3 years ago

Pitcher Zito retires on high note to seek music career

(Reuters) - Former Cy Young winner Barry Zito officially announced his retirement on Monday, ending a 15-year career “full of euphoric highs and devastating lows” that included three All-Star appearances and a World Series title.

September 30, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Barry Zito (75) pitches the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The 37-year-old, who played for the Oakland Athletics (in two stints) and the San Francisco Giants, signed off from the sport in an article which he posted on the Players’ Tribune website.

“I’m retiring today from baseball, but I’ll never be too far away from the game that made me who I am,” said left-hander Zito, who plans to start a new career as a song writer.

Zito spent the 2015 season with Oakland’s Triple-A team, the Nashville Sounds, before being called back to the majors by the A’s in late September to make three final appearances.

“My return to Oakland last month was a ‘cherry on top’ moment in my life that my family and I will never forget,” he said. “I will no doubt be in the stands on both sides of the Bay in years to come.”

Zito ends his career in the majors with a 165-143 record and 4.04 ERA in 433 appearances.

After seven illustrious seasons in Oakland from 2000-2006, he signed a seven-year, $126 million deal with the Giants but was never able to replicate his A’s success in San Francisco.

Zito was omitted from the Giants’ postseason roster when they won the 2010 World Series but two years later he delivered two impressive starts in the playoffs for the Giants as they went on to beat the Detroit Tigers and win another World Series.

“My baseball career has been a mirror to my life off the field, full of euphoric highs and devastating lows,” said Zito.

“I’ve been at the top of a rotation and the 25th man on a roster. I’ve started Game One of a World Series in one year and I’ve been left off of a postseason roster in another.

“Through the ups and downs, accepting myself was by far the hardest thing to achieve over the last 15 years.”

Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Andrew Both

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