CINCINNATI (AP) — Chatty first baseman Sean Casey is retiring after a dozen major league seasons with five teams, headed for a second career that suits him as well.
"The Mayor" is hitting the airwaves.
Casey announced his retirement Tuesday and his move to the fledgling MLB Network, a 24-hour channel launched this month to about 50 million homes. He'll be a studio analyst initially.
The 34-year-old Casey came up with Cleveland and was traded to Cincinnati for pitcher Dave Burba a day before the Reds' 1998 opener, a surprising twist to start his career. Quickly, Casey became known for base hits and friendly banter — he chatted with runners at first base, respectfully referring to them as "Mr."
"Throughout my career, everyone was always interested in what I was talking about at first base and everything like that," Casey said. "Now people can see me talk on TV instead of wondering what I'm saying at first base."
Casey became a three-time All-Star during his eight seasons with the Reds. He later played for Pittsburgh and Detroit, finishing his career with Boston last year by batting .322 in 69 games with no homers and 17 RBIs.
Casey has three children and decided that rather than play in a backup role somewhere for another season, it was time to focus more on his family. The chance to do something in television tipped the decision.
"It really had more to do with me and my kids," Casey said. "I just felt it was time to start being home more and really having some stability as far as just being home. The tough part for me is that baseball has been so good to me. It's been everything I thought it would be and more. It was the ultimate dream, being in the big leagues for the last 12 years."
He had a lot of highlights — a Pittsburgh native who got the first hit in the Pirates' new ballpark and eventually played for them; two homers and a .529 batting average for Detroit against St. Louis in the 2006 World Series; a .302 career mark and 1,531 hits.
Yet his signature was his congeniality.
"It means a lot to me if I'm looked at as a good guy in the game and a pretty good player," Casey said. "It's a nice combination."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.