Once a great Orioles prospect, Hairston says goodbye

Once a great Orioles prospect, Hairston says goodbye
December 11, 2013, 3:00 pm
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. –- Jerry Hairston tweeted his retirement today. There had been talk that the 37-year-old was going to sign with a club instead.

“After 16 seasons decided retiring is my best opportunity. Game will not miss me but I will miss it and teammates immensely! #NextChapter,” Hairston wrote.

Has it really been 16 seasons?

Hairston played for nine major league teams, but he’ll be remembered as one of the Orioles’ best prospects. In seven seasons with the Orioles, Hairston hit .261, but failed to fulfill his great promise.

Often injured, he was traded before the 2005 season for Sammy Sosa.

In 1998, Hairston was supposed to be part of the next wave of excellent Orioles infielders. It was Calvin Pickering at first, Hairston at second, Jesse Garcia at short and Ryan Minor at third.

Hairston had the best major league career of the quartet by far, but in the end couldn’t beat out Brian Roberts for the second base job. In 2001 and 2002, he stole 50 bases but those were two of the last years he played regularly.

He was a useful major leaguer and a joy to deal with. Here’s hoping his next chapter will be a happy one.