Saying he only would return for a 17th season if he could pitch close to home, right-hander Kevin Millwood called it a career Friday night after a successful major league ride. His highlights include two no-hitters — one done on his own with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2003 and the other as part of a six-man effort with the Seattle Mariners this past season.
Millwood, who turned 38 years old in December, told the Shelby (N.C.) Star that he was “just ready to retire” after agent Scott Boras couldn’t hook up a deal with the Atlanta Braves or Tampa Bay Rays, teams that play near his home in Gainesville, Ga.:
“I feel like I can still throw it well and going out on a high note is a big deal,” Millwood said. “I just felt it was time to be closer to home and to be around the kids more often.”
Millwood happened to be in North Carolina to watch two of his nephews play in basketball games for their respective middle school and high school teams in Bessemer, the same ones Millwood played for before getting picked by the Braves in the 11th round of the 1993 draft. An 11th rounder, playing 16 seasons — that’s quite accomplished. The Star took note that Millwood’s major league career was a record for Gaston County, edging Whitey Lockman by a year .
When he came up with the Braves and had an awesome second full season — and considering Atlanta’s reputation for developing starters — it was easy to envision Millwood making several All-Star teams. That didn’t happen, but he had some dominating moments. The no-hitter for the Phillies in ’03 was most notable:
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