Castilla retires from winter ball

Castilla retires from winter ball

Castilla retires from winter ball
Vinny Castilla has officially announced his retirement from winter baseball, this time for good, he said.

The slugger made the announcement on Monday during a news conference at Hector Espino Stadium in Hermosillo, Mexico, a few days after his team, Naranjeros, was eliminated during the playoffs by the Yaquis de Obregon in the Mexican Pacific League.

"This was my last season," said Castilla. "I would have liked to retire with this team as a champion; Naranjeros de Hermosillo is the team I've always loved. Unfortunately, we could not do that. The guys played hard. It is not an excuse, but they simply played better than us."

Castilla played 16 seasons with six teams in the Major Leagues and 21 seasons as an active player in professional baseball, but he is probably best remembered as a member of the Blake Street Bombers with the Colorado Rockies in the 1990s.

During that stretch, Castilla had a run of three straight years hitting more than 40 home runs and helped lead the Rockies to their first playoff appearance, in 1995.

Castilla broke into the Majors with the Braves in 1991. The following year, the Rockies selected him with the 40th pick in the expansion draft. He remained with Colorado until he was dealt to Tampa Bay after the 1999 season. Castilla also played for the Astros, Nationals and Padres, and he also had second stints with the Braves and Rockies.

Castilla, who was born in Oaxaca, Mexico, was a two-time All Star (1995 and 1998). He also picked up three Silver Slugger Awards and led the National League in RBIs in 2004, with 131.

Carlos Molina is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.