Mark Hendrickson announces retirement from baseball

Mark Hendrickson has decided to retire from baseball. Is golf -- or the Orioles front office -- next?

Veteran left-hander Mark Hendrickson, who was in big league camp with the Orioles this spring, announced his retirement on Tuesday.

Hendrickson, 40, was making one final attempt to get back to the major leagues, where he hadn’t pitched in a regular season game since 2011 with the Orioles, continuing his progression as a left-handed side-arm reliever. He was released on March 16.

Hendrickson said he would like to explore his options in the Orioles organization in another role, possibly in a coaching, advisor or front office role.

After playing in Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association, Hendrickson said he is also considering a career in pro golf.

"To be honest, I love being an athlete," Hendrickson said. "I don’t like to use the word retired because it is just something, that perhaps, down the road golf was always my third sport and I think it is something that appeals to me.

Hendrickson said he spoke with Orioles manager Buck Showalter last week about possible roles in the Orioles organization.

"I think in the short run, the way (my wife) Courtney and I were examining it, is that I have such a good relationship with the Orioles, I love the organization, been a part of it for five years, on and off, and I think if there is ever an opportunity to pursue something post-baseball with the Orioles I think it is something that is better to pursue sooner or rather than later," he said. "I just have no idea what it is, but it is definitely something that intrigues me, so we’ll have to see what happens."

The 6-foot-9 Hendrickson pitched 10 years in the majors, including his last three with the Orioles from 2009 to 2011. He was 8-11 with a 4.80 ERA over those three seasons.

He also spent four seasons playing in the NBA -- for the Nets Kings, Sixers and Cavaliers -- from 1996 to 2000.

Over his baseball career, he was 58-74 with a 5.03 ERA in 328 games with the Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Marlins and Orioles.

He was in Orioles camp in 2013, earning an invitation after showing the club his new, lower arm slot. He pitched that season in Triple-A Norfolk. He pitched for the independent league York Revolution as a closer last season.

Hendrickson also said he's spoken by text with former Notre Dame basketball player and Orioles minor leaguer Pat Connaughton about the pros and cons of pursuing baseball and basketball careers.

"It is more just kind of ‘been there, done that’ kind of advice and he seemed very willing to talk to me," Hendrickson said. "Other than a few texts here and there, I wanted to give him the respect of what he was going through last weekend. We talked after his Sweet 16 game, I think we talked on Friday, this is just through texts, and then obviously after their loss I texted him yesterday.

"Hopefully we can line up a conversation this week, just introducing myself and getting a chance to talk him because I think I can relate to what he is going through and see if we cant help each other out," he said.

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