Counsell calls it a career

Counsell calls it a career

Published Jan. 18, 2012 5:12 p.m. ET

The group of active Diamondbacks remaining from the 2001 World Series
team shrank to three Tuesday with the announcement that Craig Counsell
would retire after 15 seasons and take a front office position with the
Milwaukee Brewers, where he played the last five seasons.

41, met the Milwaukee media Tuesday alongside Brewers general manager
Doug Melvin to make the news official and left no doubt that his playing
days were over, though he entered the offseason open to returning as a

"It's easy (to retire) when you've got more softball
teams calling you than baseball teams, and those softball teams want to
DH for you," Counsell joked Tuesday. "Although I waited a while in the
offseason, this is kind of what I expected to happen, and I'm glad this
is the way it happened."

Indeed, 2011 was a tough season for
Counsell. As the Brewers captured their first division title in 29
years, Counsell hit just .178 with nine RBI and 28 hits, going through
an 0-for-45 streak at one point.

Despite never overwhelming with
numbers or flashy plays, Counsell experienced a kind of popularity in
his career few players achieve. A Milwaukee native and World Series
champion with the Diamondbacks and Florida Marlins, Counsell could count
on loud, appreciative cheers in all three places.

Counsell was
always a fan favorite in Arizona and was part of the Diamondbacks'
ninth-inning rally in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series. Counsell was hit
by Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera to load the bases just before Luis
Gonzalez drove in the winning run on a bloop single.

follows in his father's footsteps by moving into the Brewers' front
office, where he will serve as a special assistant to Melvin. He
declined an offer from former Brewers hitting coach and new Cubs manager
Dale Sveum to coach first base in Chicago.

His retirement leaves
Lyle Overbay, Rod Barajas and Miguel Batista as the last remaining
active players from the 2001 World Series champions.