Lieberthal to retire with Phillies

PHILADELPHIA (TICKER) —Former Philadelphia Phillies catcher Mike Lieberthal officially will retire as a member of the organization on June 1, the team announced Monday.

Lieberthal, who spent 13 of his 14 major league seasons in Philadelphia, will sign a one-day contract with the Phillies. The last player to retire as a Phillie in this manner was outfielder Doug Glanville in 2005.

“Philadelphia has always been a second home to me, so I’m really looking forward to this,” said Lieberthal, a California native. “I spent half my life there and still follow the team closely on television.”

The 36-year-old Lieberthal spent last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers but played in only 38 games as a backup to All-Star Russell Martin.

Lieberthal has been without a job since January, when the Dodgers declined to pick up his contract for 2009. At the time, he hinted that he would retire.

The third overall pick in the 1990 draft, Lieberthal holds the Phillies’ record for most games caught with 1,139 despite seven trips to the disabled list.

In his 13 seasons with the Phillies, Lieberthal batted .275 with 150 home runs and 609 RBI. He made two All-Star appearances in 1999-2000.

In 1999, Lieberthal become only the sixth catcher in major league history to bat .300 and hit 30 homers in a season. He became the first Phillie to reach those numbers since Mike Schmidt in 1981.

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Updated Monday, Apr 28, 2008