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Report: Millwood steps aside after 16 seasons

Former All-Star right-hander pitched in the big leagues with seven teams

After 16 Major League seasons and involvement in two no-hitters, right-handed hurler Kevin Millwood is reportedly calling it a career.

According to the Shelby (N.C.) Star, Millwood said on Friday, while watching his nephew play basketball at his alma mater, Bessemer City High, in Bessemer City, N.C., that he is "just ready to retire."

Millwood reportedly told his agent, Scott Boras, that he only wanted to pitch if he could do so for the Braves or Rays, two teams closest to his home in Gainesville, Ga. Neither team expressed interest.

"I feel like I can still throw it well, and going out on a high note is a big deal," Millwood told the newspaper. "I just felt it was time to be closer to home and be around the kids more often."

Millwood compiled a 6-12 record and 4.25 ERA in 28 starts last season for the Mariners. On June 8, he tossed six hitless innings against the Dodgers before departing with a groin injury. Five relievers helped to finish off the no-hitter. Millwood also notched a no-no on April 27, 2003, while pitching for the Phillies.

Over his 16-year career, Millwood went 169-152 with a 4.11 ERA, logging a 17-8 mark in his first full season in 1998, and earning an All-Star Game nod in '99 en route to posting an 18-7 record and 2.68 ERA. That year, he finished third in voting for the National League Cy Young Award. Early in his career, he joined Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz in Atlanta's starting rotation, widely regarded as the best in baseball.

In the winter of 2002, the Braves dealt him to division rival Philadelphia, where he pitched for two years before moving on to Cleveland in '05. In his lone season with the Indians, Millwood led the American League with a 2.86 ERA and finished sixth in the AL Cy Young Award voting, despite a 9-11 record that was the result of a lack of run support.

Millwood pitched for the Rangers for the following four years, then spent a year in Baltimore. In 2011, he signed Minor League deals with the Yankees and Red Sox before being released from both organizations without pitching in a big league game for either. He finished that season with the Rockies before venturing to Seattle for his last act.

"It's special just to make it [to the Major Leagues] in the first place," Millwood told the Star. "To be able to play as long as I played makes it extra special."

Zack Meisel is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @zackmeisel.
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