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Homegrown O's pitcher Kline calls it a career

@JoeTrezz
January 13, 2021

Right-hander Branden Kline, the Frederick, Md., native who overcame a litany of arm injuries to make 37 relief appearances for his hometown Orioles over the past two seasons, announced his retirement on Wednesday. “Dear Baseball, we both knew this day would eventually come......Thank you for everything you’ve done for me,

Right-hander Branden Kline, the Frederick, Md., native who overcame a litany of arm injuries to make 37 relief appearances for his hometown Orioles over the past two seasons, announced his retirement on Wednesday.

“Dear Baseball, we both knew this day would eventually come......Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, and my family, over the past 25 years!” Kline wrote on Instagram. “You’ve given me great friends, life-changing experiences, as well as a career that I’ve cherished for the last 8 years. I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family and being more involved in spiritual matters.”

Kline, 29, was the Orioles’ second-round pick in 2012 out of the University of Virginia, where he developed into a top arm after a standout career at Governor Thomas Johnson High in Frederick. But injuries plagued Kline during his Minor League career, forcing him to miss almost three full seasons with a broken right fibula and three elbow surgeries, including Tommy John reconstruction.

When Kline made his emotional MLB debut as a reliever in 2019, it produced some of the most memorable moments of what was a trying O’s season. The footage of Kline’s mother, Linda, tearing up while being interviewed by MASN during that game left a lasting image.

“It was an incredible moment,” Kline said afterwards. “There are still things I have to get better on. At the same time, it was a great moment for myself and my family and friends. A lot of hard work went into tonight. Even though it was just two innings and 30 pitches, about 25 years of work went into that.”

Kline pitched to a 5.48 ERA over parts of two seasons in the Majors, including 34 appearances in 2019. He became a free agent in October after the Orioles removed him from their 40-man roster.

In his Instagram announcement, Kline thanked agent Tom Hagan and CAA Baseball “for taking care of me over the last decade, as well as the Orioles for taking a chance on a local boy.”

“It’s been a fun ride,” he wrote.

Joe Trezza covers the Orioles for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeTrezz.