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01/25/2010 5:08 PM ET
Mark Loretta announces retirement after 15-year playing career
Former Padre returns to San Diego as Special Assistant to Baseball Operations
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SAN DIEGO - Mark Loretta today announced that he has retired from playing Major League Baseball and will join the Padres front office as Special Assistant to Baseball Operations. Loretta's playing career spanned 15 seasons, including a three-year stint with the Padres from 2003-05.

"I feel extremely fortunate and thankful to have had this career," Loretta said. "The competition and camaraderie will be missed, but the experiences I enjoyed and the friendships I made will last a lifetime. I'd sincerely like to thank my friends and family, in particular, my wife Hilary and my parents Ellen and Dave for their unending support over the years."

I look forward to new challenges as I embark on the next chapter in my life. Having the opportunity to return to the Padres organization, in my home city is a thrill."

"We are incredibly excited to add Mark to our staff," said Executive Vice President/General Manager Jed Hoyer. "He had a long and successful playing career and earned the respect of every team he joined along the way. I was with Mark for one season in Boston and it was clear to me that he could have a great impact on an organization in a front-office role once he finished his playing career. I feel fortunate that the timing of my arrival in San Diego and Mark's retirement coincided and I was eager to bring Mark on-board to help in all aspects of the department."

Over parts of 15 Major League seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers (1995-2002), Houston Astros (2002, 2007-08), Padres (2003-05), Boston Red Sox (2006) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2009), Loretta hit .295 (1713-for-5812) with 309 doubles, 22 triples, 76 home runs, 629 RBI and 768 runs scored in 1726 games. A two-time All-Star (2004, 06) known as one of the most consistent hitters in the game, he batted .280 or above in 12 straight seasons from 1997-2008, including a three-year stretch during which he hit over .300 (2002-04).

During Loretta's three-year stint with the Padres, he combined to hit .314 (506-for-1613) with 91 doubles, seven triples, 32 home runs, 186 RBI and 236 runs scored in 413 games. In 2004, he set career highs in hits (208), doubles (47), home runs (16), RBI (76), runs scored (108), batting average (.335), slugging percentage (.495) and on-base percentage (.391) en route to being named Padres team MVP for the second consecutive season.

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