2006_03_sleiterrookie.jpgGothamist has seen Al Leiter play on many occasions. The worst performance that we might have witnessed though was when he joined Bruce Springsteen on stage at a performance at Shea Stadium. It was fitting then that before his final appearance on the pitcher's mound he warmed up to a song by The Boss. At Legends Field in Tampa yesterday, Leiter called it a career after 22 seasons in the Majors. Leiter started his career with the Yankees before playing parts of seven seasons with the Blue Jays and two seasons with the Marlins. After a championship season with Florida in 1997, including a no-hitter for the team, Leiter returned to New York for a stint with the Mets. While with the Mets, Leiter had 10-plus wins for each of his seven seasons, with his best year in 1997 as he was 17-6, had a 2.47 ERA and 174 strikeouts. Last season was less than memorable as he started it with the Marlins before being traded back to the Yankees.

With his abilities as a lefty and his cut fastball, Leiter returned to Yankee camp this spring hoping to make the roster, but his performance at the World Baseball Classic made it obvious that it was time to call it quits. The 40 year-old Toms River, NJ native was shelled by Canada in the United States' first round loss. He retires with a career record of 162-132, a career 3.80 ERA and 1974 strikeouts.

Some of Leiter's teammates didn't even know that it was his last game. Leiter now heads to the YES broadcast booth, which from what we've seen in the past, is a great step for him and a good addition for YES. As long as he stays away from singing, we're okay with that.