Forum Spin Doctor
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - First baseman J.T. Snow announced his retirement Thursday after a 15-year major league career, and he will rejoin the San Francisco Giants in several roles.
Snow has been hired by the Giants, his team from 1997-2005, for about 20 games as a radio broadcaster. He also will serve as a roving minor league coach and an instructor at spring training, in addition to advising general manager Brian Sabean and making personal appearances on behalf of the club.
"I'm looking forward to it," said the 38-year-old Snow, a six-time Gold Glove winner who already lives in the Bay Area. "I think it will be a fun transition from playing and I look forward to the next step and the next chapter in my life. I knew this day would be coming. It's inevitable for all of us."
Snow last played for the Boston Red Sox, who designated him for assignment on June 19. He was batting .205 in only 44 at-bats when the club let him go.
Snow owns a career batting average of .268 with 189 homers and 877 RBIs in parts of 15 seasons, playing 1,715 games with the Yankees, Angels, Giants and Red Sox.
A left-handed hitter with an impressive playoff track record, he thought he might catch on with a contending team for the stretch run last season, but it didn't happen.
"It's a humbling experience when you're talking to your agent and he says no one's calling," Snow said.
Snow reached the World Series with the Giants in 2002, and they lost in seven games. During Game 5 against the Anaheim Angels, the sure-handed Snow made perhaps his most alert play.
Snow had already scored on Kenny Lofton's triple and David Bell was running home when it became dangerous - Darren Baker, the 3 1/2-year-old bat boy son of manager Dusty Baker, was standing behind Angels catcher Bengie Molina, eager to grab Lofton's bat.
In a flash, Snow dashed in and scooped up the boy by the collar of his oversized jacket, pulling him from harm's way.
When the Giants parted ways with Snow after the 2005 season, Sabean, executive vice president Larry Baer and owner Peter Magowan planted the seed about Snow one day working for the club. Most of his broadcast work will be at home games providing analysis alongside play-by-play announcer Dave Flemming.
Snow's late father, Jack, a star receiver in the NFL, also went into broadcasting after his playing career ended. While J.T. has no experience in the booth, Baer said he has "great insights."
"In the spirit of other great Giants, we'd like to have a long-standing relationship with him," Baer said. "He has a winning attitude. You can't get enough of exposing the players you're very proud of having worn your uniform to your current players."
Snow will have the freedom to explore his options and see where he fits in best, and he didn't rule out the possibility of coaching or managing someday.
For now, he's been enjoying the chance to coach his son's flag football team.
"I'm really intrigued to work with minor league kids," Snow said on a conference call. "We all were there once."
He is most looking forward to helping develop minor leaguers - not to mention guiding good friend Rich Aurilia as he makes the transition to first base as San Francisco's new starter in Snow's old spot.
"That would be a challenge," Snow said. "It will be a lot of fun."
Snow and Hall of Famer Willie McCovey are the only Giants first basemen to make nine straight starts on opening day since the team moved west to San Francisco in 1958.
"I can honestly look back and say I gave it all I had," Snow said. "I have no regrets. I have nothing left to give as a player. I'm all tapped out. I had fun. If you told me at 21 I would retire at 38, I probably wouldn't have believed you."