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Jimmy Key Retires After 15 Seasons

January 30, 1999

BALTIMORE (AP) _ Jimmy Key, a left-hander who won 186 games in 15 major league seasons, announced his retirement Friday.

Key, 37, began his career in 1984 with Toronto and played nine seasons with the Blue Jays. He spent four years with the New York Yankees, winning the World Series clincher against Atlanta in 1996, then joined the Orioles the following the season.

He became a free agent last fall following the World Series.

Key, who finished with a 186-117 career record and a 3.51 ERA, was bothered the past few seasons by a shoulder injury kept him off the mound, often for months at a time.

He spent more than two months on the disabled list with an inflamed rotator cuff last season, winding up 6-3 with a 4.20 ERA in 11 starts and 14 relief appearances.

Key was on the disabled list twice with the Yankees in 1996 but still won 12 games. In 1995, the rotator-cuff injury ended his season in May when he had shoulder surgery.

Key said he decided to retire after considering his career, the health of his arm and his personal life.

``I deeply appreciate the many fans that have cheered and encouraged me, both on and off the field,″ he said. ``Without them, we as players would not have the opportunities that are made available to us as major leaguers.″

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