Ciarrachi, last original RiverHawk, retires
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May 19, 2006 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – The last of the original Rockford RiverHawks has left the nest.

Catcher Kevin Ciarrachi announced his retirement this morning after a seven-year professional career that included a 2004 Frontier League all-star appearance and a pennant the same season. Ciarrachi, the starting catcher for the first game in team history, in 2002, was the last player left from that opening-day roster and one of just two 2004 veterans in camp.

Ciarrachi, 27, still had 1-Year status by Frontier League standards because of a career plagued by injury. He underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder in both 2002 and 2003 and spent much of each season in the broadcast booth.

In his only healthy season, 2004, he hit .259 with a career-high 25 RBI. He was the backup catcher for the West Division in that year’s all-star game.

The New York Mets picked Ciarrachi out of Northern Iowa University in the 17th round of the 1999 draft. He spent two seasons in the New York system and one in the Pittsburgh organization. Ciarrachi hit .260 with one home run and 48 RBI in 465 career at-bats.

The lone remaining member of the 2004 championship team is outfielder Rico Santana.

In other moves, the RiverHawks trimmed their spring-training roster by releasing pitchers Tim Rice and Mike Minkel, infielders Alika Kuraoka and Geron Sands and outfielders Vince Berry and Brett Holmes.

The regular season starts at 11:35 a.m. Wednesday, May 24 at Windy City. Opening Day at RiverHawks Stadium is 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, May 31. The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 10-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 14th season in 2006. Advertising, ticket and suite information is available by calling the box office at (815) 964-2255. All games are broadcast live on WRHL-FM, 102.3 – the Hub and online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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