Doug DeCinces, the former Angel third baseman who spent last season playing for the Yakult Swallows in Japan, announced his retirement from baseball Tuesday.
DeCinces, bothered by back problems throughout most of his 15-year major league career, missed the last 2 months of the 1988 season because of a herniated disk and was advised by doctors not to play again.
“Basically, the doctors said, ‘Enough’s enough,’ ” DeCinces told reporters at a luncheon in Santa Ana. “They told me that if I tried to play, frankly, I could expect immediate surgery.
“For years, I’ve been trying to avoid all kinds of surgery. I don’t want to start now.”
DeCinces, 38, batted .250 with 19 home runs and 47 runs batted in for the Swallows before injuring his back while diving for a groundball in early August. Two weeks later, he left the team and returned to his home in Villa Park.
During his big league career with the Baltimore Orioles, Angels and St. Louis Cardinals, DeCinces had 237 home runs and 879 RBIs. His career batting average was .259.
Released by the Angels in September, 1987, DeCinces finished the season with St. Louis before deciding to play in Japan.
DeCinces said he plans to work for his father’s construction and development business, which is opening an Orange County office, and has no desire to stay in baseball as a coach or manager.