The time has come for baseball to say goodbye to one of the best guys to ever put on a uniform. Sean Casey has decided to retire, electing to take a position with the MLB Network and spend more time with a family that has always meant the world to him.
During of the most enjoyable baseball summers we ever had in 1999, Sean Casey was a key cog in a team that nearly made it to the postseason if not for a choke in the final week of the season. A career .302 hitter, we have several lasting memories of Sean Casey.
First off, when we went to our first game in the Diamond Seats at Great American Ball Park; Casey came up into the seats during batting practice when asked to pose for a photo. It wasn’t good enough for Casey to simply pose for a photo while standing on the field with the fan in the front row. After the initial photo, a crowd began to surround Casey asking for the same accomodation. You’re lucky if you can get a player to speak to you these days during BP. Thinking that Casey would realize he’d made a mistake in being friendly, we thought he’d quickly head down in the Reds clubhouse until the game started. We were wrong. Casey then began to take photos with anyone and everyone in the stands who wanted one that day. Casey also was notorious for signing autographs until the last fan had went away.
Casey was our grandmother’s last favorite player. She loved the Reds for a longtime, she had many favorites come and go. She had many who she didn’t really like (Griffey for one). But she always had fond things to say about “Ol’ Sean Casey”. We watched the Reds with our grandmother on many a night growing up.
The guy was a positive in every clubhouse he’d ever been a part of. He played the game like a warrior, always running hard out of the box and laying out for a play in the field. While he will never be a Hall of Famer, if there were such a place for guys who played the game the right way and for their treatment of individuals, this guy would be first ballot.
Thank you for the memories, Sean. We wish you would have one more run in the Queen city before hanging up your cleats for good.