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Yankees' Andy Pettitte hanging up pinstripes

By Paul Caron, CNN
updated 2:16 PM EDT, Fri September 20, 2013
"I want all of our fans to know ... how grateful I am for their support throughout my career," Andy Pettitte says.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Andy Pettitte pitched mostly for the Yankees, three seasons with Astros
  • He admitted using growth hormones last decade
  • Another Yankee great, Mariano Rivera, is stepping down as well

(CNN) -- The New York Yankees' Andy Pettitte, the winningest pitcher in post-season history, will retire after this season, the Yankees said Friday.

Pettitte, 41, owns a 255-152 career record with a 3.86 ERA in 529 appearances over 18 Major League seasons. In the post-season, he went 19-11 with a 3.81 ERA in 44 career starts. It's still possible for Pettitte to see another post-season, since the 80-73 Yankees are still eligible to go to the playoffs in the post-season as a wild card.

"I've reached the point where I know that I've left everything I have out there on that field. The time is right. I've exhausted myself, mentally and physically, and that's exactly how I want to leave this game."

The lefty played most of his career for the Yankees but had a brief stint in the last decade with the Houston Astros.

His career wasn't without controversy.

In December 2007, he was cited by a group led by former Sen. George Mitchell in a report on illegal use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball.

Pettitte was among dozens named in its findings, and the report became the basis of a hearing two months later by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He later admitted to using growth hormones in 2002 and 2004, one of the few players to admit to the use of such drugs.

What will future hold for Yankees?

'Tip my cap' to Yankees fans

But Pettitte's career has been filled with highlights.

A three-time All-Star and 2001 American League Championship Series MVP, he's the only pitcher in the majors to pitch at least 17 seasons without a losing season, the Yankees said. This year, he has gone 10-10 with 3.93 ERA in 28 starts.

Pettitte will end his career as one of 12 players to spend at least 15 seasons with the Yankees, the team said. A Louisiana native and Texas resident, he pitched three seasons with the Houston Astros and appeared in the 2005 World Series, when the Chicago White Sox swept the Astros.

He also posted a winning record in each of the first 13 seasons of his career, from 1995 to 2007. That was the third-longest such streak to begin a career all time, the Yankees said, behind Hall of Famers Grover Cleveland Alexander, at 17, and Cy Young, at 15.

"I'm announcing my retirement prior to the conclusion of our season because I want all of our fans to know now, while I'm still wearing this uniform, how grateful I am for their support throughout my career. I want to have the opportunity to tip my cap to them during these remaining days and thank them for making my time here with the Yankees so special," Pettitte said.

Pettitte's announcement comes as the Yankees honor their great reliever, baseball's all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera. Sunday's sold-out game against the San Francisco Giants will feature a pregame ceremony honoring Rivera, who is also retiring.

"One of the things I struggled with in making this announcement now was doing anything to take away from Mariano's day on Sunday. It is his day," Pettitte said.

"He means so much to me, and has meant so much to my career that I would just hate to somehow take the attention away from him."

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