After being the final cut of spring training when the Orioles selected their 25-man roster to begin the 2013 season, outfielder Conor Jackson has chosen to retire after just nine games with Triple-A Norfolk.
Jackson was a safe bet to join the Orioles at some point this season based on the fluidity of last year’s roster and the early struggles of outfielder Steve Pearce, but the 30-year-old retired after a 5-for-25 start with the Tides. In 22 Grapefruit League games, Jackson hit three home runs and drove in six runs as he was strongly considered for a roster spot before manager Buck Showalter chose Steve Pearce for the final bench spot.
Showalter told reporters prior to the Orioles’ series finale in the Bronx that Jackson was simply at a stage in his life where he no longer wanted to continue playing. However, the manager said he respected Jackson’s decision and wished him well.
His career nearly ended in 2009 when he was diagnosed with Valley fever, a serious disease most common in the southwest that can cause fever, headaches, and joint and muscle pain. The condition limited him to just 30 games with the Arizona Diamondbacks that season after he was a .300 hitter in 144 games in 2008.
After two ineffective seasons in which he split time with Oakland and Boston, Jackson spent the entire 2012 season with Triple-A Charlotte in the Chicago White Sox system and performed well enough to earn the spring invitation to Sarasota with the Orioles earlier this year.