Ben Davis retires from baseball

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Ben Davis, the former Malvern Prep star whose pro baseball career spanned 16 years in the major and minor leagues, and 60 feet, 6 inches of turf and dirt, has retired.

The strong-armed catcher was drafted by the San Diego Padres with the second overall pick in 1995, and he played with three major-league teams from 1998 to 2004, batting .237 in 486 games. He was with eight minor-league clubs after that.

Davis' hitting woes continued in the minors, and he converted into a pitcher after Baltimore cut him in 2008.

Last year with the Camden Riversharks, in his first full pro season as a pitcher - his 2009 campaign had been cut short by shoulder surgery - Davis went 5-11 with a 4.61 ERA in 28 games, including 23 starts.

"I was over in Camden playing again, and I said, 'I can't do this anymore. I have to go get a real job,' " Davis, 34, said this week. "It's something I've been thinking of for a couple of years.

"My numbers started to decline and I just figured, you know what, I'm going to shut it down now. Sixteen years is enough for me."

Davis is working in sales for the premium-seating department of the Wells Fargo Center, selling premium seats and luxury boxes. He also will be doing occasional on-camera work for Comcast SportsNet on Phillies pregame and postgame shows, starting Saturday night.

Davis was the second Philadelphia-area player to be selected as high as No. 2 in the major-league draft. (Reggie Jackson was the first, in 1966.) Davis had his best major-league season in 2001, batting .239 with 11 home runs and 57 RBIs in 138 games for the Padres. He was traded to Seattle that offseason, played parts of three seasons with the Mariners, and finished his big-league career with the Chicago White Sox.


Contact staff writer Lou Rabito

at 215-854-2916 or rabitol@phillynews.com