MILWAUKEE -- Geoff Jenkins signed a one-day contract with the Brewers on Friday and then signed his retirement papers, ending his career in the city he called home for 10 Major League seasons. Jenkins, who ranks in the franchise's top 10 in nearly every offensive category, including second with 212 home runs and fourth with 704 RBIs, formally called it quits in an emotional afternoon press conference, then threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Brewers-Pirates game at Miller Park. The ninth overall pick in the 1995 Draft, Jenkins played in Milwaukee from 1998-2007 before a stint with the Phillies that netted him a World Series ring -- and a chance to play against the Brewers in the 2008 National League Division Series. Jenkins' clutch hit sparked Philadelphia's win in Game 7 of the World Series against the Rays, but the team released him at the end of 2009 Spring Training. He had not played since then.
"At some point, you have to decide that it's time to start a new chapter in your life," he said. "Pretty much when your phone doesn't ring anymore; it's time to start a new chapter." Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin said he was "honored" to let Jenkins retire as a Brewer and praised his all-out defensive effort in left field and then in right, after the Brewers asked Jenkins to change positions in the wake of the December 2004 acquisition of Carlos Lee. "Geoff stayed here through the difficult times, and it's a real credit to him," Melvin said. "He did everything you asked him to do. ... I admired the way he played defense and I don't think that should go unnoticed." The Brewers will explore hiring Jenkins in some kind of coaching or front-office position after the season, Melvin said. But that is an agenda item for another day. "I said I would get back to him at the end of the year," Melvin said. "He's living in Arizona and we have Spring Training in Arizona, so I'm sure that we'll be able to put something together." Jenkins has expressed an interest in remaining in baseball in some capacity, and called Friday's ceremony less about retirement and more about "re-careering." He has been spending time on the golf course with Arizona pals Jermaine Dye, Eric Gagne and Mark Mulder, but said he misses the daily grind of the baseball season. "I'd like to get back in the game because that's what I know," he said. "That's what I've been a part of for so long. In some form, I'd like to be in baseball, whether that starts in Spring Training or whatever. I'd like for that, obviously, to be with the Brewers." But Friday's ceremony at Miller Park was not the time or place to negotiate. "Today was not for me to lobby for a position with the team," Jenkins said. "Today is all about enjoying this day." As for his favorite moment? "I don't know if anyone knows this, but I actually ran the Sausage Race one time," Jenkins said with a laugh. "I was coming off the [disabled list] the next day and it was literally like this one chance, and I have to do it right now or it's never going to happen. Nobody knew about it except for a few of the players. It was pretty cool." Then he thought better of it, and labeled that experience his "funniest" moment. His favorite was Sept. 30, 2007, his final game in a Brewers uniform, when then-manager Ned Yost called Jenkins off the field for one last Miller Park ovation. "That tops everything," he said.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.