After bouncing between the Cincinnati Reds’ AAA and AA minor league teams for the past three seasons, West Chester native Matt Klinker has decided to retire from the game of baseball and is currently training to become a salesman for Pipe Products.
Klinker, who became the first Lakota West graduate to report to a major league camp last spring, started 18 games between AAA Louisville and AA Carolina before a rib injury ended his 2011 season.
After suffering the injury, Klinker was sent home and forced to rest for six weeks.
“When I was at home resting, I thought it would be a good time to see what was out there,” Klinker said.
“I couldn’t find a job where I could justify leaving baseball. Then right around the time I was getting healthy again, just two days before I was going to leave to play winter ball in Venezuela, I got a great offer from Pipe Products.”
Currently, Klinker is training for his new job at the company’s headquarters off Rialto Rd. in West Chester. Eventually, he will work out of the company’s Houston office.
“The writing was also on the wall – 27 years old in AA and with a degree that could be put to use. The decision was pretty much made up for me,” Klinker said.
Since making his decision, some of Klinker’s closest friends have asked him: “So you will never go to a Reds game again will you?”
Klinker is quick to point out that nothing is further from the truth.
“They are a fantastic employer, they gave me a great opportunity that no other organization gave me,” he said. “I have nothing but praises for the Reds.”
Not only are there no hard feelings between Klinker and his former employer, the former professional pitcher still has many friends trying to make the big show. (more…)