Rocco Baldelli to throw out 1st pitch before Game 4 of ALDS

Eliot J. Schechter

Rocco Baldelli will be back on the field in Tampa Bay on Tuesday, five years after helping the Rays reach their first -- and only -- World Series.

Former Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox outfielder Rocco Baldelli will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 4 of the American League Division Series on Tuesday, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.

Baldelli, who retired in 2010, appeared in 457 games with the Rays and 62 with the Red Sox across seven big-league seasons. The native of Woonsocket, R.I., put up solid numbers in his first two MLB seasons before knee and elbow injuries caused him to miss all of 2005 and the first two-plus months of 2006.

When he returned in June of that year, it was with a vengeance. Baldelli hit .302/.339/.533 with 16 home runs in 387 plate appearances for Tampa Bay.

He was unable to replicate that success in 2007 while dealing with a muscular disorder that ended his career a few years later.

Despite Baldelli's struggles near the end of his tenure with the Rays, he played a large part in the team's first playoff run in 2008.

Baldelli homered off of Red Sox hurler Paul Byrd in Game 3 of the ALCS and hit a go-ahead RBI single in Game 7 to help propel Tampa Bay into the World Series.

Baldelli finished his career with a .278/.323/.443 line in 2,065 plate appearances.

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