Pitcher Retires Rather Than Collect Easy $12M
Kansas City's Gil Meche didn't think he'd earn the money
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2011 4:38 PM CST
Kansas City Royals pitcher Gil Meche in a 2010 file photo.   (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Here's a contender for sportsman of the year—even though it's still January and this guy isn't in sports anymore. Kansas City Royals pitcher Gil Meche is walking away from a guaranteed $12 million paycheck, opting to retire because he doesn't think he'd earn the money, reports the New York Times. Meche's production began tailing off in 2009 and worsened last season. Still, he had another year of big money left on his contract, which he would have collected with, at most, light bullpen duty.

“This isn’t about being a hero—that’s not even close to what it’s about,” says Meche. “It’s just me getting back to a point in my life where I’m comfortable. Making that amount of money from a team that’s already given me over $40 million for my life and for my kids, it just wasn’t the right thing to do.” Writes Phil Rogers in the Chicago Tribune: "What a refreshingly noble concept."