Found January 17, 2012 on Fox Sports Wisconsin:
MILWAUKEE -- After a 16-year career that included two World Series championships and two playoff appearances with his hometown Brewers, infielder Craig Counsell on Tuesday said goodbye to his playing career. But he said hello to a new career: He is joining the Brewers front office as a special assistant to general manager Doug Melvin. It was fitting, then, that Counsell announced his retirement at Miller Park, where he became a fan favorite the past five seasons because of his scrappy approach to the game and his local ties. While with the Brewers, the 41-year-old hit .241 with 77 doubles, 13 home runs and 130 RBI. Despite hitting a career-low .178 in 2011 and narrowly missing an MLB record for consecutive at-bats without a hit, Counsell's clubhouse role as a veteran leader made him a valuable member of a Brewers squad that set a franchise record with 96 victories and won its first division title in 29 years. The decision to retire came easily for Counsell, who said he received a couple of offers for minor league deals with invitations to spring training. "It's easy when you've got more softball teams calling you than baseball teams," Counsell said. It's also easy when you have a job to go to specifically, working with Melvin. "It's going to be a very important role," Melvin said. "He's going to roll up his sleeves and get to work right away. "He's going to come to the front office and really be welcomed by everybody. I'm looking forward to being able to pick Craig's mind. He brings a perspective of a player, the clubhouse to the front office. If he works in the front office as hard as he did as a player . . we're going to have an All-Star member in the front office helping us out." Counsell will handle a variety of duties in his new position, including visiting the team's baseball academy in the Dominican Republic, learning the ins and outs of the baseball operations department, working with minor league affiliates and even traveling with the team on the road. "We'll have him go to the cities we don't want to go to," Melvin joked. In joining the front office, Counsell is looking forward to the opportunity to learn a different side of the game. He anticipates being in uniform for a portion of spring training and assisting manager Ron Roenicke with various on-field duties. But the majority of Counsell's time will be spent with Melvin, assistant GM Gord Ash and the rest of the baseball operations people as he learns the ins and outs of front-office work. "I've got a lot to learn," Counsell said. "That's what I want to do. I really want to learn." He's also happy to be able to stay in Milwaukee, where he spent much of his childhood. Counsell, who attended Whitefish Bay High School, still can remember the days his father worked with the Brewers, in cramped quarters at County Stadium, just down the hall from then-owner Bug Selig, now baseball's commissioner. The opportunity to stay home was a deciding factor for Counsell, who turned down an offer to join Dale Sveum's staff with the Chicago Cubs earlier this winter. "There is a sense of loyalty for me here," Counsell said. "It allows me to be a part of this organization. It allows me to stay in the city that's home to my family. Those things are all a big part . . . this is a great opportunity and a great challenge for me." Originally selected by Colorado in the 11th round of the 1992 amateur draft, Counsell made his debut on Sept. 17, 1995, and went hitless in his lone at-bat pinch-hitting for Larry Walker in the seventh inning of the Rockies' 17-0 loss to Florida. He remained in the minor leagues until July 26, 1997, when he was a pinch-runner in the Rockies' 6-3 win over the Cubs. The next day, Colorado dealt Counsell to Florida for right-hander Mark Hutton. Counsell gained fame with the Marlins that season, hitting .299 in 51 games and scoring the game-winning run in the Marlins' World Series-clinching, Game 7 victory over Cleveland. Florida traded Counsell to the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 15, 1999, and after being released the next offseason, he signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Counsell played the next four seasons in Arizona and helped the Diamondbacks get to the 2001 World Series and a seven-game triumph against the New York Yankees. He was on base when the winning run scored. His two World Series championships stand out as the pinnacles of his career. "You play in Game 7s of World Series . . . tell me what's above that?" Counsell said. "You win both games, I don't know what's next. For me, there's nothing that's next in baseball." Counsell was shipped to Milwaukee on Dec. 1, 2003, as part of a blockbuster deal that sent five players to the Brewers for first baseman Richie Sexson, pitcher Shane Nance and minor leaguer Noochie Varner. He hit .241 for the Brewers in 2004 with 19 doubles as the team's starting shortstop. He signed with the Diamondbacks for the 2004 season, playing two more seasons in Arizona before returning to Milwaukee.

Counsell to retire and join Brewers' front office

MILWAUKEE Milwaukee Brewers infielder Craig Counsell spent the past five seasons playing for his hometown team, and now he'll get the chance to start his front office career in the city where he grew up. Brewers general manager Doug Melvin announced Tuesday that Counsell, whose retirement after 15 seasons was expected, will be a special assistant to the GM. "We are pleased...

Counsell calls it a career

The group of active Diamondbacks remaining from the 2001 World Series team shrank to three Tuesday with the announcement that Craig Counsell would retire after 15 seasons and take a front office position with the Milwaukee Brewers, where he played the last five seasons. Counsell, 41, met the Milwaukee media Tuesday alongside Brewers general manager Doug Melvin to make the news official...

Counsell will retire, join Brewers' front office

Milwaukee Brewers infielder Craig Counsell has decided to retire and join the club's front office. The Brewers said Tuesday that Counsell will become special assistant to general manager Doug Melvin. Counsell is a Milwaukee native and follows his father into the Brewers' front office. John Counsell worked there from 1979-1987. The 41-year-old Counsell completed his 15th...

Brewers hire Craig Counsell as Special Assistant to GM

Craig Counsell's playing career with the Brewers was already pretty much over. The team said early in the offseason they wouldn't be bringing him back, and have added a few Counsell-like players over the past couple months. Today, Counsell's playing career officially comes to a close, with the announcement of his retirement and hiring as Special Assistant to the General...

Craig Counsell will retire, join Brewers' front office

MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Brewers infielder Craig Counsell has decided to retire and join the club's front office. The...

Brewers' Counsell retires, takes front office job

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- When he was 19 years old, Craig Counsell met Sandy Alderson, who was the Oakland Athletics' general manager at the time.

Counsell, Donnelly share special bond

Craig Counsell will enter his role as a special advisor in the Brewers' front office having proved to be a consummate professional over his career. And he has the distinction of being part of two dramatic Game 7 rallies in the World Series. But Counsell holds a much more meaningful distinction to former Major League coach Rich Donnelly. To him, Counsell was, and forever is, ...

Counsell hired as special assistant to GM

After 16 seasons, nine postseason series and two World Series championships, Craig Counsell is ready to begin a second career as a special assistant to Brewers general manager Doug Melvin.

Craig Counsell retires, joins Brewers' front office

After a 15-year major league playing career that included two World Series victories, Craig Counsell announced his retirement as a player Tuesday, taking a front office job with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Counsell joins Brewers front office

The Milwaukee Brewers have named former infielder Craig Counsell as a special assistant to the general manager.
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