Thursday, January 24, 2013
Ben Petrick to work with Hops' staff
By Buster Olney
Ben Petrick, a former major league catcher who was forced to retire as an active player in 2004 after fighting early-onset Parkinson's disease, has been hired as a consultant to the coaching staff of the Diamondbacks' short-season Class A affiliate, the Hillsboro Hops, in his hometown of Hillsboro, Ore.
The 35-year-old Petrick was regarded as one of baseball's top catching prospects when he broke into the big leagues with the Colorado Rockies in 1999. But that fall, he experienced the first symptoms of what would later be diagnosed as Parkinson's, and he kept his illness a secret from most others in baseball for most of the next five years before deciding to retire.
"Hillsboro native Ben Petrick will be a tremendous addition to our coaching staff," said K.L. Wombacher, the vice president and GM of the Hops. "Ben is an inspiration to many and we're excited that he will be able to serve as a mentor to the young players in our organization."
Petrick has undergone extensive treatment as the disease has progressed. He was the subject of an E:60 piece last summer.