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Longtime Rockies pitcher and cancer survivor Chad Bettis retires

The former Rockies pitcher was an inspirational story and a solid player throughout his seven-year professional career.
Credit: AP
Colorado Rockies' Chad Bettis delivers a pitch during the third inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees Saturday, July 20, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

DENVER — Former Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis is hanging up his spikes. 

The longtime member of Colorado's starting rotation shared the news in a heartfelt Instagram post on Thursday evening. 

"Today I am walking away from the game with my head held high, knowing that I pushed my body as far as it could go physically. Baseball has provided countless life lessons that I will hold on to and cherish forever," Bettis wrote. "My family and I are extremely excited for our next phase of life. Again, we truly want to thank everyone from the Rockies, Yankees, and baseball fans all around for the support. We had a blast!" 

Bettis signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees in February after pitching seven seasons in Denver with the Rockies. He posted a career 31-31 record with a 5.12 ERA, but Bettis is best known for a battle off the field as he beat testicular cancer in 2017. 

Bettis was actually diagnosed in November of 2016 and underwent surgery. He then started chemotherapy in March of 2017 after the disease spread to his lymph nodes, before making a glorious return to the mound on August 14, 2017 against the Braves. Colorado won the game 3-0 after Bettis pitched seven scoreless innings. 

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"Whoa," Bettis said after the victory. "I don't know how to explain it. You try and get your mind so clear because you know the game and the task you have at hand. And to be hit with that ton of emotion was unbelievable." 

Bettis channeled the emotion into one of the best pitching performances of his career. 

"I am honored that I was able to fulfill my childhood dreams, along with being able to share some incredible moments with my teammates, friends, fans, and most important my family," Bettis also wrote on Thursday. 

The full retirement announcement is below. 

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