Carmona Announces Retirement

Updated: January 29, 2017

 11/12/2024 Reno, NV:  In somewhat of a surprise move, Reno Zephyrs catcher Tony “Whitey” Carmona announced that he will retire from baseball despite having one season remaining on his contract.  The two-time All-Star catcher announced his retirement Tuesday, ending his 9-season PEBA playing career spent entirely in Reno.


“It’s a very hard day for me,” Carmona said in a joint press conference with Zephyrs Manager Eugene Brown.  “It’s been a great, great run.  It’s been beautiful, I had a few great seasons and a few less-than-great seasons playing here.  When the season ended, I spoke with my family and the Reno Front Office about my future.  I decided that I simply cannot provide the production needed to continue my playing career.”


Carmona will turn 38 next month and plans to remain in baseball in some capacity.  Zephyrs General Manager Scott Maynor stated that there have already been some preliminary discussions about making that happen.


“I’m always imagined I would be involved in baseball for my entire life,” Carmona said.  “I can’t play well enough to help a team win but I have an extensive career that provides me with a lot of perspective on the game.  I know I can offer a team some value.”


Carmona showed signs of emotion during his short statement to the press.  It was clear that he will miss playing the game.  Counting his time in the San Juan Winter League Carmona has played in 1400 games over 19 seasons, mostly as a catcher.  His PEBA stat line shows a .253 batting average with 167 home runs, 530 RBI and 431 runs scored.  He also likes to brag about his 1 career PEBA stolen base, which happened in his first PEBA season.


“When we signed Tony to that huge contract, we were fairly certain that he would not be able to perform at an elite lever for the life of the contract, Reno General Manager Scott Maynor said at the press conference.  “But we did get elite level production for a time and we are happy we were able to bring him into the Zephyrs family.”


The team plans on having a pregame ceremony before the home opener next season.  There will be a video of highlights from Carmona’s 9 seasons in Reno, as well as from his previous 10 seasons in the San Juan Winter League.  They included his first major PEBA hit, his first home run, and of course, his one and only stolen base.


Just before the press conference, the Zephyrs presented Carmona with a framed jersey and a crystal piece recognizing his career and accomplishments.  While Whitey’s playing days are over, he still may be involved in the game he loves in the future.