Johnson OK with retiring from baseball

Butte native Rob Johnson said he is at peace with his decision to retire from baseball at the age of 31.

Johnson, who made the decision after tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow this spring, was featured in a story on the San Diego Padres website Friday night.

“I really felt there were three things that could happen,” Johnson was quoted of saying in the story. “I would do really well and get back to the big leagues. I wouldn’t do well and get released or I’d get injured.”

Johnson, a 2001 Butte Central graduate who was drafted in the fourth round in the 2004 draft by the Seattle Mariners, played catcher for the Mariners, Padres, Mets and Cardinals. He was attempting to make the Padres as a spring when he hurt his elbow.

“I’m at complete peace with it,” Johnson said. “I’m enjoying being at home with the kids.”

Johnson, who is living in Austin, Texas with his wife Kristan, and children ages 5, 3 and 2, will eventually need Tommy John surgery.