Kyle Hunter officially retires

Mike Trueblood

GALESBURG - Former Galesburg Silver Streaks baseball star Kyle Hunter said he would make any upcoming announcements about his pro baseball career on social media in an interview with The Register-Mail about a month ago.

He did just that Sunday on Instagram.

“It’s a bitter sweet day today,” he posted on his social media site. “Today is the day that I am officially done with the game of baseball.”

Hunter, a 31st round draft pick of the Seattle Mariners in 2011 out of Kansas State University, ended seven years as a pro with the announcement. The left-handed pitcher became a free agent after last season when he was not offered a contract.

Hunter said he had not been contacted by MLB affiliated teams and would not consider playing independent ball.

“I kind of said I’d decide right around the opening of minor league spring training,” he said by cell phone Sunday night. “They opened up last week. That kind of decided it I guess.”

Hunter, 28, bounced between Triple-A Tacoma and Double-AA Arkansas last season.

In seven seasons in the Mariners’ organization, he compiled a 27-17 record with a 3.11 earned run average and appeared in 232 games. Used as a starter, middle reliever and situational lefty, he walked just 131 batters is 484 innings while striking out 376.

“Art still really hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Hunter of his decision. “I’m sure there will be a day soon when it will sink in.”

Hunter, who married former GHS classmate Kristi Lytle in December, said they would continue living in the Kansas City area for the foreseeable future. He works as an instructor with D-Bat in Kansas City, giving pitching lessons to aspiring young ballplayers. D-Bat is a baseball school with about 40 locations nation-wide.

It may be too early for Hunter to reflect back on his career but he said he’ll do so with no regrets.

“As a 31st round draft pick, I probably shouldn’t have played for seven years based on the percentages,” he said. “I went beyond what was expected.

“I made Triple A and not many people who play baseball can say that.

“I had a lot of fun, made a lot of great friends and have been to so many cool places.”

He closed his Instagram post by saying, “Baseball will always be in my blood and I will always love the game. I am very excited for the next chapter in my life.”