Houston's Boone quits playing to become broadcaster

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HOUSTON (Reuters) - Infielder Aaron Boone, who came back from open-heart surgery to play briefly with the Houston Astros last year, has retired from baseball after 12 seasons in the Major Leagues, he said on Tuesday.

"It is with a sense of pride, sadness, and enthusiasm that I formally announce my retirement," Boone said in a statement on baseball's official website (www.mlb.com).

He said he planned to become a broadcaster with ESPN.

Boone, who will be 37 in March, went hitless in 10 games with the Astros five months after his heart surgery. He is believed to be the first to play in the Major Leagues following open-heart surgery.

Boone and three members of his family were All-Stars during their playing days. His father Bob Boone was a catcher, brother Bret played second baseman and grandfather Ray was an infielder.

He played for six Major League teams and finished with a .263 batting average.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina, editing by Ken Ferris)