Portsmouth's Westmoreland retires from professional baseball

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PORTSMOUTH — Former Portsmouth High School baseball star Ryan Westmoreland, who was drafted by the Boston Red Sox four years ago, announced his retirement from professional baseball in an e-mail sent to various media outlets Wednesday.

“With a clear mind and heart, as well as the unwavering support and friendship of my family, friends, agent(s), doctors, therapists and the Boston Red Sox, I have decided to voluntarily retire as a professional baseball player,” the 22-year-old Westmoreland wrote.

Mr. Westmoreland, 22, underwent two surgeries to remove a cavernous malformation on his brain stem. He referred to these setbacks in his e-mail.

“In my heart, I know that I have worked as hard as one possibly could to overcome the obstacles presented by this unfortunate series of events. It is with that confidence that I am comfortable turning the page, and searching for the reason that this has happened. I believe that there is a plan for me that will utilize my experiences, however painful some may have been, to do something special in my life. It is time for me to find that path, and to pursue it with the same focus and effort that I pursued the dream of playing professional baseball.”

Mr. Westmoreland played only 60 games as a professional, hitting .296 with seven home runs and 35 RBIs with Single-A Lowell in 2009.

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