Brooks Kieschnick Humbled by Retirement

The Texas Longhorn baseball program is not short on history and today, the program honored one of its all-time greats by retiring #23 worn by Brooks Kieschnick from 1991 – 1993. The ceremony was the first of four this season to honor former Longhorn baseball players as Greg Swindell, Burt Hooton and Scott Bryant will similarly be honored in the coming weeks.

Corpus Christi Carroll's Brooks Kieschnick should be getting used to these types of events. Kieschnick's high school retired his jersey in 2007. The dual-threat player has also already been inaugurated into the College Baseball Hall of Fame. But today's jersey retirement ceremony of his number 23 was even more special for Kieschnick as he was moved to tears several times during his speech to over 6,000 fans at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

"Besides getting married to my wife Danielle and the birth of my two children, Brooks and Avery, this is, by far, the best day of my life," Kieschnick told the fans.

Kieschnick, who may be the most decorated baseball player to don a Longhorn uniform, said several times that he was humbled by the ceremony and was at a loss for words.

In his three seasons, he won two Dick Howser Trophies (baseball's equivalent to the Heisman), Baseball America's Freshman of the Year in 1991, and Baseball America's Player of the Year in 1993, in addition to three selections as All-SWC. The Longhorns won two SWC titles and made two trips to the College World Series during his three–year career.

"The best three years of my baseball life were spent right here in Austin, Texas," Kieschnick said. "I loved, and still love, this University with all my heart."

After his 1993 season, Kieschnick was drafted by the Chicago Cubs with the tenth selection overall in the Major League Baseball draft. Kieschnick ended up playing professional baseball for twelve years in total including stints in the majors with the Cubs (96, 97), the Cincinnati Reds (2000), the Colorado Rockies (2001), and the Milwaukee Brewers (2003, 2004). His two seasons with the Brewers were played primarily as a relief pitcher and pinch hitter.

Kieschnick still ranks in the Top 10 in 11 different hitting and pitching categories for the Longhorns, including being second on UT's career slugging percentage chart (.676), doubles (67) and extra-base hits (116), as well as third in home runs (43) and RBI (215).

In addition to thanking his family, his teammates, and the fans, the star thanked current Texas associate head coach Tommy Harmon who was Kieschnick's hitting coach while at Texas.

"He (Harmon) wasn't only my hitting coach. He was a guy who taught me a lot about the game of life, and he helped me become a man," Kieschnick said.

Although Kieschnick officially retired from professional baseball in 2005, being back on the field in burnt orange brought back many fond memories for the star.

"If they let me suit up right now, I'd do it," said an emotional Kieschnick.

The Longhorns could have used his left-handed bat during the game as the Longhorn bats were quiet resulting in a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Texas Tech Red Raiders.


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