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Nick Punto Retires, Plans to Focus on Sliding Into More Things

The former Twins infielder played 14 seasons for six different teams.

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Former Minnesota Twins infielder Nick Punto announced his retirement on Thursday, and said he has already made some post-baseball plans.

"Sliding," said the 14-year MLB veteran.  "That's what I'm gonna focus on."

Punto, who played for five other teams in the majors and won a title with the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals, wants to expand the scope of his headfirst sliding beyond the ballpark.

"You ever been in one of those museums with the long, long hallways, and the floor is all shiny and polished," asked the California native.  "What I'm thinking is, what if you just headfirst slid down the length of that hallway?  Man."

Punto said he has also reached out to McIntyre Family Lanes, the bowling alley nearest to Punto's Arizona home.

"You ever gone bowling, and just thought, instead of a ball, what if that was me taking out those [expletive] pins," said Punto. "Well, I've been talking with Dennis, who manages the place, and it sure sounds like we can make this happen.  Can you even imagine?  Man."

The journeyman utility player said he plans to ramp up these efforts in the summer months.

"Three words for you: Slip. And. Slide," said Punto.  "People seem to think they're strictly for your backyard.  What these people forget is that there is so much out there on the other side of the fence.  One example: Surface parking lots.   They seem to be going by the wayside in more bike-friendly communities, but those unused spaces just give you that much more flat sliding area, and many of them have ready access to outdoor faucets, dry standpipes, ice cream, you name it."

Punto, who is married with two young children, said he has no immediate plans to return to baseball in a coaching or front office capacity.

"I'll miss the hell out of the game, don't get me wrong," said Punto.  "But headfirst sliding is a relatively small part of a 3-hour game, 30-35% at most.  Now, though?  Nothing but time.  Nothing but time, my man.

"You know if those luge dudes have to go feet first?  Because I've got some ideas."