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Outspoken anti-steroid advocate Berkman calls it quits

HOUSTON -- Lance Berkman, an outspoken critic of Major League Baseball players who used steroids, announced his retirement Wednesday, drawing the curtain on a 15-year all-star career.

The 37-year-old former first-round draft pick of the Astros was a six-time all-star who finished his career with 366 home runs.

“It doesn't make sense to play in the physical condition I'm in,” Berkman told MLB.com. “I'm not going to keep trying to run out there for the heck of it.”

Berkman said last year that players who used steroids shouldn't be allowed in the hall of fame.

“My personal opinion is as a guy who has done it clean my whole career that if a guy has taken steroids he shouldn't be in,” he said. “There are guys whose careers were made because they took steroids.”

Berkman played 73 games last season with Texas, hitting just .242 with six home runs, 10 doubles and 34 RBI.

Berkman made his major-league debut in 1999 with the Astros, participating in 34 games and batting .237. He went on to lead the majors in doubles with 55 in 2001 and then led the National League with 128 RBI in 2002.

“Lance was one of the greatest players in Astros history,” the Astros said in a statement.

Berkman drove in 1,234 career runs over 1,879 games with the Astros, Yankees, Cardinals and Rangers.

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