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Minor league HR king Mike Hessman retires

Associated Press
Mike Hessman gets sprayed with champagne after setting the minor league home run record on Aug. 3 in Toledo.

Minor league home run king Mike Hessman says he is retiring as a player and will pursue a career as a coach.

Hessman played the final two years of his career with Triple-A Toledo in the Tigers system. He hit .237 with 16 home runs and 57 RBIs last season.

Hessman became the career home run leader for U.S.-based minor leagues in August when he hit a grand slam to pass Buzz Arlett with his 433rd homer.

Hessman was a 15th-round pick by the Atlanta Braves in 1996 and spent 19 seasons in the minors. He also played in 109 MLB games spanning five seasons, last appearing in the majors in 2010. He also spent a season in the Japan Pacific League.