Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk announced his retirement yesterday in front of an enthusiastic group of fifth-graders at Battle Grove Elementary in Dundalk, a suburb of Baltimore. Birk, a three-time Pro-Bowler, had a fitting end to an illustrious 15-year NFL career since the last game he played in was the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl XLVII victory in New Orleans. Before playing his last four seasons in Baltimore, Birk played eleven seasons in Minnesota, where he had been drafted as a sixth-round selection by the Vikings. Birk, a St. Paul native, is especially fond of his time in Minnesota because of his hometown connection. With Birk leaving, 2012 rookie Gino Gradkowski will assume the center position for the Ravens team. Are you ready to watch the Ravens play in the 2013 football season? Make sure you get to all the games at M& T Bank Stadium with a Baltimore Ravens PSL, your key to Ravens season tickets.
Birk decided to make his retirement announcement at the elementary school to promote a reading center created by Scholastic and Birk's H.I.K.E. (Hope, Inspiration, Knowledge, and Education) foundation. The reading center was named in honor of fifth-grade student Larry Bryant and will be a place where students and parents can go to read together. After his retirement announcement, Birk was lauded by coaches and players alike who praised his commitment to service in the community and his leadership on the field. In 2011, Birk was awarded the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award which honors a player's charity and volunteer work. Don't miss seeing the new Ravens center as he starts in the 2013 season of football. Find out about the ownership benefits you can enjoy with a Ravens PSL from PSL Source, the trusted marketplace for Baltimore Ravens PSLs.