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Mike Hampton was a coveted free agent who cashed in with a record contract. SOURCE: Sportsfantalking.com

When Arizona Diamondbacks left hander Mike Hampton announced his retirement in March 2011, the big-hitting pitcher ended one of the more disappointing careers in Major League Baseball. Not that Hampton didn’t have some success: He once finished second to Randy Johnson for the National League Cy Young Award.

But when weighed against the outsized expectations — not to mention the record-breaking, 8-year, $121 million contract he signed in 2000 with the Colorado Rockies — Hampton’s production never lived up to the hype.

Or the hurt.

For most of the last years of his career, Hampton bounced around the NL, where he was injured and off the roster, sometimes for entire seasons. It was a bitter pill, considering that Hampton’s contract ranks #31 all-time for professional athletes.

Now it looks like the monstrous digs Hampton bought in Paradise Valley section of Scottsdale is no longer needed. The desert mansion has hit the market for $4 million.

Actually, the 9,000 square foot house has been on the market since June 2008, when the list price started at $7.250 million. The price has been cut numerous times during the Arizona real estate market free fall. That makes the spread Hampton bought in 2006 for $5.975 million another loss for the snake-bit hurler.

The listing description calls the home “artfully unique” in its Candelaria Design. The home faces Mummy Mountain and is “crafted with all the upgrades one can imagine in a family home.”

“Witness the great attention to details; no expense was spared as you stroll by the Venetian silk like plaster walls, the latest edition of Touch Screen Crestron technology, 1,000 plus bottle wine cellar, its private pub, multiple cozy courtyards, office space, weight room, game room, 4 custom fire places, 3 ovens, 4 dishwashers, steam shower in the main master suite, and a 5-car air conditioned garage.”

Whew!

But for the man who hit it big in baseball free-agency, there’s more. Included in this “ultimate resort-style private backyard is a Pro-Sport Batting Cage, a Sport Court with basketball hoop and a sparkling lap pool to include a slide and a boulder style waterfall.”

About the Author

Laura Vecsey is a former sports columnist, news reporter and politics writer and has worked for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Baltimore Sun, Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union and Harrisburg Patriot-News. She was also a regional editor with Examiner.com. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College.

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