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Ravens center Birk to retire from NFL

Feb. 22, 2013 at 12:54 PM

BALTIMORE, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, on Friday announced his retirement from the NFL after 15 seasons.

Birk was at a dedication ceremony for a reading center at Battle Grove Elementary School in Baltimore when he said he was ending his NFL playing career.

"Today I'm announcing my retirement from the NFL," Birk was quoted as saying on the Ravens' Twitter feed. "I've enjoyed playing football. But as much as playing football, I've enjoyed doing this (community service)."

Birk, a 36-year-old St. Paul, Minn., native who attended Harvard, played his first 11 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. He joined the Ravens in 2009 as an unrestricted free agent.

Birk started all 16 regular-season games for Baltimore last season, which was capped with his first Super Bowl title.

He appeared in 210 regular-season and 11 playoff games in his career. He was selected for the Pro Bowl six times from 2000-07. He was voted the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, given to recognize volunteer work and excellence on the field, in 2011.

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