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Thread: Grand Goodbye

  1. #1
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Grand Goodbye

    Much has been said and written about the grand goodbye and victorious exit from football of Ray Lewis, who went out a winner in the Ravens' Super Bowl victory. Lewis joined the company of a number of current and future NFL Hall of Famers who went out as champions, starting with Bronko Nagurski, who after having retired following the 1937 season, made a comeback in 1943 and scored a TD in the Bears NFL title game triumph.
    Other NFL Hall of Famers who went out as a champion include Ted Hendricks of the 1983 Raiders and three quarterbacks who won titles in their final seasons: Otto Graham, Norm Van Brocklin and John Elway. Graham actually performed the feat twice, retiring after the Browns 1954 title (he accounted for 6 TDs passing and running in the title game), only to return and win another title in 1955 along with the MVP award (he accounted for 4 TDs in the '55 title game). Van Brocklin's 1960 Eagles gave Vince Lombardi's Packers their only playoff defeat in the title game. Elway followed up his first Super Bowl win with another win in 1999, winning MVP honors in the Super Bowl. Lewis, along with Michael Strahan and Jerome Bettis, are possible future Hall of Famers who went out as champions.
    Anyway, there are very few major league baseball players who can make the same claim. Joe DiMaggio went out a World Champion in 1951, but he was hardly still close to his prime, unlike Elway or Graham, as DiMaggio hit but .263 with 12 HRs.
    Phil Rizzuto was a member of the 1956 World Champion Yankees, but he was benched in August that season, a year he hit .256.
    Eddie Collins went out a champion with the 1930 A's, hitting .500, but he only had two at bats.
    Eddie Mathews hit .212 in his final season as a member of the 1968 Tigers and Don Sutton was a member of the 1988 Dodgers, but was released in August, never appearing in the World Series. Possible future HOF member Curt Schilling last appeared for the 2007 World Champion Red Sox, although he signed (and was paid) a contract in 2008, not playing in 2008 because of injury.
    Most other MLB players went out without championship glory in their exit, struggling unsuccesfully to re-capture their prime while wearing a strange uniform: Babe Ruth as a Brave, Willie Mays as a Met, Hank Aaron as a Brewer, Ty Cobb as an A, Steve Carlton as a Twin, etc.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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  3. #2
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Grand Goodbye

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBaron View Post
    Much has been said and written about the grand goodbye and victorious exit from football of Ray Lewis, who went out a winner in the Ravens' Super Bowl victory. Lewis joined the company of a number of current and future NFL Hall of Famers who went out as champions, starting with Bronko Nagurski, who after having retired following the 1937 season, made a comeback in 1943 and scored a TD in the Bears NFL title game triumph.
    Other NFL Hall of Famers who went out as a champion include Ted Hendricks of the 1983 Raiders and three quarterbacks who won titles in their final seasons: Otto Graham, Norm Van Brocklin and John Elway. Graham actually performed the feat twice, retiring after the Browns 1954 title (he accounted for 6 TDs passing and running in the title game), only to return and win another title in 1955 along with the MVP award (he accounted for 4 TDs in the '55 title game). Van Brocklin's 1960 Eagles gave Vince Lombardi's Packers their only playoff defeat in the title game. Elway followed up his first Super Bowl win with another win in 1999, winning MVP honors in the Super Bowl. Lewis, along with Michael Strahan and Jerome Bettis, are possible future Hall of Famers who went out as champions.
    Anyway, there are very few major league baseball players who can make the same claim. Joe DiMaggio went out a World Champion in 1951, but he was hardly still close to his prime, unlike Elway or Graham, as DiMaggio hit but .263 with 12 HRs.
    Phil Rizzuto was a member of the 1956 World Champion Yankees, but he was benched in August that season, a year he hit .256.
    Eddie Collins went out a champion with the 1930 A's, hitting .500, but he only had two at bats.
    Eddie Mathews hit .212 in his final season as a member of the 1968 Tigers and Don Sutton was a member of the 1988 Dodgers, but was released in August, never appearing in the World Series. Possible future HOF member Curt Schilling last appeared for the 2007 World Champion Red Sox, although he signed (and was paid) a contract in 2008, not playing in 2008 because of injury.
    Most other MLB players went out without championship glory in their exit, struggling unsuccesfully to re-capture their prime while wearing a strange uniform: Babe Ruth as a Brave, Willie Mays as a Met, Hank Aaron as a Brewer, Ty Cobb as an A, Steve Carlton as a Twin, etc.
    While not champions these are classic examples of a team taking a hero who started in a town and bringing him back for a final tour

    Tony and Pete in Cincinnati, Al Simmons, as a Phillie to name a few

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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Grand Goodbye

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    While not champions these are classic examples of a team taking a hero who started in a town and bringing him back for a final tour

    Tony and Pete in Cincinnati, Al Simmons, as a Phillie to name a few
    Other examples of that would include Jimmie Foxx finsihing his career in Philadelphia, but as a Phillie not an A, and Rogers Hornsby finishing his career in St. Louis, but as as a Brown not a Cardinal.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Grand Goodbye

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBaron View Post
    Other examples of that would include Jimmie Foxx finsihing his career in Philadelphia, but as a Phillie not an A, and Rogers Hornsby finishing his career in St. Louis, but as as a Brown not a Cardinal.
    Reggie Jackson as an A

  6. #5
    Start the Reactor! *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: Grand Goodbye

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Reggie Jackson as an A
    Griffey Jr.
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

  7. #6
    The Future is Now Ghosts of 1990's Avatar
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    Re: Grand Goodbye

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBaron View Post
    Other examples of that would include Jimmie Foxx finsihing his career in Philadelphia, but as a Phillie not an A, and Rogers Hornsby finishing his career in St. Louis, but as as a Brown not a Cardinal.
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