Every year there are athletes that call it quits (and some athletes that call it quits, then change their minds, then change their minds again and again.) This year was no different, and there was actually a great crop of athletes and coaches that are leaving us. These are some of the athletes that decided to retire in 2008.
Greg Maddux is the best pitcher of the current generation and one of the greatest pitchers of all-time. Maddux was a large reason that the Atlanta Braves went on their long streak of pennants and the Braves have never been the same without him.
Michael Strahan is a master at recording sacks and after many years with the New York Giants Michael Strahan finally won a Super Bowl. Strahan decided to go out on top and retired. Now Strahan has easily made the transition to being an analyst.
Bobby Knight is one of the all-time leader in wins in college basketball. After a very successful career at Indiana Bobby Knight coached at Texas Tech. Though he never took Texas Tech all the way he did bring life into the program. Now Bobby Knight is an analyst for ESPN.
The most shocking retirement of 2009 was when Justine Henin called it quits at the beginning of the year. Henin was the number one player in the world and possibly the most underrated athlete in the world. Henin is still in her 20’s so maybe there is a comeback ahead of her.
I don’t know a whole lot about golf, and I know even less about women’s golf. But the fact that actually know who Annika Sorestam says something about how important to her sport she is.
While Michael Strahan was leaving the New York Giants and getting all kinds of attention from the media, Warren Sapp also quietly retired. It was probably the first time Warren Sapp ever did anything quietly. Sapp was a monster on the field and was a large reason for Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl.
A lot of people rag on Chris Webber for the timeout in NCAA Tournament or his lack of clutch play. But Chris Webber was a great basketball player that could score 20 and rebound 10 on any given night. He was also one of the best passing forwards of his generation and he and his Michigan teammates were popularizing long shorts and tennis shoes even before that Jordan guy.
Mike Piazza is my favorite baseball player of all-time and one of the best catchers in baseball history. Even though Piazza is my favorite player I felt he left the Mets at the right time and decided to retire at the right time. Even though Mike still wanted to play I’m glad he didn’t hang around and look bad.