Big Retirements in 2008
With the news this week of Greg Maddux's retirement, SI.com recalls some of the biggest names who have already retired or plan to retire in 2008, beginning with perhaps the craftiest player to ever toe the rubber. Maddux won four Cy Young awards, was an eight-time All-Star and won at least 13 games in 20 straight seasons. He freed his cerebral self of the baseball duties when he retired at 42 with 355 career wins, eighth on the career wins list. He went 8-13 with a 4.22 ERA last season with the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers. <br><br>Send comments to email@example.com
As the franchise's first pick in 1996, the offensive tackle won a Super Bowl ring and spent all 12 professional seasons in Charm City. "I'm a Baltimore Raven for life," Ogden said. "There's no doubt about that."
In gaining his 20th victory on Sept. 29, Mussina (270-153 in 18 seasons) ended his career-long pursuit of that milestone. Couple that satisfaction with his desire to spend more time with family, and the 40-year-old felt comfortable retiring. In doing so, he became the first 20-game winner to walk away since Sandy Koufax in 1966.
Along with a core of young players, including Warrick Dunn, Mike Alstott, Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks, John Lynch helped turn the Buccaneers from a laughingstock into Super Bowl champs. The nine-time Pro-Bowl safety announced his retirement after 15 seasons in the NFL (11 in Tampa and four in Denver), during which he recorded 1,277 tackles and 26 interceptions in 224 regular-season games.
Gary Hall Jr.
At 34, Hall Jr., a 10-time Olympic medalist, stepped out of the pool of competition for the last time. Known for his outspokenness, Hall wore boxing robes to the starting blocks on many occasions, but declared last summer's Olympic trials to be his final laps. "I could probably drag some sponsors along by telling them I was going for another four years," he said. "But look, it's not getting any easier. This past round was tough. I took a beating."
Seven-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Strahan retired after a 15-year career, capped by a Super Bowl title with the New York Giants in February. The 36-year-old Strahan was the NFL's active leader in sacks with 141.5.
After winning the Stanley Cup for the second time in his stellar career, Dominik Hasek retired after 16 NHL seasons. The Dominator, who became famous for flopping to make saves, stands as the only netminder to twice be named the NHL's MVP (1997, 1998). His Hall of Fame credentials also include six Vezina Trophies as best goaltender (second all-time), 389 wins and the 1998 Olympic gold medal.
With an astonishing record of 902-371, The General is currently the all-time winningest Division-I head coach and is best known for his time with Indiana, where he led the Hoosiers to three NCAA titles.
With seven grand slam wins in her pocket, Henin, 25, announced through her agent that she will put down her racket immediately after winning 10 tournaments last year yet struggling this season.
Citing the pull of family obligations, the three-time Super Bowl winner -- who was 67 at the time -- left the Redskins for the second time in January.
As a former co-MVP, Steve McNair had given his body to the game. After last season, though, the barrel-chested slinger declared: ''Physically, I couldn't do it anymore.''
The 11-time Pro Bowler and long-time Dallas Cowboy retired as a San Francisco 49er. Allen is considered a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
The understated three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver missed all last season, but proved his work ethic and playmaking abilities over the course of a career that started as an undrafted free agent out of Missouri Southern.
The 38-year-old Swede, who has won 10 majors, 72 Tour events and over $22 million overall, announced earlier this year that she would step away from the LPGA Tour at season's end.
After a career in which he blew past the competition, two-time Olympic gold medalist decided to hang up his running shoes. The world-class sprinter and former 100 meter world record-holder cited nagging injuries.
A great symbol of longevity, Vinny Testaverde, 44, threw for more than 46,000 yards and holds the NFL record for having thrown a touchdown pass in 21 consecutive seasons.
Warren Sapp had one of the most prolific careers for a defensive tackle. The seven-time Pro Bowler amassed a career total of 96.5 sacks during his 13 years in the NFL and was the centerpiece of the stingy Tampa Bay defense that won Super Bowl XXXVII.
Tennis fans can bid a formal adieu to the winner of 53 singles titles. She captured eight of her nine major championships by the age of 19. Not even a stabbing by a crazed fan in 1993 could end her career as she returned to the game 27 months later.
On the heels of a 15-67 season, the former director of the Lakers Showtime teams stepped down as coach of the Heat with an NBA championship ring for each finger.
Known best for his flash as the leader of Michigan's Fab Five, the No. 1 pick in the 1993 draft retired after a series of knee injuries limited his movement and effectiveness.
A fan favorite for his bruising, bone-crushing ways, the six-time Pro Bowl fullback said a neck injury led to his decision. He retires as the all-time Buccaneers touchdown leader.
At 69, Arkansas' men's track and field coach John McDonell, who has won 42 national titles and 83 conference crowns, announced that he will retire after the outdoor season.
After playing only six games in 2006 with the Padres and homering only six times in 362 at-bats with the Giants in 2007, the former Atlanta Braves first baseman retired in April. He spent 16 years in the Major Leagues and had one All-Star appearance to his name.
The 14-year pro -- who won three Super Bowl titles in four years with the Patriots --announced in early May that he expects to hang up his cleats after this coming season.
The three-time Daytona 500 winner and the 1999 Cup Champion announced that he will drive off into the sunset after 24 years.
One of the world's most prolific strikers, the 42-year-old Brazilian center forward announced his retirement in April. Romario helped Brazil win the 1994 World Cup, the same season in which he was named FIFA Player of the Year.
One of the most beloved Carolina Panthers, the defensive end retires as the second-leading tackler and sacks leader in team history. His only Pro Bowl selection came during the Panthers 2003 Super Bowl season, when he had a career-high 12 sacks.<br><br>Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
A 12-time all-star and one of the greatest hitting catchers in baseball history, Piazza announced the end to his 16-year career in May. The future Hall of Famer bowed out with 427 homers, a .308 career average and 1,335 RBIs.
The consummate Patriot, Brown spent all 15 of his NFL seasons in New England, helping the club win three championships. The 5-10, eighth-round pick out of Marshall holds the team record for career receptions (557) and is second in receiving yards (6,366). He also returned kickoff and punts, and made three interceptions when asked to fill in for an injury-depleted squad in 2004.
The NFL's career-leading scorer had 2,544 points during his storied career. He had played the previous two seasons with Atlanta, but couldn't land a contract this year. He kicked for five NFL teams in 25 years, including 13 seasons for the New Orleans Saints, eight for the Falcons, two for the Kansas City Chiefs and one season each with the New York Giants and the Vikings.