The outfielder/designated hitter reportedly plans to announce his retirement from baseball. An official press conference will be held in New York on Dec. 27. As a free agent, Matsui drew some interest from big league teams this winter but decided not to return. Matsui, 38, was born in Ishikawa, Japan and spent 10 years in the Major Leagues. He played for the Yankees for the majority of his career (2003-2009) and also had one-year stints with the Angels, A's and Devil Rays. Matsui was a career .282/.360/.462 hitter and was named the World Series MVP in 2009.
2 of 28Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Jones, who spent his entire 18-year career with Atlanta, will go down as one of the game's greatest switch-hitters, a guy who could hit for average (.303 in his career) and power (468 homers and 1,623 RBIs). When healthy, the eight-time all-star was one of the game's most feared hitters. His best season was in 1999, when he won the MVP award with a .319 average, a career-best 45 homers and 110 RBIs. Nine years later, at 36, he won his first batting title with a career-high .364 average, which remained the last of his 10 seasons hitting above .300.
3 of 28Rich Clarkson/SI
Calhoun racked up 873 collegiate wins - 625 of them at his beloved UConn, where he ran the men's program for 26 years and won three national titles. Calhoun was hired by UConn in May 1986 and won an NIT title in his second season. His teams won 10 Big East regular-season championships and seven Big East Tournament titles. In 1999, he coached the Huskies to a 34-2 record and their first NCAA championship, a 77-74 upset over Duke. In 2004, the Huskies started and ended the season at No. 1, beating Georgia Tech in the NCAA championship game 82-73. In 2011, UConn finished the regular season in ninth place in the Big East before reeling off a remarkable 11-game run in the postseason, including a 53-41 victory over Butler in the national championship game.
4 of 28Simon Bruty/SI
The youngest American to be ranked No. 1 in the world, Andy Roddick officially retired from competitive tennis after losing to Juan Martin del Potro at the U.S. Open, the site of his only Grand Slam title. Roddick defeated Juan Carlos Ferrero in the 2003 U.S. Open Final just days after his 21st birthday, and he remains the last North American male to win a Grand Slam singles event. Roddick would appear in three Wimbledon finals, but lose all three to Roger Federer. Roddick retires with 32 career titles and grossed over $20 million in career earnings. Roddick also holds several serve records, with a smash that reached speeds of over 150 MPH.
5 of 28Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Though this is her second retirement, Kim Clijsters' career officially ended with a second-round loss to 18-year old Laura Robson at the U.S. Open. The Belgian national was No. 1 in the world in 2003, won four grand slam titles and 41 career titles in her illustrious career. Clijsters first retired in 2007, but returned to the court two years later and won the 2009 U.S. Open, just her third tournament since after returning. Clijsters and fellow Belgian Justine Henin engaged in one of the classic rivalries in women's tennis, meeting 25 times and in three Grand Slam finals. Clijsters finished the rivalry ahead 13-12, but Henin won all of the Grand Slam final matchups. Clijsters was ranked No. 25 before her loss to Robson.
6 of 28Simon Bruty, Robert Gallagher, David E. Klutho/SI
Clinton Portis officially announced his retirement, nearly two years after he played his last NFL game. Portis played two seasons with the Denver Broncos and then seven with the Redskins. He is most remembered for the colorful array of characters he created each week during the team's drive to the playoffs in 2005. His 1,516 yards rushing that season set a franchise record. The Redskins cut Portis after a torn groin muscle ruined his 2010 season, unwilling to pay for another year of his expensive contract. He was unable to find another team and ends his career 77 yards shy of 10,000, No. 27 on the NFL's all-time list.
7 of 28Robert Beck/SI
A two-time all-star, Willis won Rookie of the Year honors after going 14-10 in 2003. His career hit its peak two seasons later, in 2005, when he went 22-10 with a 2.63 ERA and finished second in Cy Young voting. But then Willis' pitching took a downward turn. His ERA increased to 5.17 in 2007, his last season with the Marlins, and never dropped below 5.00 for a full season again. He failed to get back on track with the Detroit Tigers in more than two seasons with the team. He last appeared in the big leagues in 2011 with the Cincinnati Reds, going 1-6 for the season. Willis was released by the Philadelphia Phillies in spring training and tried to work his way on to the Orioles, but he struggled with Baltimore's Triple-A affiliate this season. Willis, 30, had an 8.53 ERA in four appearances in the minors.
8 of 28Peter Read Miller, John W. McDonough, David Bergman/SI
LaDainian Tomlinson, the fifth leading rusher in NFL history, announced his retirement on June 17, one day before he ceremoniously rejoined the San Diego Chargers, the franchise where he spent the first nine years of his career. Tomlinson was the league's MVP in 2006 after setting single-season records with 31 touchdowns and 186 points. Tomlinson spent his final two seasons with the New York Jets and finished his career with 13,684 yards and 145 touchdowns.
9 of 28Al Tielemans, Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
Only Michael Phelps, Nastia Liukin and Natalie Coughlin won more medals than Johnson at the 2008 Olympics. Johnson, who retired at 20, was a four-time medalist in Beijing, including gold on the balance beam. She blew out her left knee in a 2010 skiing accident and was never able to fully recover from the injury. She called it a career four days before the national championships. Her final competition was the 2011 Pan American Games.
10 of 28Lou Capozzola/SI(2); Elsa/Getty Images/NHLI; Frank Gunn/AP
Saying he was no longer motivated to compete at his customarily high level, Nicklas Lidstrom, 42, announced the end of his extraordinary career on May 31. He spent all 20 of his NHL seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, setting a league record of !,564 games played for one team. During that time, he won the Norris Trophy as top defenseman seven times, one shy of Bobby Orr's all-time mark, led Detroit to four Stanley Cups -- he was the first European captain of an NHL champion -- and was named playoff MVP in 2002. On the international stage, he skated for Sweden in four Olympics, winning the gold medal in 2006. He was also selected by Sports Illustrated as the "NHL Player of the Decade" for 2000-2010. You can read the story HERE.
11 of 28Bob Rosato, Al Tielemans/SI
The 38-year-old former Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox outfielder plans to announce his retirement Sunday June 3. The six-time All-Star struggled through 92 games last season with a surgically repaired right ankle, hitting a career-low .255 with five homers and 32 RBIs. Ordonez was a career .309 hitter with 294 home runs and 1,236 RBIs over 15 seasons. He lifted Detroit into the 2006 World Series -- the franchise's first since 1984 -- with a series-winning home run against Oakland. The native of Venezuela hit .363 the next season, becoming the first Tiger to win the American League batting title since Norm Cash in 1961, and finished second in league MVP voting.
12 of 28David Banks/Getty Images
Wood, 34, broke onto the scene in Chicago in 1998 when he posted a 13-6 record with a 3.40 ERA and 233 strikeouts in just 166.2 innings of work. He won the Rookie of the Year that season, but also gained notoriety for striking out 20 batters in one game. Wood did not pitch in 1999 due to an arm injury, but bounced back from 2001-2003 as a major force in a Cubs rotation that featured him and fellow young hurler Mark Prior. During that three-year span, Wood collected 12 or more wins, posted an ERA below 3.66, and struck out at least 217 batters in each season. A two-time all-star, the hurler's arm injuries later returned and he was forced to become a relief pitcher for the remainder of his career.
13 of 28Peter Read Miller, Damian Strohmeyer/SI
The 33-year-old won three Super Bowls as a member of the New England Patriots offensive line. During his career he was named to four Pro Bowls, and was selected as an All-Pro in 2007. Light was named to the New England Patriots All-2000's team as well as the Patriots' 50th Anniversary Team.
14 of 28Bob Rosato/SI; Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
The Broncos safety and former Philadelphia Eagle announced his retirement from football via Twitter. Dawkins, an 8-time Pro Bowler and 4-time First-Team All-Pro, played 13 seasons for the Eagles before going to the Broncos for his last three years in the league. In his 16-year career, Dawkins has compiled 1,146 tackles, 36 forced fumbles, 37 interceptions and 26 sacks.
15 of 28Ronald C. Modra, Tom DiPace, John Biever/SI
Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez
Rodriguez announced his retirement in April, ending a 21-year major league career that included a record 13 Gold Gloves at catcher. A 14-time All-Star known as Pudge, Rodriguez spent his first 12 major league seasons with the Rangers and won the 1999 American League MVP with Texas, when he hit .332 with 35 homers and 113 RBIs. He returned to the Rangers briefly in 2009. Rodriguez finishes with a .296 batting average, 2,884 hits, 311 home runs and 1,332 RBIs. He broke the record of 10 Gold Gloves at catcher that had been held by Johnny Bench and hit .300 or better 10 times. He was a World Series champion with the Florida Marlins in 2003.
16 of 28Lynn Johnson, Greg Nelson/SI
Less than a year after her diagnosis of early onset dementia-Alzheimer's type, Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in college basketball history, announced on April 18 that she was stepping down. Her Hall of Fame career ends with eight national titles and a 1,098-208 record. During her time, Tennessee never failed to reach the NCAA tournament, never received a seed lower than No. 5 and reached 18 Final Fours. She also led the 1984 Olympic team to a gold medal.
17 of 28Bob Rosato/SI; G. Newman Lowrance/WireImage.com
Ward announced his retirement three weeks after the 36-year-old was released by the Steelers in a salary cap maneuver. Ward holds every significant franchise receiving record, including receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. His 1,000 career catches rank eighth all time and he is one of two players with at least 1,000 receptions and two Super Bowl rings. Ward made four straight Pro Bowls from 2001-2004 and seemed to get better as he aged. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2006 Super Bowl after catching five passes for 123 yards and a touchdown in Pittsburgh's 21-10 victory over Seattle, the franchise's first championship in 26 years.
18 of 28John Biever, Bill Frakes/SI
The enigmatic running back brought an end to his up-and-down career on Feb. 7, when he announced his retirement -- presumably for good, this time -- 13 years after he was drafted by the Saints. The longtime Dolphin led the league in rushing in 2002, left football in 2004 and was suspended for the entire 2006 season after failing his third drug test. Williams, who played the 2011 season with the Ravens, is one of 26 players to rush for more than 10,000 yards.
19 of 28Damian Strohmeyer/SI
Boston's captain from 2005 to 2011, Varitek was a standout during his time at Fenway, winning two titles and one Silver Slugger award, earning three All-Star selections and catching a Major League-record four no-hitters in his 15-year career.
20 of 28Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
A six-time Pro Bowl defender, Taylor played the final game of his 15-year career on Jan. 1. The longtime Dolphin and 2006 Defensive Player of the Year finished his career sixth all-time with 139.5 sacks.
21 of 28Damian Strohmeyer/SI
The longtime knuckleballer announced his retirement on Feb. 17. Wakefield, who started his career as a first baseman, played 19 seasons in the pros, finishing third in Red Sox history with exactly 200 wins.
22 of 28Damian Strohmeyer, Al Tielemans/SI
Bears running back Marion Barber has decided to hang up his cleats after seven years in the NFL. Barber was originally drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 2005, where he spent six of his seven seasons in the NFL. He had his best performance in 2007 when he carried 204 times for 975 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. He was picked-up by the Bears in 2011 where he recorded 114 carries for 422 yards and scored six touchdowns. However, he will be most remembered for two crucial mistakes he made last season that allowed the Broncos to make a comeback and win 13-10 in overtime, costing the team a playoff spot.
23 of 28Mark Lennihan/AP
The architect of the Rams' "Greatest Show on Turf," Martz retired in January after being forced out of Chicago after two years running the Bears' offense. The longtime offensive coordinator and one-time head coach compiled a 56-36 record while leading the Rams and got them to Super Bowl XXXVI, where they lost to the Patriots.
24 of 28Peter Read Miller/SI
Dielman, 31, was a four-time All-Pro guard, but finished 2011 on injured reserve after suffering a seizure following a concussion during an October game. Reportedly, Dielman initially wanted to return to the Chargers in 2012, but changed his mind after doctors told him his long-term quality of life would be markedly better if he retired.
25 of 28David E. Klutho, Lou Capozzola/SI
The No. 1 overall pick in 1990 and a five-time All-Star, Nolan announced his retirement on Feb. 7. He hadn't seen action in the NHL since the 2009-10 season and hadn't played professionally since suiting up for a Swiss team last year. The longtime San Jose Shark forward finished his 20-year NHL career with 422 goals and 463 assists in 1.200 games.
26 of 28Bob Rosato, Damian Strohmeyer/SI
The longtime Titans and Ravens receiver was one of the most consistent of his generation, averaging nearly 63 catches per season during his 15-year career. The two-time Pro Bowl wideout is 11th all-time on the career receptions list with 943 and 19th all-time in receiving yards with 12,061.
27 of 28Peter Read Miller, Bill Frakes/SI
Gymnast Paul Hamm, the only American male to win a world or Olympic all-around title (2003 Worlds, 2004 Olympics), retired from the sport on March 27, exactly four months before the start of the London Games. Hamm cites his body's inability to handle the demands of training as his reason for retirement; he's been plagued by injuries since before the 2008 Olympics. Hamm served as an assistant coach for the Ohio State men's gymnastics team for three months in 2011 while training for the 2012 Olympics, but was fired after an embarrassing arrest when he was charged with assaulting a taxi driver. Despite his retirement, Hamm plans to stay involved to promote the London Games.
28 of 28Simon Bruty/SI
Holt may not have played a single down of professional football since 2009, but the longtime star wide receiver officially announced his retirement on April 4 as a member of the St. Louis Rams. Holt signed a one-day contract with St. Louis, the team for which he played the majority of his career. The 35-year-old played 10 seasons with St. Louis before spending one year with Jacksonville in 2009. In total he hauled in 920 passes for 13,382 yards and 74 touchdowns.
You May Like
More More Sports
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!