X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

Clubhouse

10 Sports Stars Who Retired In Their Prime

10 Star Athletes Who Walked Away On Top Of Their Game

Houston Texans vs. Miami Dolphins - September 7, 2003
Getty Images

Hanging on too long is a very common thing in the world of athletics. Many sports stars don't want to admit that they've lost a step or that their best days are behind them. It happens all the time.

But here are 10 athletes who'd had enough before their prime was even over:

1. Bjorn Borg

Bjorn Borg of Sweden
Getty Images

1. Bjorn Borg

Bjorn Borg of Sweden

Borg shocked the tennis world by hanging up his racket in 1983 at only 26-years of age. He attempted a comeback in the early 1990s, but was a shell of his former self.

2. Tiki Barber

Philadelphia Eagles vs New York Giants - December 17, 2006
Getty Images

2. Tiki Barber

Philadelphia Eagles vs New York Giants - December 17, 2006

The former Giants RB walked away after a 1,662 rushing yard season in 2006. He too failed in his comeback attempt in 2011.

3. Sandy Koufax

MLB Photos Archive
Getty Images

3. Sandy Koufax

MLB Photos Archive

The legendary lefty walked away from baseball at age 30 after posting 27 wins and a 1.73 ERA in 1966, citing arthritis in his throwing arm.

4. Rocky Marciano

Ed Sullivan 100 years
Getty Images

4. Rocky Marciano

Ed Sullivan 100 years

Marciano, who many consider the greatest of all time, retired from boxing at just 32. He went out on top, though, sporting a 49-0 unblemished record.

5. Bo Jackson

BO''S LAST PLAY
Getty Images

5. Bo Jackson

BO''S LAST PLAY

Bo's early retirement from the NFL in 1991 was the result of a nasty hip injury. He was able to continue his baseball career until 1994. The photo here is actually his last play ever in the NFL.

6. Annika Sorenstam

Dubai Ladies Masters Day Three
Getty Images

6. Annika Sorenstam

Dubai Ladies Masters Day Three

Sorenstam shocked the golf world by walking away in 2008 when she was still on top of her game.

7. Pat Tillman

Former NFL Player Pat Tillman Killed In Afganinstan
Getty Images

7. Pat Tillman

Former NFL Player Pat Tillman Killed In Afganinstan

The late, great Pat Tillman was over playing football in 2002 when his country needed him post-911. He turned down millions, quit football and joined the military.

8. Jim Brown

NFL: Annual Meetings
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

8. Jim Brown

NFL: Annual Meetings

The best player in Browns history retired after just nine seasons. He had plenty of gas left in the tank, but instead went on to a television and film career.

9. Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan
Getty Images

9. Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan

Only MJ could retire after winning three straight NBA championships and start playing minor league baseball.

10. Barry Sanders

Barry Sanders is a God
Getty Images

10. Barry Sanders

Barry Sanders is a God

This one still breaks Lions fans' hearts, as it should. The best running back in football retired prior to the 1999 season after racking up 15,269 yards over 10 seasons (never less than 1,000 yards in a season).