By Jordan Wevers @JordanWevers on July 17, 2014
Some of the all-time greats were a touch more humble in their days. Before the game became so heavily marketed and covered by mass media outlets, men like Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle typically announced their retirements after their final season. Undoubtedly, if that were not the case, this list would be a lot different. In an age of farewell tours and hashtags, here are some pretty memorable ASG adieus.
Larry Jones, more lovingly known to as Chipper by his colleagues and fans, is an NL MVP and eight-time All-Star. Like everyone else on this list, he was loyal to one franchise throughout his 19-season career -- the Atlanta Braves. Chipper has the most career RBI of any third baseman and is second only to Eddie Murray on the all-time switch hitter career RBI list. After his ovation at the Kauffman Stadium ASG, the Braves retired his No. 10 jersey.
Rivera lost all of 2012 after a freak injury shagging fly balls tore his right ACL. So the Sandman justifiably wanted one more crack to go out on a high note, and his farewell tour can be justified because of that. The all-time career saves leader actually put up All-Star worthy numbers at age 43 and did Jackie Robinson proud, being the last active player ever to wear the No. 42 jersey. Mo finished his career with 13 ASGs to his resume.
The Captain went 2-for-2 in his final ASG appearance, and it was quite the spectacle for fans in attendance at Target Field. He received multiple ovations, demonstrating gratitude and class on the field and in the dugout. With five World Series titles and 14 ASG appearances, Jeter can have some solid closure to his career once November arrives.
The Iron Man did it all -- ROY, MVPs, Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers and 19 ASG appearances. Lest we forget, he earned every paycheck by showing up to work and playing in 2,632 consecutive games before voluntarily ending the streak in 1998. Ripken hit a home run in his final ASG and was ultimately named game MVP after Alex Rodriguez switched positions with him before the game so he could assume his place at SS, the position he revolutionized.
Held at Yankee Stadium in front of an adoring home crowd only a week after delivering his "Luckiest Man Alive" speech, the Iron Horse said goodbye to the game he loved and played with more dedication than anyone else ever had. But he also said goodbye to so much more. For that reason -- the magnitude of his achievements and bravery in the face of peril and such heart-wrench -- Gehrig's final ASG indisputably needs to be at the top of this list.
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