Crasnick: A brief history of baseball farewell tours

From SABR member Jerry Crasnick at on May 6, 2016, with mention of SABR member John Thorn:

When Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones shared the news that the 2012 season would be his last in a major league uniform, it was primarily a question of convenience. He was 39 years old, the bat speed was lagging and he dreaded the prospect of a summerlong interrogation about his plans.

So on a nondescript March day in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, he wrapped his present and future in a bow and set the rest of his life in motion.

Little did Jones know that he was destined to receive an outpouring of affection, and a haul that would pave the way for the mother of all man caves.

Mementos from Jones’ six-month farewell tour are on display throughout his home in Texas, the contents of which are currently being transported to a new place in Atlanta. He plays pool on a table the Braves gave him and proudly displays the cool surfboard he received from the San Diego Padres. And what rec room is complete without a No. 10 from the Fenway Green Monster or a handful of third-base bags from around the majors?

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz will experience a similar swirl of emotions this summer as he travels the country in the final go-around of a 20-year career. On Nov. 18, in conjunction with his 40th birthday, Ortiz announced on the Players Tribune website that the 2016 season would be his last. In an accompanying video, he explained his rationale for the decision.

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Originally published: May 6, 2016. Last Updated: May 6, 2016.