Deane: Going out with a bang: Players who homered in their final at-bats

From SABR member Bill Deane at WordPress on July 7, 2016:

On September 28, 1960, Ted Williams closed out his career in grand fashion.  The legendary slugger came to the plate in the eighth inning for his final big league at bat, against Baltimore’s Jack Fisher.  On the third pitch, Williams launched a blast into Fenway Park’s right-center field bullpen for his 521st and last home run.  It was a story-book finish to a Hall of Fame career.

I had heard it claimed that Williams was the only player ever to finish his career with a homer, but found it hard to believe.  In 1988 – long before Retrosheet or Baseball Reference – I set out to research it.  I started by sitting down with The Baseball Encyclopedia for some 30 hours, going page by page and player by player.  I looked at the statistics of each of the nearly 14,000 men who had played major league baseball, noting each one who hit at least one home run in his last season (or his last season with any official times at bat).  This left me with a list of a little more than 2,000 candidates for the “home run, last at bat” feat.

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Originally published: August 10, 2016. Last Updated: August 10, 2016.