Ten greatest career-ending performances of all-time

From SABR member Chris Jaffe at The Hardball Times on November 14, 2011:

Earlier this fall, I wrote a pair of fun columns for THT: “Ten worst career-ending performances of all-time,” and “Ten weirdest career-ending performances of all-time.” They’re intended as fun pieces looking at the final moments of some of the game’s greatest players.

There’s a final chapter to this trilogy we’ll look at today: the best ever career-ending performances.

The key guideline here is that we’re looking for the best players. Specifically, I checked the last game for all players with at least 30 career WAR who retired from 1919-onward. That said, if there’s a person of note with fewer WAR I want to throw in, I will. After all, it’s my list—and heaven knows there’s nothing scientific about these things.

OK, without further delay, here are the ten best career-ending performances from the game’s greatest:

  • 10. Oct. 2, 2005: Al Leiter: Going away by blowing them away

    It’s a lot easier for a hitter to end his career on a high note that a pitcher. A hitter just has to have a couple nice swings. A pitcher has to have a nice entire game, and if he can do that, it probably won’t be his last one.

Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/ten-greatest-career-ending-performances-of-all-time/

Originally published: November 15, 2011. Last Updated: November 15, 2011.