Monday, December 29, 2014

Players retiring in 2014 (non-Jeter edition) Part 1

Some notable players not named Derek Jeter announced their retirement in 2014. I found a list here. Here's an alphabetical list. I'm going to show a card from the player's first year and last year of cards (or as close as I can depending on what I have). Part 2 will be tomorrow.

Bobby Abreu
 1994 Upper Deck Minors #13

2012 Topps Allen & Ginter Framed Relics
Abreu had a long and successful career. He made his major league debut with the Astros on 9/1/96. I mostly know him as a Phillie, where he played from '98-'05. After that he spent some time with the Yankees, Angels, Dodgers and Mets. He sat out the 2013 season but tried to make a comeback in 2014. The Phillies signed him to a minor league contract in March and invited him to spring training but didn't make the cut. He later signed with the Mets and played 78 games for them. He got a hit during his last game on 9/28/14. He finished his 18-year career with 2,425 games, a .291 career batting average, 289 home runs and 400 stolen bases. He did not appear on any cards in 2013 but did appear in the 2014 Topps Update set as a Met, although I don't have that card.

Josh Beckett
1999 Fleer Tradition Update #122
 2013 Topps Heritage #120
Beckett made his Major League debut with the Marlins on 9/4/01. He won 20 games with the Red Sox in 2007 and was a 3-time All-Star. He was the MVP of the 2003 World Series with the Marlins. For his career he had a 138-106 record with an ERA of 3.88. His last two seasons were rough due to injuries. He had season ending surgery in 2013 for a condition that required the removal of a rib. After returning in 2014 he had a left hip impingement, which also required surgery in August ending the 2014 season for him. His last game was 8/3/14 and he announced his retirement on 10/7/14.

Ryan Dempster
2007 Upper Deck #287

2013 Topps #401
Dempster made his Major League debut with the Marlins on 5/23/98. I don't have any 1998 Dempster cards scanned but he spent the most years with the Cubs ('04-'11). He also spent some time with the Reds, the Rangers and finished his career with the Red Sox. He took off the 2014 season to be with his family (he has a daughter with a rare genetic disorder) and announced his retirement on 10/8/14. In December he announced he would be taking a Cubs front office position as an assistant to general manager Theo Epstein. Dempster had a record of 132-133 with a career ERA of 4.35. He also had 87 saves, all with the Cubs when he was their closer for a few years.

Paul Konerko
1994 Topps Traded #112
2014 Donruss #73
Konerko was the Dodger's #1 draft pick in 1994. He made his Major League debut with the Dodgers on 9/8/97. He spent 16 of his 18-year career with the White Sox. He appeared in 2,349 games with a career BA of .279 and hit 439 home runs. He won the World Series with the White Sox in 2005 and was a 6-time All-Star. In October, Konerko was a co-winner of the annual Roberto Clemente Award, sharing it with Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies. He is the first member of the White Sox to win the award.

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