List of athletes who came out of retirement

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Michael Jordan in 1997 playing in the National Basketball Association after returning from a retirement of nearly two years; during that post-retirement stint, he led the Chicago Bulls to three NBA championships in three seasons

In most cases, when a professional athlete announces retirement, he or she retires and then never returns to playing professional sports; however, in rare instances there are some athletes who came out of retirement. The following list shows such athletes in addition to any noteworthy achievements that they earned during their playing career after returning from retirement. It includes only professional athletes who announced retirement, were retired for at least one full season or year, and then returned to play their sport in at least one regular season contest. The list does not include players who sat out at least one full season due to injury and then returned to play without having ever officially announced retirement, nor does it include players whose careers were interrupted because of military service or incarceration. It also excludes free agents who were unable to find a team for at least a season and signed with a team at a later point without having ever officially announced retirement.

American football[edit]

Randy Moss with the Minnesota Vikings in 2010 (left) and the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 (right) after having announced his retirement before the intervening season.

Association football[edit]

Australian rules football[edit]

Baseball[edit]

Blaine Boyer with the New York Mets in 2011 (left) and the Minnesota Twins in 2015 (right) before and after retiring and working at a brokerage firm.
Gabe Kapler with the Boston Red Sox in 2004 (left) and the Tampa Bay Rays in 2009 (right) before and after having retired and served as a Minor League Baseball manager.

Basketball[edit]

Cricket[edit]

Cycling[edit]

Ice hockey[edit]

Mario Lemieux in 1992 (left) and 2005 (right) before and after retiring due to Hodgkin lymphoma and other injuries.

Mixed Martial Arts[edit]

Motorsports[edit]

Rugby Union[edit]

Swimming[edit]

Tennis[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Berra was a coach with the New York Mets when, in 1965, he played four games at catcher.
  2. ^ Dean was a broadcaster for the St. Louis Browns when, in 1947, he signed a $1 contract to pitch the final game of the season.
  3. ^ Miñoso had a total of ten at bats between his two comeback seasons as a publicity stunt arranged by Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck.[45]
  4. ^ O'Leary asked into a 1934 game as a 58-year-old coach with the St. Louis Browns and took a single turn at bat.
  5. ^ In 1904, at 54 years old, New York Giants manager John McGraw granted O'Rourke's request to play in a single game. He became the oldest player to play an entire MLB game.
  6. ^ Paige pitched in one game in 1965 as a publicity stunt arranged by Kansas City Athletics owner Charles O. Finley.[51]

References[edit]

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