Special Report

Athletes Who Had the Most Memorable Final Seasons

Source: Chris Trotman / Getty Images

20. Mike Mussina
> League: MLB
> Position, team: Pitcher, New York Yankees
> Final season: 2008, age 39
> Key stats and accomplishments: 20-9 record, 3.37 ERA, Gold Glove

Mike Mussina ended his 18-year pitching career with one of his best seasons. Moose won 20 games with a 3.37 ERA while also earning a Gold Glove. Even though he was 39, Mussina led the American League in starts with 34, racking up 200 innings in his final season.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

19. Bob Pettit
> League: NBA
> Position, team: Power forward, St. Louis Hawks
> Final season: 1964-1965, age 32
> Key stats and accomplishments: 22.5 points per game, 12.4 rebounds per game

An early NBA star, Bob Pettit went out on top. In his 11th and final season, he averaged 22.5 points and 12.4 rebounds per game, earning an 11th consecutive All-star appearance. His 22.5 points per game is still the NBA record for highest scoring average for a player in his final season.

Source: Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images

18. David Ortiz
> League: MLB
> Position, team: Designated Hitter, Boston Red Sox
> Final season: 2016, age 40
> Key stats and accomplishments: 127 RBIs, 38 home runs, All-star

By the time his 20th season rolled around, David Ortiz had already accomplished a lot in his career, winning three World Series and making nine All-Star teams. In 2016, at age 40, Big Papi proved he could still play, batting .315 with 38 home runs and a MLB-leading 48 doubles. He also earned his 10th All-Star spot that season.

Source: Al Bello / Getty Images

17. Ray Lewis
> League: NFL
> Position, team: Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens
> Final season: 2012, age 37
> Key stats and accomplishments: 57 tackles, Super Bowl

Through the first six games of the 2012 season, linebacker Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens were rolling with a 5-1 record. But Lewis tore his triceps, and the team struggled, limping into the playoffs. Lewis made it back for the playoffs and led the Ravens in postseason tackles, providing the lift they needed to win their second Super Bowl during Lewis’s career and send him out on top.

Source: Doug Pensinger / Getty Images

16. Peyton Manning
> League: NFL
> Position, team: Quarterback, Denver Broncos
> Final season: 2015, age 39
> Key stats and accomplishments: Super Bowl

Peyton Manning’s final season was far from his most statistically impressive. Manning battled foot, rib, and shoulder injuries, missing six games. But the five-time MVP gutted out the injuries and made it back for the playoffs, leading the Denver Broncos to a Super Bowl title in his final season.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.