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Monday, April 06, 2020

These 10 legends’ careers ended with a reunion

It’s always nice to see a homecoming for a franchise icon, and throughout MLB history, plenty of players have returned to the teams where they became stars.

It was 11 years ago on April 6, for instance, that Ken Griffey Jr. homered in his first game back with the Mariners after a decade away from Seattle. So, with that game in mind, MLB.com is taking a look back at these reunions, highlighting some of the most prominent players who were, in fact, able to go home again.

Only players who returned to an old team for the final stage of their careers are included here. There are others who, after their homecomings, went on to play for other teams. Those players—Rickey Henderson with the A’s, Greg Maddux with the Cubs, Tim Raines with the Expos, Tom Seaver with the Mets, Jim Thome with the Indians and Phillies and many more—aren’t included.

Here are 10 of MLB’s most memorable player-team reunions.

Who would you add to this list?

 

QLE Posted: April 06, 2020 at 01:20 AM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: homecomings

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Cooper Nielson Posted: April 06, 2020 at 02:17 AM (#5936879)
Kirk Gibson for the Tigers: 1979-87, 1993-95.
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: April 06, 2020 at 08:30 AM (#5936902)
Roger Clemens doesn't belong on the list given the description above. Barry Zito doesn't belong based on the word "legend."

Pete is the most obvious omission. Phil Niekro and Dave Stieb are two more.
   3. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: April 06, 2020 at 09:15 AM (#5936912)
Orel Hershiser is the first name that came to my mind.
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: April 06, 2020 at 09:15 AM (#5936913)
Bernard King - New Jersey Nets 1977-79 and New Jersey Nets 1992-93. talk about a prodigal son.
   5. Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: April 06, 2020 at 09:21 AM (#5936914)
Hank Aaron coming back to Milwaukee to finish his career comes to mind, although not the same franchise
   6. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: April 06, 2020 at 09:23 AM (#5936917)
5 - And of course Babe did the same thing.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: April 06, 2020 at 09:28 AM (#5936919)
As did Willie. Or, half of Poz's Top 6.

   8. Cooper Nielson Posted: April 06, 2020 at 10:19 AM (#5936934)
Roger Clemens doesn't belong on the list given the description above. Barry Zito doesn't belong based on the word "legend."

Yeah, the inclusion of Clemens was dumb. He returned to his third team after three years away from them. Not really in the spirit of this at all.
   9. Rally Posted: April 06, 2020 at 10:47 AM (#5936948)
Clicked on it and got an autoplay video. To me that is an absolute no-no. If anyone from MLB reads this, my policy when that happens is to immediately close the window.
   10. Traderdave Posted: April 06, 2020 at 11:27 AM (#5936960)
Barry Zito doesn't belong based on the word "legend."


While "legend" is too strong a term for Zito, note that he is #24 all time WAR for the franchise, which includes the 1901-54 Philadelphia A's.
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: April 06, 2020 at 11:33 AM (#5936961)
While "legend" is too strong a term for Zito, note that he is #24 all time WAR for the franchise, which includes the 1901-54 Philadelphia A's.


I do think Zito's swan song with the A's is more in line with the nature of this concept than Clemens with New York, or even Eck with Boston (since he neither came up with Boston nor established himself as a legend there).
   12. puck Posted: April 06, 2020 at 04:34 PM (#5937076)
Ubaldo Jimenez was a non-roster invitee in Rockies' camp this spring.

I'm mostly kidding.

But it was nice to see after the way he left (and hitting Tulo the next spring training), plus he's #1 in franchise WAR as a pitcher.
   13. John Northey Posted: April 06, 2020 at 07:16 PM (#5937125)
What the ""blank"" is Clemens going back to the Yankees doing on there? They were the team he did the worst for - 4.01 ERA, 114 ERA+, his worst outside of NY was with Boston 144 ERA+ 3.06 ERA. The Yankees were the team he went to in order to get a WS ring and lots and lots of money. If he had gone back to the Red Sox then yes, he'd qualify for this list, but the Yankees...heck no.

Eck with the Red Sox also makes little sense - yeah, he was very good with them originally but he was an Oakland A by any measure. That is where he made his HOF mark.

Carter was a great final return imo.

Minoso I wish they had let play in the 90's as he wanted just for the fun of it (I think it was an insurance issue, like with Gordie Howe in the NHL at the same time who wanted to have a shift with Gretzky who idolized Howe as a kid). He did play for the independent St Paul's Saints team in 1993 and 2003 getting 1 plate appearance each time, drawing a walk in his final PA at age 77. His final pro hit was in 1976 though. Safe to say he was the last active player from the Negro Leagues with that final PA in 2003.
   14. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 06, 2020 at 08:05 PM (#5937131)
Bobby Murcer’s return to the Yankees would have been a better choice than some of the selections. Murcer was quite popular during his first stint in NY when he was one of the few bright spots during the awful CBS years, and fans enthusiastically welcomed his return.
   15. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: April 07, 2020 at 02:40 PM (#5937339)
I mean, sure Clemens had won 5 Cy Youngs and briefly been the highest paid player in baseball before he came to the Yankees but that's where he became... ah, #### it. They needed 10.
   16. asinwreck Posted: April 07, 2020 at 08:38 PM (#5937459)
Minoso started in Cleveland and his farewell was in St. Paul (with the Saints) in 2003.

Willie McCovey returned to the Giants but his farewell actually lasted a few seasons.
   17. Adam Starblind Posted: April 08, 2020 at 06:38 AM (#5937502)
And who can forget Duke Snider of the New York Mets?

Yeah, I know he played another half season for San Francisco, but Snider the Met always seemed so weird to me.

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