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Top Athletes Who Retired in Their Prime

Michael Jordan, Jim Brown and Barry Sanders lead the list of athletes who retired in their prime. Who is missing from the list?

From time to time, I get article inquiries from unexpected sources. The latest comes from a blog that appears on the Top Online Colleges website. The blog labels itself "Where education meets edgy." OK, I understand you need to have a little something extra to a website geared toward potential college students.

The latest blog post talks about eight sports stars who retired in the prime of their careers. This is a perfect blog topic for us, so when they offered to share their thoughts on the subject, I thought a good place to do so was here.

Here are the eight names they chose. The list is as follows:

  • 1. Michael Jordan
  • 2. Rocky Marciano
  • 3. Jim Brown
  • 4. Barry Sanders
  • 5. Pat Tillman
  • 6. Annika Sorenstam
  • 7. Lorena Ochoa
  • 8. Bjorn Borg

The initial Michael Jordan retirement was pretty shocking, and his resulting baseball career didn't go anywhere. Barry Sanders' exiting the game was equally surprising, considering the records he could have held.

This list must be missing some other stars who fans might have felt was too early. I'll be honest, the Jordan and Sanders one stick out the most, but I'm curious if there were others prior to the 1980s that some readers can chime in on. Remember, this voluntarily retiring, not leaving the game due to injuries.

Looking forward to seeing additions to this list.

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