Retirement isn't for everybody. We reflect on some of the memorable (and not-so-memorable) comebacks in sports history.
Andy Pettitte in 2012
Pettitte's 2010 season seemed to be fairly storybook. He finished with an 11-3 record and a 3.28 ERA, along with an appearance in the All-Star Game. Despite posting his lowest ERA since 2005, the lefty announced his retirement in Feb. 2011. Late in spring training of 2012, the Yankees announced they signed Pettitte to a minor-league deal.
Randy Moss in 2012?
Former star wide receiver Randy Moss signed with the 49ers on a one-year contract worth up to $2.5 million.
Jim Palmer in 1991
Jim Palmer enjoyed a Hall of Fame career as a pitcher with the Baltimore Orioles, retiring in 1984 after winning the World Series. But that wasn't good enough. In 1991, at age 45, the right-hander tried to make a comeback with the Orioles. Hmmm. He pitched two innings of a spring-training game and retired permanently. Good call.
Bjorn Borg in 1991
Trying to rekindle his youth in his mid-30s, the tennis legend and multiple Grand Slam winner tried to retake the tennis world. Nope, not happening. Borg was a shell of his former self: Not only did he lose every time he played in 1991, it took him nine matches to even win a set. A three-set defeat to Alexander Volkov ended Borg's time on the tour.
Lance Armstrong in 2008
After winning his seventh consecutive Tour de France, Armstrong announced he was done with professional cycling. However, in 2008 he decided to take the seat again and announced he would compete in the 2009 Tour de France. Armstrong couldn't match his previous efforts, though, as he finished third in '09 and a disappointing 23rd in '10. He retired in 2011.
Ricky Williams in 2005
Williams tested positive for marijuana in 2003 and, just before training camp in 2004, announced he intended to retire. After a season away from the game, Williams returned in 2005, served a four-game suspension, scored six touchdowns and rushed for 743 yards. He violated the league's drug policy in 2006, so he played a year in the CFL before returnign to the NFL in 2007. He played that season and four more, with the Dolphins and Ravens, before retiring for good after the 2012 campaign.
Tiger Woods in 2010
After Tiger's history of marital infidelity became public domain, he took an indefinite leave from golf in December 2009. He suffered through a few uncomfortable months, then made his return at the 2010 Masters. He finished fourth. He has yet to find his championship form.
Magic Johnson in 1996
Magic Johnson's career was cut short after the 1990-1991 season when he was diagnosed with HIV and decided to retire. He dabbled with a comeback in 1992, when he played in several preseason games. But he didn't take the court for real until late in the 1995-96 seaspm. At age 36, he played in 32 games for the Lakers, averaging 14.6 points and 6.9 assists. After the Lakers' first-round playoff defeat to the Rockets, the Magic Man retired for good.
Roger Clemens in 2007
Again?! Clemens' annual offseason career circus ran wild after the season. On May 6, 2007, the Rocket materialized in the owner's box at Yankee Stadium, announcing during the seventh-inning stretch that was he coming back to the Bronx. He collected his 350th win that season but had just a 6-6 record with a 4.18 ERA. He injured his hamstring in the playoffs and retired. But for good?
Brett Favre in 2008
What drama. After years of waffling with retirement in Green Bay, the future Hall of Fame called it quits on the Packers in 2008. But it was a matter of months before Favre started talking comeback and asked to be released by the team. After much banter and confusion, Favre was eventually traded to the Jets. In his one season in the Big Apple, he failed to make the playoffs. On Feb. 11, 2009, Favre retired again.
Brett Favre in 2009
Him again? By May 2009, the Jets had cut Favre from the team's reserved/retired list, which allowed him to sign wherever he wanted. Surprise! The gunslinger signed with the Vikings in August and played two seasons in Minnesota. In the first, he fell just short of the Super Bowl; in the second, he endured a sex scandal and the end of his consecutive games streak. In January 2011, Favre retired for a third time. Will it be for good?
Michael Jordan in 1995
MJ won three straight titles with the Bulls in the early '90s and abruptly retired after the 1992-93 season. Following an eyebrow-raising foray into baseball, he came back with the Bulls late in the 1994-95 season. Sporting a new jersey number at first, Jordan eventually sparked another three-peat in Chicago and secured his NBA legacy.
Michael Jordan in 2001
Puzzling. After hanging up his sneakers in Chicago for a second time after the 1997-98 NBA season, Jordan came back, this time as part-owner and president of basketball operations with the Washington Wizards. It wasn't long before he felt the itch to play, and he did so in 2001. He had a few high-scoring performances, but his time in Washington didn't lead to a playoff appearance and he retired for good after the 2002-03 season.
Image: Manny Ramirez (Kim Klement, USA Today Sports)
Manny Ramirez aburptly retired while with the Rays after a second failed drug test rather than serve a 100-game suspension. But then he made a deal withe MLB and attempted a comeback with the Oakland A’s in 2012. The comeback fizzled and Manny is out of baseball again.
Rogers Clemens in 2004, 2006 and 2012
Sure, the Rocket announced he was retiring in 2003. But who takes that seriously? Clemens headed home to Texas, signing a one-year deal with the Astros. He won his seventh Cy Young Award in 2004, then reupped with the Astros and came up with a dazzling 1.87 ERA and World Series appearance in 2005. It looked as if he was done in 2006, but he rejoined the Astros at midseason. Now, five years after his latest retirement, he is taking another shot at baseball, thanks to the Indpendent League Sugar Land Skeeters, at age 50.