Baseball is Life, so goes the old saying. A baseball life is spent working through pain. It's spent sliding and hitting and stealing and traveling over six months of the year. Most of the players consider this a privilege. It is the greatest time of their lives. What better way to say thank you and good-bye than with a home run in your final at bat?
Ted Williams' final good-bye is memorable. It is the stuff of legends.
Sixty other ballplayers have done likewise. They have ended the best years of their lives in the most wonderful way possible. These big leaguers can say they at least retired in style, some left at the top of their game, some did not, but those listed below had not totally lost their edge. Baseball Almanac presents these final hurrahs from some of the game's greatest.
"I've found that you don't need to wear a necktie if you can hit." - Ted Williams (who hit a home run in his last major league at-bat on September 28, 1960) in The Sporting News (Volume 183, 1977, Page 24)
In Chronological Order
In Chronological Order
Did you know that the historic home run hit by Ted Williams in his final at bat is often shown whenever a special about his life appears on television? Listen to the authentic recording on this page then watch closely during the next televised event.
Ted Williams Final At-Bat Audio
Trivia Fans: Use this chart to determine players from teams who were first or most recent, players with the most in the league when they joined the "club", players who had a home run in both their first at bat and their last at bat, etcetera.
Did you know that while Ron Samford homered in his last at-bat, on September 7, 1959 , he appeared in four more games and had one more plate appearance? Samford executed a sacrifice bunt on September 23, 1959 , in his last game.
Don Gile became the first player to hit a walk-off home run in his last at-bat, for the Boston Red Sox in game two of a doubleheader on September 30, 1962 . This walk-off home run was hit in the last game of the 1962 Boston Red Sox season!
Ramon Santiago also hit a walk-off home run in his last at-bat, on September 27, 2014 , playing for the Cincinnati Reds against the Pittsburgh Pirates . In the bottom of the 10th inning, tied at six, two outs, bases loaded, Santiago cleared the bases against left-hander Bobby LaFromboise . Incidentally LaFromboise only gave up two home runs in his career — both were grand slams.
Did you know that while pitcher Ed Hobaugh homered in his last at-bat, on September 2, 1963 , he appeared in eight more games and had one more plate appearance? In that last plate appearance, on September 7, 1963 , Hobaugh drew a walk.
Did you know that while Glenn Braggs , on 09-10-1992 , homered in his last Major League at bat, he played four more seasons (1993 to 1996) in the Japan Central League for the Yokohama Bay Stars, hitting 91 more home runs?
Ian Kinsler played 1,828 games at second base, forty games at designated hitter, thirty-four games as a pinch hitter, and one game at third base, Then in his final big league game, he took the field as a pitcher (which is why his name is italicized) in the ninth inning, surrendered one hit, walked two batters, retired the side, and homered in his final at-bat!
Mickey Cochrane had one more plate appearance in a game on May 25, 1937 , after his home run in the third inning listed above. Cochrane was hit in the head with a pitch (not an at-bat), which fractured his skull, knocked him out of the game, and resulted in the end of his Hall of Fame playing career.