Sometimes, notable players finish out their careers on farewell tours. Other times, they issue formal announcements with varying levels of fanfare. And then there are those that just don’t show up for a while. Some end up returning just when you were beginning to wonder if it was all over … then go through the process again, perhaps with a different result.
We often find ourselves wondering what happened to certain players whose careers didn’t have firm end points. Here are updates on two of them:
- Last we covered him on this site, long-time reliever Huston Street was still in the rumor mill. Evidently, we missed this strong hint that his playing days were over, so we’ll make amends by pointing our readers to this fun read on Street’s life in retirement from Pedro Moura of The Athletic (subscription link). So, what does a former closer do when he can’t tap into high-leverage situations for his adrenaline fix? Moura writes: “The best thing about retirement, [Street] said, is the infinite tank of energy he possesses. The challenge is finding places to exhaust it.” Whether he’s wheeling and dealing on real estate, pursuing other business ideas, or engaging in some late-night online gaming, Street certainly has not doused his competitive fire.
- While Street is comfortable saying he’s done with playing the game, shortstop J.J. Hardy is still keeping the door cracked. As The Athletic’s Dan Connolly writes (subscription link), Hardy isn’t exactly pushing to re-launch his career. But he also isn’t ready to file his retirement papers. “I guess it would probably take a lot, but I’m not going to go out there and say that I’m completely done,” says the 36-year-old. At the moment, Hardy is putting much more of his energy into the pursuit of woodworking than baseball — though there is some crossover. His first big project was a Lou Gehrig-themed guitar, auctioned off to benefit an ALS charity. If Hardy doesn’t end up putting down his chisel and picking up his ballglove, he’ll finish up a playing career that spanned 13 seasons (2005-17) with three organizations (the Twins, Brewers, and Orioles). At his best, Hardy was not only one of the finest defenders in the game, but featured impressive home run power. He socked more than twenty long balls in five seasons.