Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 9/16/13
On Friday, when I was writing about Carl Yastrzemski, I thought about Willie Mays. Anecdotally, when we think of the worst-ever final season by a great player, we think of Mays wasting away on the Mets. But is that really the example we should think of, or is it simply the most well-known? With both Vladimir Guerrero and Todd Helton announcing their retirement over the weekend further adding fuel to the fire, I figured I’d dig in and see if we could look at this a little more objectively. I’ll be splitting this into four posts — two for hitters, and two for pitchers. Initially, I wanted to look at all players with 30 WAR or greater. But even though that group still represents a very small percentage of qualified players overall, there were still too many players for my tastes, so I decided to break things up into tiers. The sample here was guys who played the entirety of their careers from 1901 to 2013. In addition to Helton, I also included Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada, Lance Berkman, Derek
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