A recent video on Bleacher Report showed 44-year-old NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens participating in an intense workout session. This raised questions as to whether or not the five-time All-Pro receiver is going to come out of retirement and try to make a return to the football field. This led to some thinking, what if a few former New York Yankees made their return to the diamond?
The idea of this sounds intriguing (for fans at least); a former player and Hall of Famer coming out of retirement and playing again. Can that player return to elite status, or at least have respectable success?
Former New York Yankees who could realistically make a return.
Alex Rodriguez seems like the kind of guy that’s just a social media campaign away from re-entering the bigs. Of course, this would be a massive loss for both ESPN and Fox Sports, but that just speaks volumes of how valuable of a person A-Rod is.
The 22-year veteran amassed 696 career home runs, a .295 career batting average, and 3,115 hits. He played his last games in 2016 with the New York Yankees, appearing in 65 contests and posting a slash line of .200/.247/.351 with nine home runs and seven doubles.
Rodriguez clearly still loves the game of baseball, calling games for Fox and ESPN and is even seen with his girlfriend (Jennifer Lopez) at baseball games when he isn’t working. With some time off to recover and rest his body, could he return to the diamond in a DH role and reach that 700 HR plateau?
What if Rodriguez joined forces with Miami Marlins owner Derek Jeter? The five-time World Series champion with the Yankees is only 43-years-old and last played in 2014 with respectable success. In his final season in pinstripes, Jeter played in 140 games and hit .256 with 19 doubles, four home runs, and 10 stolen bases.
The Miami Marlins may be well out of contention this season so this could be a great way to attract visitors to the ballpark, however, how would this impact the development of younger players? Only two teams would make sense for a Jeter and/or Rodriguez reunion tour, Miami and New York. There’s no way the American League East-leading Yankees bring either one back.
Staying with Yankee legends, how about Mariano Rivera? Dominant bullpen arms are a hot commodity over the last few seasons and while Rivera is 48-years-old, the future Hall of Famer owned the America league throughout his entire 19-year career which ended in 2013.
Even in his age-43 season, Rivera went 6-2 with a 2.11 ERA, 44 saves, and a 1.05 WHIP across 64 innings of work.
All eyes are currently on former major leaguer Rafael Palmeiro as the 53-year-old attempts a comeback in independent ball. Now a member of the Cleburne Railroaders of the American Association of Independent Professional baseball, Palmeiro is 2-12 with a moonshot home run in three games played.
Will any of these legends of the game make a return to the diamond? Probably not, however, it is fun to dream about. If you could witness a living legend return to the game, who would you want to see?