when the 1993 season rolled around, nolan ryan let it be known that it would be his last season as a pitcher. then, with about a month left in the season, george brett announced that he, too, would retire after the season. robin yount waited until february of 1994 to announce his retirement from the game. imagine that - not having a full season for the fans and media to whip your retirement plans into a frenzy the way it's been done this year for a certain shortstop who, by the way, delivered in his final home at bat last night. anyway, the end result for ryan, brett, and yount from a baseball card perspective is a number of final tributes for three hall of famers. for the record, carlton fisk and dale murphy also called it quits in 1993, but i don't believe either of them received any cardboard love in '94. on with the tributes!
1994 donruss george brett - front
1994 donruss robin yount - front
here we see the difference in having announced one's retirement before the cards are printed vs. after. brett and ryan got special, full career stat backs, while yount got the regular treatment.
1994 fleer brett - front
1994 fleer brett golden moment insert - front
1994 fleer yount - front
and so again, because yount didn't announce his retirement until later, he missed out on the golden moment retirement insert. of course, that also meant that he got some love from some other card manufacturers that didn't bother with brett or ryan. like score and sportflics.
1994 score yount - front
1994 topps brett - front
1994 topps brett pre-production sample - front
1994 topps ryan - front
1994 topps ryan pre-production sample - front
not as much red for yount on the back of his card, and he didn't get a pre-production card either. all three players did made it into the 1994 topps stadium club set though.
1994 topps stadium club brett - front
1994 topps stadium club yount - front
the photo used for ryan's card is pretty much a perfect final tribute shot.
while topps took care of these three future hall of famers, upper deck really missed the mark. none of them, not one, appears in the 1994 upper deck set, although yount does show up on an insert. brett and ryan did appear in the 1994 upper deck all-time heroes set
1994 upper deck all-time heroes brett - front
both brett and ryan showed up in upper deck's collector's choice set, but yount did not which is really odd.
1994 upper deck collector's choice brett - front
1994 upper deck the american epic brett - front
1995 upper deck brett - front
1999 topps ryan - front