espnW: Seinfeld

Famous Farewells

May, 14, 2014
May 14
7:56
AM ET
SeinfeldJoseph Del Valle/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images"Seinfeld" officially went off the air on this day 16 years ago, but you can still find the show in syndication today... and pretty much every day.


On this day in 1998, the final episode of the iconic TV sitcom "Seinfeld" aired on NBC after nine side-splitting seasons. In honor of the classic show's departure, here are five memorable exits in sports.

1. Lou Gehrig: After 17 legendary seasons with the New York Yankees, "The Iron Horse" was forced to retire after being diagnosed with a disease since named after him. On July 4, 1939, he addressed the Yankee Stadium crowd and called himself "the luckiest man on the face of the earth" in a speech for the ages.

2. Pat Summitt: Less than a year after disclosing her diagnosis of early onset dementia, the winningest college basketball coach in history announced she would be stepping down as head coach at Tennessee. She passed the torch -- and whistle -- to her longtime friend and assistant Holly Warlick during her retirement press conference on April 19, 2012.

3. Andre Agassi: After announcing his retirement plans during the summer of 2006, the eight-time Grand Slam champion entered the U.S. Open knowing it would be his last tournament. Despite suffering from chronic injuries, Agassi beat his first two opponents and advanced to the third round, where he lost to Benjamin Becker 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-5. Agassi received a long standing ovation from the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium. He tearfully spoke to the crowd and gave an emotional thank you to the fans after the match.

4. Mike Schmidt: The Philadelphia Phillies third baseman struggled to speak through his tears as he announced his imminent retirement during the 1989 season. Schmidt, who played all 18 of his major league seasons in Philadelphia, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995.

5. Brett Favre: Shortly after the Green Bay Packers lost in overtime of the NFC championship game, Favre said he "had nothing left to give" in an emotional retirement announcement in March of 2008. A month later he expressed he was having second thoughts and he famously unretired to join the New York Jets in August. After another near-retirement, Favre joined the Minnesota Vikings and officially retired after the 2010 season. Not that anyone believed him.

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