The history of MLB players whose careers ended too soon has featured incredible talents having their time in the spotlight end faster than expected. Whether because they died or suffered terrible injuries or simply retired, these players were out of the league well before their time. Iconic stars like Roberto Clemente, Sandy Koufax and Kirby Puckett all saw their careers end in abrupt fashions.
All the top short baseball careers will be featured with details regarding what caused their time to end so quickly. Each player clearly made a mark during his short stint playing at the highest level. Compare all the talents to find out which ones are the best.
Vote up for the MLB players whose careers ended early who could have even stronger legacies today if the timing worked out differently. Help us decide which MLB players whose careers ended early you most would have wanted to see have a longer run of greatness on the field.
MLB career years: 1923-1939
Teams: New York Yankees
The legendary career of Gehrig ended faster than expected when he was diagnosed with ALS. Gehrig had a few years of dominance left that were robbed from him.2349Gone too soon?
MLB career years: 1955–1972
Teams: Pittsburgh Pirates
The end of Clemente's career came in heartbreaking fashion when his plane crashed into the ocean. Clemente died when flying to Nicaragua to provide supplies following an earthquake.23921Gone too soon?
- Photo: University of Southern California, California Historical Society / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0
MLB career years: 1955–1966
Teams: Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers
The retirement of Koufax came at the young age of 30 due to severe arthritis in his left elbow preventing him from pitching at a high level.21714Gone too soon?
MLB career years: 1984-1995
Teams: Minnesota Twins
The dominance of Puckett ended in his prime due to a retinal vein occlusion causing him to lose vision in his right eye. His number was retired by the Minnesota Twins, and he died at age 46 after a massive stroke.17720Gone too soon?