April 16th, Springtime, and a season of new beginnings, of fresh starts.  But for three of the biggest names in sports history, today was a day to call it a day.

In chronological order:

  • 1999, 20 years ago, hockey great Wayne (the Great One) Gretzky announced his retirement.  He finished as Hockey's all-time leading scorer with 2,857 points, nearly 1000 points more than second place Jaromir Jagr
  • 2003, basketball legend Michael Jordan played in his final NBA game as his Washington Wizards ended their season with a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.  Jordan finished with 6 NBA Championship MVP awards and 10 seasons as scoring champ
  • 2009, 10 years ago, Super Bowl winning coach and announcer extraordinaire  John Madden (73), one of football's most legendary broadcasters, announced that he was retiring, ending his on-air career after 30 years. Boom!

Each one of these gentlemen is considered by millions of fans to be the best ever at what they did and they all closed the curtain on their careers on an April 16th.