10 Aging Sports Stars Who Are Still Proving They’ve Got Game [VIDEOS]
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom is hanging up his skates after 20 years with the team. The 42-year-old retires with 1,142 points in 1,564 games.
He went to 12 All-Star Games and won four Stanley Cup titles with the Wings. He is a seven-time Norris Trophy winner, most recently in 2011, proving just how durable he’s been over his long career. With Lidstrom walking away, here’s a look at 10 professional athletes who have been able to hold onto their prowess deep into their playing years:
Brodeur, at 40, seemed to be on his last legs after some declining stats. He holds the NHL record of 656 regular season wins, and nobody would have blamed him for calling it quits. But, remarkably, he’s turned it around and is one of the main reasons the Devils are back in the Stanley Cup finals. The three-time Stanley Cup winner earned his first championship 17 years ago, and he’s looking to do it again. Along the way this postseason, he has posted even better numbers than he did during the regular season, showing he can still kick it up a notch when the pressure is on.
Fisher joined the Thunder at the end of March and has proven himself worthy of valuable playoff minutes. The veteran chose jersey number 37 to reflect his age. Although Fisher’s numbers have dropped from earlier stages of his career, he’s still providing leadership and intense defense that is helping to power Oklahoma City’s run. If they have any chance of coming back against the Spurs, the team will need Fisher to come through in the clutch, much the way he has so many times before in his career.
When Chris Bosh went down, many people questioned how the Heat would recover. Who would they slot in at power forward? It’s been a team effort at that spot, but one of the names you might not have expected to see is Howard’s. Still, Howard, at 39, has proven himself yet again. He’s not just a young scrappy player who will buy you minutes — he’s a force willing to take a charge or an open shot if the opportunity arises. Recently during a pregame altercation, he proved he won’t back down.
As hard as it may be to believe, Selanne is still getting it done for his Ducks team, tallying 66 points last season. The former superstar has shown toughness and resilience and a strong desire to stay on the ice in recent years. While there’s a chance that Selanne will decide this offseason that he doesn’t have any gas left in his tank, the smart bet is that he’ll decide to come back for another campaign.
The 49-year-old Rockies pitcher made history earlier this season when he became the oldest man to record a win. But his 2-5 record wasn’t good enough to keep him in the Rockies’ management’s good graces — he was designated for assignment on Wednesday. If this is it for the journeyman, his 269 wins came in a career of flying largely under the radar.
Kasay is the longest-playing active player in the NFL, coming off a strong year with the Saints. Word is that last summer Kasay was at a back-to-school event when he got the call from the team that they wanted him to come to camp. Coaches liked him so much that they opted to bring him back for the upcoming season. He’ll have to beat out Garrett Hartley for the starting position. Kasay connected on 28 of 34 field goals last season. He sits 30 points shy of 2,000 points for his career.
Moyer isn’t the only old guy walking around the clubhouse these days. Giambi, at 41, is trying to prove he can still play with the young ones. On May 2, he achieved a momentous feat when he hit a walk-off homer against the Dodgeers, making him the oldest man in MLB history to do it. Colorado has to be a bit careful with how much they use Giambi and to give him enough time to fight off injuries. In the meantime, he says he’s enjoying being a mentor.
Sometimes players can be so consistently good you forget all about them. That’s the case for Hanson, who is 41 now and still kicking for the Lions. He’s spent his entire 20-year career in Detroit, and it seems like he’ll continue to show up there each and every year until the organization tells him to stop. Earlier this year, he moved into fourth place all-time for points. He had 126 of them last season, his most since 1995.
At 45, Vizquel has definitely seen better days on the ballfield. But his hustle and determination has kept him on as a utility infielder for the Blue Jays. Earlier this month, he became the oldest man to play shortstop during a MLB game. The Jays signed him to a minor league contract, probably not expecting he’d have much left to give. Vizquel has been on the roster since day one of the season, though, and he’s made a name for himself as a handy option to help manage the young players. Maybe a coaching position is in the cards after Vizquel finally leaves the field. Whenever that is.
It’s got to be Turk’s passion that keeps him punting. At 43, and after stints with seven different teams, Turk is available if the Texans hold onto him. He became the oldest active player in the NFL after the 2008 season, but when kicker John Carney came back, Turk lost his title. After Carney retired again, Turk reclaimed the title. He is the only active NFL player born in the 1960s. This summer he’ll find out if he will make it through to play another year.