John Jaso, former catcher/first baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Rays, and other teams, walked away from baseball and now sails a boat for about six months a year: No More Spring Trainings.
During his MLB career, Jaso had to deal with multiple concussions:
My initial reaction is that my life, as far as my career, is falling apart and kind of like ending,” Jaso said. “That this is how it ends.”
Last year, three teams brought back a mostly forgotten and unjustly maligned baseball icon, the bullpen cart. The cart’s purpose was to transport the relief pitcher from the bullpen to the mound, avoiding the exertion of jogging that distance. A true bullpen cart has a bottom shaped like a baseball, and a top that is a giant baseball cap. Bat-shaped columns bridging the two are optional.
Predecessors of the bullpen cart date back to the 1950s, and include a Harley-Davidson scooter (Milwaukee, of course) and a hearse (Casey Stengel was allegedly involved in that one). Then there was that time the Dodgers’ catcher drove the pitcher to the mound, let him out, and then ran into him. This article at Cut 4 details everything that is known about cart history, but was unable to solve the mystery of who first introduced the round, cap-topped cart. Could it be the New York Mets? Their cart may have been introduced in 1967, and its penultimate appearance was in 1986 when an enthusiastic Mets employee jacked it and took it for a joyride around the field when his team clinched the Division title enroute to their World Series victory. The cart resurfaced recently when it sold at an auction for $112,000 dollars.
The carts cruised through the seventies, but fell out of favor and finally disappeared sometime in the 1980s. But in 2018, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers re-introduced the carts. Unfortunately, most relievers refused the ride. Washington Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle was the first visiting pitcher to use the Arizona cart, and he reportedly was instrumental in the Nationals debuting their own cart later in the season.
Former MLB relief pitcher Brad Lidge is most famous for his perfect season in 2008, when he went 48 for 48 in saves, including closing out the Philadelphia Phillies’ victory in Game 5 of the World Series. Since retiring from baseball in 2013, Lidge has earned a Master’s Degree in Roman Archaeology from the University of Leicester (thesis: Nails: An Underutilized Tool in Ancient Roman Archaeology), and has worked on excavations in Italy and England. Will he continue on for the Ph.D.? See the story in USA Today.