Best Player to retire in 2011. Manny Ramirez.
Did he have a 2012 card? Yes, 2012 Topps and mini
Ramirez retired after 5 games with the Rays in 2011 after he had tested positive for PEDs for 2nd time and faced a 100-game suspension. This one comes with a bit of an asterisk – Ramirez has played minor league baseball at the triple-A level each of the past two seasons for the A’s and Rangers affiliates, as well as a productive stint in the Chinese professional league. He recently insisted that he isn’t retired yet.
The fact that Manny hadn’t officially retired but didn’t make the majors is what gets him on this list. It’s also what helped him to have a Topps card – since he played for the A’s in spring training while trying to make the Major League club, he’s shown with a card in their uniform. Not that Topps used a real A’s photo of Manny – that’s a photo-shopped Dodger card up there!
Apologies to: As mentioned, this one comes with something of an asterisk, since Manny isn’t retired and has in fact played in minor league and foreign professional baseball. Assuming Manny never gets back on the MLB diamond, apologies would go to…
Ivan Rodriguez. Rodriguez retired after a few years with the Nationals when he couldn’t catch on with a team in 2012. He didn’t have a 2012 base card.
Vladimir Guerrero also retired when he couldn’t get a contract for the 2012 season. Topps gave him a record breaker checklist card in the base set, but not a regular card. He did have a card in 2012 Heritage with his full stat line.