Derek Jeter's gift-laden farewell tour dominated the sports-retirement conversation in 2014, but there were other iconic figures who also stepped away this past year.
This included Landon Donovan, who exited with another MLS championship just months after being denied a spot on the U.S. World Cup team, and Teemu Selanne, who helped bring the Stanley Cup to the California for the first time when the Ducks won it in 2007.
Pioneers such as Jason Collins and Becky Hammon are also on the list. So are longtime commissioners David Stern and Bud Selig.
Most Notable Sports Retirements, 2014
The Yankee captain shortstop announced his decision to retire at the end of the 2014 season by posting a Facebook message in February. Jeter, who played 20 seasons, was a 14-time All-Star and won five World Series championships. He was the 1996 A.L. Rookie of the Year, and in 2000, he was MVP of the All-Star Game and World Series. His 3,465 hits ranks sixth on the all-time MLB list.
Donovan, the all-time leading scorer for U.S. Soccer and MLS, retired after winning another league title. Donovan, 32, will step away as the most decorated men's player in U.S. Soccer history. He played in three World Cups, helping the Americans to the 2002 quarterfinals, before famously being left off the 2014 World Cup roster by manager Jurgen Klinsmann.
Selanne ranks 11th on the NHL's all-time goal-scoring list with 684 goals. The only European player ahead of him is Jaromir Jagr. Selanne, who scored 76 goals his rookie season with Winnipeg, helped Anaheim win the 2007 Stanley Cup. He played his final game on May 16, as the Ducks were eliminated in the playoffs by Los Angeles. After the game, he was saluted by fans, teammates and opponents alike, and took a final lap around the rink.
Billups was NBA FInals MVP in 2004 when the Pistons beat the Lakers for the title. The third overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft after Tim Duncan and Keith Van Horn, Billup played 17 seasons and was a five-time All-Star, averaging 15.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 1,043 games.
Konerko was MVP of the 2005 ALCS when the White Sox beat the Angels. In the World Series, Konerko hit a grand slam in the seventh inning of the White Sox's 7-6 win in Game 2, en route to a series sweep and the franchise's first world championship since 1917. Team captain since 2006, Konerko finished his career with 439 home runs, 1,412 RBI and six All-Star Game selections.
The first European player to captain the Canadiens, Koivu wore the 'C' in 10 of his 14 years with in Montreal, which ties him for the the longest captaincy tenure in team history with the late Jean Béliveau. Koivu won the Masterton Trophy for dedication to hockey in 2002 when he missed almost all of the regular season battling cancer but returned to help the Canadiens upset top-seeded Boston in the first round of the playoffs.
Collins, the first openly gay man to play in one of the four major pro sports, announced his retirement from the NBA on Nov. 19. He finished his career with 359 blocks, 2,706 rebounds and 2,621 points after being drafted 18th overall by New Jersey in 2001.
Bailey was a seven-time NFL All-Pro and a 12-time Pro Bowl selection at cornerback. Drafted seventh overall in 1999 by Washington, Bailey was traded to the Broncos in 2004 for Clinton Portis. Bailey signed a ceremonial one-day contract so that he could retire as a Bronco after being cut by the Saints before the 2014 season. Bailey finished the 2013 season as the active leader in career interceptions with 52.
A sixth-round pick in 1994, Alfredsson played 17 seasons in Ottawa where he was NHL rookie of the year in 1996 and named team captain in 1999. Alfredsson helped Sweden win the Olympic gold medal in 2006. In 2007, he was the team's leading scorer in the playoffs as the Senators reached the Stanley Cup Final for the only time in franchise history before losing to the Ducks. With a final season in Detroit, Alfredsson finished with 444 goals, 713 assists and 1,157 points in 1,246 games.
An All-American tight end at Iowa, Clark was the Colts' first-round pick in 2003. He was a member of their Super Bowl XLI championship team and also played for the Buccaneers and Ravens. He holds the Colts franchise records for receptions (427) and receiving touchdowns (46) by a tight end.
Beckett was MVP of the 2003 World Series, with two wins including a shutout in Game 6 when the Marlins clinched the championship at Yankee Stadium. Beckett won another World Series in 2007 with the Red Sox. After being caught up in the Boston controversy about fried chicken and video games in the clubhouse, Beckett was dealt to the Dodgers and threw his first no-hitter in 2014.
Langenbrunner won Stanley Cups with the Dallas Stars in 1999 and New Jersey Devils in 2003. A Minnesota native, Langenbrunner was captain of the U.S. Olympic team that won the silver medal in 2010.
Snee, a four-time Pro Bowl guard, was part of a dominant offensive line that helped the Giants win two Super Bowls. He played 10 seasons and battled a slew of injuries the past two. Snee, 32, played just three games last season because of hip problems, but it appears to have been a longer-than-expected recovery from elbow surgery that prompted his retirement.
Soriano retired on Nov. 4 at the age of 38. He had seven All-Star appearances, a 40/40 season, and 412 home runs. He ended his career playing for the New York Yankees, also his first MLB team. His other teams were the Rangers, Nationals and Cubs.
After a stellar 13-year NBA career, Battier retired after his Miami Heat lost Game 5 of the NBA Finals to the San Antonio Spurs. His career accomplishments include two NBA titles with the Heat and the 2001 NCAA championship with Duke.
Hammon was a six-time WNBA All-Star in her 16-year career with the New York Liberty and San Antonio Silver Stars. She was named one of the league's top 15 players of all time when it celebrated its 15th anniversary season in 2011. Retiring after the 2014 season, Hammon was hired by the Spurs as the NBA's first full-time, paid female assistant coach.
Known as Captain Canada because he represented his country in so many international competitions, Smyth won a gold medal at the 2002 Olympics. He played 15 of his 19 NHL seasons with the Oilers with the highlight being a run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2006. Smyth scored 386 goals, with the majority coming from short range as his signature was setting up shop in the goalie's face.
A native of China, Li became the first player from Asia to win a Grand Slam title when she beat defending champ Francesca Schiavone in the championship match. Li won the 2014 Australian Open and reached No. 2 in the world rankings, but a knee injury forced her to retire.
A two-time All-Star in career with the Reds, White Sox, Diamondbacks, Nationals and A's, Dunn had 462 home runs and 1,168 RBI along with a career batting average of .237.
A two-time World Series champion with the Red Sox, Youkilis had his best individual season in 2008 when he hit .312 with 29 home runs and 115 RBI. He finished third in the voting for A.L. MVP that season behind teammates Dustin Pedroia and Minnesota's Justin Morneau.
Dempster helped the Red Sox win the 2013 World Series, but he's best known for being a Chicago Cub. He played nine of his 16 MLB seasons with the Cubs, and he worked as a starter and a closer. He announced his retirement in October and joined the Cubs in December as an assistant to GM Theo Epstein.
A first-round pick of the Steelers in 2008, the running back from Illinois helped the Steelers reach the Super Bowl twice and winning once. He retired at age 26, saying he was tired of public scrutiny, which included backlash for his tweets in 2011 about 9/11.
Sonnen retired after 17 years competing in MMA with the final five coming in the UFC. Known as one of the game's better talkers, Sonnen had some memorable matches against Anderson Silva.
Young, the 2005 A.L. batting champion with a .331 average, helped the Rangers reach the World Series in 2010 and 2011. A career .300 hitter, Young also won a Gold Glove at shortstop in 2008.
Injuries forced Rice to retire at age 27. A second-round pick of the Vikings in 2007, Rice made the Pro Bowl in his second season when he had 83 receptions for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns.
In 15 MLB seasons, Berkman was a six-time All-Star and helped the Cardinals win the 2011 World Series. Berkman, who played most of his career with the Astros, had career averages of .293 (batting) and .406 (on-base percentage).
Collins scored a touchdown in Super Bowl XLV when he intercepted a pass by Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and returned it 37 yards for the Packers, who went on to win 31-25. Collins, a three-time Pro Bowl safety, never played again after sustaining a neck injury in 2011, but didn't retire until 2014 as he had hoped to make a comeback.
Abreu, who played most of his 18-year career with the Phillies, hit 288 career home runs. A two-time All-Star, Abreu also won a Gold Glove as an outfielder in 2005.
Waters made the Pro Bowl at guard six times in a 13-year career with the Chiefs, Patriots and Cowboys.
Oswalt, who finished in the top five of the Cy Young voting five times in his 13-year career, had a career record of 163-102 with a 3.36 ERA. He was MVP of the 2005 NLCS as he posted two wins for the Astros against St. Louis.
The half-brother of Orlando (El Duque) Hernandez, Livan had a career record of 178–177 and a 4.44 ERA, but he was MVP of the NLCS and World Series in 1997 when the Marlins won the World Series. He was an All-Star in 2003 and 2004 with the Expos/Nationals.
Nicks, a guard, helped the Saints win Super Bowl XLIV and was first-team All-Pro in 2011. But after signing with the Buccaneers, Nicks was among the Tampa Bay players struck with a MRSA infection and decided to step away from the game at age 29.
Greer was a starting cornerback for the Saints' Super Bowl XLIV championship team. He began his NFL career with the Bills in 2004 as an undrafted free agent from Tennessee. He joined New Orleans as a free agent in 2009.
Known for his large mustache, Parros announced his retirement on Dec. 5 after playing nine seasons in the NHL with five teams. After playing for the Ducks six seasons, the enforcer went to the Los Angeles Kings, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers and the Montreal Canadiens. Parros had 474 career games, 18 goals and 18 assists while racking up 1,092 penalty minutes.
Due to lingering neck injuries, Wilson was forced to retire in August after just two NFL seasons. A 2012 first-round pick, Wilson suffered a serious neck injury in 2013, limiting him to just five games and 146 rushing yards. He aggravated the injury during the 2014 preseason, forcing his career to a premature end.
The San Francisco 49ers running back announced his retirement Nov. 5 due to a knee injury he suffered during college. Lattimore, 23, tore every ligament in his right knee and dislocated his kneecap during a 2012 game while playing for South Carolina. The 49ers selected him in the fourth round of the 2013 draft and he spent the entire season on the non-football injury list while recovering.
Bavetta's NBA officiating career began in 1975, and he never missed an assignment, working a record 2,635 consecutive regular-season games. Bavetta also worked 27 games in the NBA Finals and the 1992 Olympics, the first in which NBA players competed.
Arguably the most important commissioner in American professional sports history, Stern spent 30 years at the helm of the NBA. Under his watch, the NBA expanded tremendously, both nationally and internationally. Games are now televised in 215 countries and regular-season contests are regularly played outside North America.
The ninth commissioner of baseball, Selig held the office for 22 years with mixed results. Revenue grew and the labor situation stabilized after a player strike wiped out the 1994 World Series. Selig also helped introduce an expanded playoff format and interleague play but was also respond to rampant PED use. Before becoming commisioner, he was the Brewers owner after buying the Seattle Pilots in bankruptcy court in 1970 and moving the team to Milwaukee.
-- Kaitlyn Kaminski contributed to this report.