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We’re witnessing the end of an era

Wednesday’s Say Hey, Baseball includes a quartet of high-profile players retiring, a David Ortiz bobblehead gone wrong, and a pair of Cy Young candidates in Chicago.

Cincinnati Reds v Texas Rangers Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

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If there’s one thing we learn over years of watching baseball it’s that no one is bigger than the game. It sounds cliche — and it certainly is — but it’s also the truth. No matter how great and how popular a player is, the sport will continue even in that player’s absence. It continued after Babe Ruth. It continued after Ted Williams. It continued after Ken Griffey, Jr. It will continue after Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, and Mike Trout. With that being said, certain players hold a special part of baseball history, and the game is losing a bunch of those guys in one fell swoop this year.

The latest name to join this list is arguably the saddest one. Prince Fielder is neither the best player in the retirement club, nor is he the most beloved either nationally or locally. However, his circumstances make this the hardest to endure, as he’s only 32 and is being forced to leave the game because of injury. He’s a bit younger than the likes of David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, but he’s still part of their era. When you think of the best hitters of the mid-to-late-2000’s through the early 2010’s, these are some of the names you think of.

Rodriguez and Ortiz are obviously the biggest names of this group of retirees, and we could call this the end of an era even if just these two were hanging it up. Adding in players like Teixeira and Fielder just add to the talent we are losing at the end of this season. For fans that were born in the early-'90s, they grew up watching these players dominate the game in fun and unique ways. Baseball will surely go on without them, but every day it seems as if we’re losing another piece of our childhood.