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25 Big-Name Retired Athletes Who Now Work Normal Jobs

As kids, many of us aspired to do great things: some wanted to be doctors, others astronauts, but I’d hazard a guess that most juvenile versions of ourselves wanted to live out our dreams on the soccer pitch, basketball court, or football field. An extraordinarily small portion of us would ever go on to even pursue those passions, but you can’t deny that, after watching Terrell Owens haul in a hail-Mary pass or seeing Michael Jordan score a three-pointer, you wanted to spend some time in their shoes.

And, while many wannabe athletes eventually had to hang it up and pursue careers of a decidedly less interesting sort, those sports stars we once idolized also had to call it quits at some point. It’s often a bittersweet moment to see a prominent athlete hang it up, but it’s at least good to know that their legacy has left them with enough wealth to avoid taking up another job during retirement.

For the unsung heroes of the NBA, MLB, NFL, etc., things aren’t as easy. Though league minimums are often hundreds of thousands of dollars more than the average salary, competitors that couldn’t last or had to be cut can end up strapped for cash and in need of another line of employment. Even big-name guys can sometimes land on hard times and force themselves onto the job market once again. It’s actually surprising just how many ex-athletes went on to be work-a-day average Joes; in fact, here’s 25 of them.

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25 Karl Malone Is On Wheels

Karl Malone

Utah Jazz star Karl Malone was an accomplished and beloved athlete during his NBA career. He’s a 14-time All Star and two time MVP Hall of Famer, but even success like that couldn’t carry him through the entirety of his retirement. He’s become something of a businessman in recent years, and he has stake in more than a dozen businesses. It’s nice to see that the ex-basketball player boasted some marketable skills outside of the sports world. More interestingly, however, is that he’s also a part-time trucker.

He spends his time behind the wheel hauling timber, and he’s stated that he does it simply because he really just enjoys trucking, which is an interesting position to be in.

would have to imagine that there are plenty of truckers out there who don’t particularly like what they do, but to each their own. After a physically-strenuous stint in the NBA, you’d think most players would like to settle down. That’s not how Malone rolls, though — he’s even spent some time as an ESPN radio hosts, which proves that he is still interested in sports. He didn’t even accept a salary from ESPN, as he was just doing it for fun. That’s great and all, but I have been led to believe that the Disney-owned station has plenty of green to go around.

24 Charlie Batch Grabbed A Mic

In the world of football, everyone wants to be the quarterback. Some guys simply aren’t physically cut out for the job, but there’s no denying that, unless there’s some star wideout or running back on the team, they get the fattest game check. Rightly so, because they take some of the most abuse out of anyone on the field. You could argue that linemen endure the brunt of the abuse, but more often than not, when QBs take a hit, they are blindsided, which could lead to catastrophic injury.

With that in mind, it can be a little disappointing to play such a difficult position, only to receive little to no recognition or financial compensation. That’s the reality for many NFL backups, and things can get even worse when you’re the backup to someone like Ben Roethlisberger — you’re virtually guaranteed to never see any meaningful playing time. Charlie Batch made something of a name for himself despite living in Big Ben’s shadow, but his football career didn’t carry him too far into retirement. Following a few poor investment choices, he found himself taking up a career as a public speaker to keep himself afloat financially. He’s also covered a few Steelers games on the radio, which proves that he’s still all about his former team.

23 Guy Lafleur Reached New Heights 

It seems to me that many NHL players go unsung. Even if you’re a fan of the sport, it’s difficult to deny the National Hockey League receives far less attention than most other major professional sports. Baseball, basketball, and, of course football, seem to garner much more attention, and hockey seems to be relegated to more of a niche audience. A reference to anything other than the annual Stanley Cup series is rare among shows which cover sports, and, even in the off seasons, it seems like many sportscasters would rather pontificate over NFL trade rumors or NBA team rebuild scenarios. I wouldn’t say that ex-Montreal Canadian Guy Lafleur found himself strapped for cash during his retirement because his career in the NHL didn’t pay enough — most of these guys still make millions of dollars — but, had he been a star in any other sport, finances probably wouldn’t have been a concern.

Regardless, following his 1991 departure from the NHL, Lafleur found himself pursuing yet another career of which some dream: he became a licensed helicopter pilot.

He even owns his own rental company, and I think it’s safe to say that Lafleur boasts a more interesting resume than even most of his contemporaries.

22 Jorge Posada Became A Writer

Jorge Posada book

I am not a New York Yankees fan, so I can’t exactly speak with much authority, but, given his 17 year tenure with the organization, I would think that it’s fair to claim that former catcher Jorge Posada is something of a Yankee’s icon. Sure, he doesn’t quite have the profile of someone like Derek Jeter or Babe Ruth, but I’d chalk that up to the fact that pitchers rarely get much love. He may not have been in the limelight throughout his career, but, given the Yankees absolute domination of the league during the late '90s, his name is probably visible in more than a few places in the Yankee’s trophy case.

Despite his success, Posada began his post-MLB career before he even left the league. As a budding children’s writer, he wrote his first kid-friendly book entitled Play Ball!, in 2006, and he later expanded upon his franchise during his retirement from the league.

He’s also written a novel titled The Beauty of Love: A Memoir of Miracles, Hope and Healing, which chronicled the experiences of his son, who suffered from a rare disease known as craniosynostosis. While not exactly a regular job, it’s still cool to see a former baseball player indulge his literary tendencies.

21 Kristi Yamaguchi Is A Busy Bee

If you thought NHL stars receives little attention, than you’ll be shocked to learn of the plight of athletes who don’t participate in oft-televised sports. While they usually don’t claim to be doing what they do for fame or recognition, there’s tons of talented people out there who hard hardly mentioned in the public space. Sure, when the Winter or Summer Olympics come around every four years, track stars or ice skating phenoms are pushed to the forefront of the public eye, but, outside of that two or three week period, athletes such as these are rarely heard from. Remember when Ryan Lochte was the center of attention for apparently vandalizing a Brazilian gas station? Have you heard from him since? If you aren’t that involved with swimming, I doubt it. The 1992 Olympic figure skating champion Kristi Yamaguchi is a rare case in that she’s managed to maintain her relevancy not only throughout her career, but in her retirement, as well.

She’s published four books and she’s a fashion designer with her own line of clothing — that’s a pretty prolific career for a retiree!

Of course, retiring from sports isn’t exactly akin to retiring from a typical career, but it’s nice to see that she hasn’t let any of her talents go to waste.

20 Roger Federer Drives People Around 

Britain Tennis ATP Finals

Those invested in the world of tennis may be quick to point out that Roger Federer is, in fact, still playing. He’s actually ranked number two globally in men’s singles tennis at the moment. He’s a pretty young guy, as well, so it would be strange for him to suddenly retire. Yet, following a 2001 hip injury, he did semi-retire from the sport and pursue other money making opportunities.

He actually took up a job as a chauffeur, which doesn’t sound nearly as illustrious as his former practice. Yet, I suppose, when push comes to shove, you have to make money where you can. I would guess that Federer knows that more than many of his colleagues, as he was actually willing to offer his services to one of his at-the-time rivals, Michael Lammer. That sounds pretty demeaning, and you’d think that would come up when the two met on the court following Federer’s return to the sport. I imagined tennis rivalries to be pretty heated, but, given this circumstance, I suppose that isn’t always the case.

Lammer later complemented Federer on his patience and capabilities as a chauffeur.

You wouldn’t see Floyd Mayweather shuttling Manny Pacquiao around any time soon, and that’s not because they both have more money than they know what to do with.

19 Urige Buta Was A Janitor

Buta

I’ve already mentioned how many olympic athletes don’t receive much recognition when their sport isn’t being presented on the world stage. Runners, I would say, might garner a little bit more attention than your average out-of-season olympian: all you have to do is walk into an Inside Track store to see wall-to-wall ads featuring sponsored track stars, though I highly doubt that gig to be nearly as lucrative as, say, a European soccer player’s.

Norwegian Olympic marathon runner Urige Buta probably represents the epitome of under-appreciated athletes. He’s had a rough go of it, though — he made his way to the 2012 Summer Olympic games in London, but it was no easy task.

While other athletes of his caliber train in lavish gyms, he spent his time running through the sewer tunnels of Norway. He’s a janitor by trade, so he’s intimately familiar with the grungier side of Norway’s civic construction. Few would equate such a job with an Olympic athlete, but one of the best aspects of his sport is that talent can truly come from anywhere. Most bring up Jamaican all-star Usain Bolt when talking about unlikely athletes, but he’s received plenty of attention already. Buta, in my mind, really represents the Olympic spirit.

18 Patrick Cote Hit Rock Bottom 

I’m bending the rules a bit here as Patrick Cote didn’t exactly follow a typical career path in the wake of his NHL career, but his story is simply too interesting to not include. Playing somewhere around 100 games are racking up about 300 minutes of penalty time, Cote retired from the National Hockey League in 2008, but his violent tendencies didn’t end there. You have to be something of a maniac to operate successfully in a sport which literally allows fighting between teams, but he took it to an even further extreme.

Apparently, uninterested in the mundanities of a more traditional post-NHL career, Patrick Cole opted to take up bank robbing as a lucrative, yet, illegitimate way to make money. I don’t think I have to say this, but I wouldn’t recommend that anyone become a bank robber should their primary careers dry up. It may have worked for the likes of John Dillinger, but it almost certainly won’t work out for anyone else — least of all Cole, who plead guilty for multiple Montreal-based bank robberies in 2014. He also managed to make headlines again in 2016 when, during his 42-month sentence, he was sent to the hospital as the result of an altercation between himself, a fellow inmate, and some prison guards. You don’t play hockey anymore, Patrick, and I suggest you tone it down a little.

17 Vince Young Became An Ambassador 

TEXANS TITANS

While we often hear stories of the few who were able to rise to the top of the NFL food chain, there are plenty of unsung heroes who play their entire careers without receiving too much recognition. It’s kind of a shame, because, for every Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, there’s dozens of Vince Youngs. The third overall pick in the 2006 draft, I suppose that some may label him a bust, though the expectations placed on players who go in the first round of the draft are typically pretty radical and unfair. He bounced around the league a bit during his tenure in the NFL, though he spent a majority of his career with the Tennessee Titans. Though he initially retired, he’s actually recently announced that he, despite having found other work, he’s looking to get back in the league. Lots of guys say that and never get back in, but anything can happen.

Young landed on his feet following his exit from the league: returning to his collegiate alma mater — he now serves as an ambassador to first generation students at the University of Texas.

He also makes a cool $100,000 annually, which is nothing at which to scoff.

16 Vinnie Johnson Is A Business Man 

vinnie johnson business

If you search for ex-NBA star Vinnie Johnson on google, you’ll immediately be met by a picture of an aging ex-athlete smiling with a slightly blurred image of his business in the background. Though it is something of a mundane position when compared to playing basketball professionally, Johnson has continued to see success in the world of business, just as he has previously in the world of athletics. Once known as “The Microwave,” Johnson is well known for his role in the Detroit Pistons appearances in the 1989 and 1990 NBA Championship series, both of which they would win. Winning back to back titles is no small feat in any sport, and Johnson is doubtlessly well-remembered in Detroit.

A legend of both Detroit sports and commerce, Johnson now owns and operates his own manufacturing business, which he has lovingly dubbed “The Pistons Group.”

While tons of former players tend to find their way back into the world of athletics in some form, be it as a radio broadcaster, assistant coach, or front office manager. Johnson broke from that mold, and, to me, stands out as one of the most lucrative professionals to engage in a career outside the sports world following his retirement.

15 Bryant Reeves Started Farming

Bg Country Bryant Reeves

NBA players are typically tall, lanky types. Bizarrely proportioned, some of the most prolific players appeared to be nearly freakish in size. Reeves, however, though a staggering seven feet tall, was notable for also being over 300 pounds, which is quite heavy for someone who isn’t playing football. He was drafted by the Grizzlies in 1995, and signed a $61 million contract in 1997, which, as you know, is more money than even most athletes will ever see. He was an atypical player for more reasons than one, and his teammates and fans alike took to calling him “Big Country” thanks to his Arizona heritage — though I doubt he felt all that out of place in Memphis.

Though his weight eventually forced his retirement from the league, Shaquille O’Neal himself once said that he was tough to guard, and, when Shaquille says you’re tough to guard, that means you’re a pretty big guy.

Following his retirement, Reeves lived up to his name and purchased a cattle ranch in Arizona, which he now operates. That seems like something an ex-Dallas Cowboy might do, but Reeves is probably used to having few teammates in his league to which he may be adequate compared.

14 Shandon Anderson Hit The Kitchen 

Shandon Anderson didn’t exactly have a remarkable career in the NBA: drafted in the second round of the 1996 draft by the Utah Jazz, he bounced around the league before his retirement ten years later, never really carving out a definitive place for himself in the meantime. That tends to be a hallmark of players who aren’t easily remembered: if you’re in a different city every other season, it’s difficult to build up a fanbase. Such is the nature of professional sports, I suppose. But his time in the National Basketball Association impacted his life in other ways. Though I’m obviously not familiar with the rigours of a decade spent in a professional sporting environment, I imagine that players are often encouraged to develop healthy eating habits.

As a result, Anderson must have taken a liking to either cooking or eating healthy, as he now operates as a chef in a vegetarian restaurant.

Being a chef can’t be easy, especially when you’re limited to nothing but plant-based foods. Yet, Anderson has to be commended for finding such an interesting place following his NBA career, as I would hazard a guess that there aren’t too many ex-NBA chefs out there.

13 Natasha Perdue Keeps On Lifting 

Natasha Perdue Weightlifter

Not every ex-athlete manages to land on their feet after they depart from a career in sports, and we’ve heard tons of tragic tales over the years of on-time stars blowing all of their savings in a few short years. Though it happens all the time, we usually hear stories like that from ex-NFL or NBA players. Very rarely do we get a glimpse into the lives of heavy lifting champions. An olympic athlete stemming from a family of olympic weightlifters, Natasha made her family proud in the 2012 Olympics, though she had already previously been crowned British champion and world number 22. What that means exactly, I couldn’t tell you — but it sure does sound impressive! She claimed that an Olympic medal was out of her reach, but, nevertheless, appearing in the games is a feat in itself.

However, weight lifting doesn’t exactly appear to have paid the bills, as, in the years prior to and following the Games, Perdue worked as a garbage collector in Leeds.

That’s not really an illustrious career, but it does require a person of considerable strength and dexterity. Plus, garbage collectors actually make a good amount more than people realize, so, in actuality, it may be an ideal career choice for the Britain native.

12 David Eckstein Started A Company With His Wife

Though baseball players were once considered to look pretty sharp in their uniforms, I don’t know that anyone would really consider anyone in the MLB to be particularly sensitive to fashion trends. Though just about everyone in the league is paid well, it’s rare to see a baseball player really showing off their new designer outfits. I’m sure it happens on occasion, but it’s just not something that I would equate with the sport — Cam Newton doesn’t play in the MLB, after all.

David Eckstein is one of those rare, trendy ex-ball players who seems to care about what they wear. So much so, in fact, that he actually co-founded a women-centric clothing line with his wife.

It’s honestly something of a strange setup, as the brand, called Her Universe, caters to the seemingly slim market of female science-fiction fans. Most of their clothes appear to be puns on Star Wars or Star Trek tropes, and it’s an odd thing to see from an ex-shortstop. Starting the company in 2010 and retiring in 2012, the company quickly rose to prominence following Eckstein’s exit from the league. Though he is regarded as something of a legend among Saint Louis Cardinals fans, it just seems a bit strange that he would shift his career choice so drastically.

11 Ali Williams Got Involved With Shoes

Ali Williams Minor League Baseball

If you search for Ali Williams on Google, you don’t even come up with the guy to whom I’m referring; you’ll most likely come across some New Zealander who made a name for himself in the '80s and '90s by playing rugby. That’s great for him, but I, like most people living in the U.S., know exactly nothing about that sport. The Ali Williams I’m talking about is the definition of a dream denied. I don’t mean that to slight the guy, but he, like many, floundered around in the MLB minor leagues before dropping from the scene entirely. As I’ve said, the story of many would-be pro athletes is one of mediocrity, and, though did get paid to play, he never really made it anywhere in the league.

He eventually dropped out and opened his own shoe store.

I suppose that, lacking the ability to make it in the majors, it makes sense to go into business selling the equipment with which you’ve inadvertently spent you familiarizing. I’m guessing that, these days, nobody is interested in Ali Williams signature, and his likeness probably never made it to a card, but that’s how it goes these days in the MLB.

10 Brian Johnson Focused On Numbers

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros

No, the longtime lead singer of the famous Australian rock and roll band AC/DC didn’t have a career in sport, this is a totally different guy. This Brian Johnson was famous for playing eight years in the MLB with the San Francisco Giants, and he’s most remembered for knocking one out of the park in a 1997 playoff game to sent his team to that year’s National League West title game. Baseball often comes across as a highly analytical sport, and league-sanctioned scouts and armchair statisticians alike pay close attention to the details of the game, likely more attuned to some of the statistical nuances than the players themselves.

Brian Johnson, however, likely had a knack for that kind of stuff since he later went on to pursue a career as a banker with J.P. Morgan Chase.

Now, I can’t imagine more of a radical career change: he went from a dream occupation to one of the most notoriously soul-crushing industries in which you could be employed.  He must have really had a passion for it, or perhaps I’m simply overdramatizing what it’s like to work at a major bank. I don’t think I am, though; it really doesn’t sound like too much fun.

9 Jimmy Yang Drove Around A Party Bus

Jimmy Wang Yang WWE

Jimmy Wang Yang has probably had the most bizarre career out of any human to ever live, and I mean that sincerely. A native Ohioan of oriental heritage, Yang began a career as a WWE wrestler in 1999, and his involvement in the wrestling world would continue throughout the ensuing decade. The WWE has played host to many a wacky, semi-sarcastic character, but I think Yang should hold a special place in the hearts of most wrestling fans for his outlandish East meets West appearance and personality.

Upon retiring from the wrestling world, he was briefly employed as a pest control agent before giving that up to pursue one of the strangest business strategies I’ve ever heard. Yang bought a bus covered it in camo and drove around calling it “Jimmy’s Redneck Party Bus.”

He would drive around his native Cincinnati and charge people for a ride on his bus, though he also rented it out. This is the craziest thing I’ve heard of any ex-athlete doing, and I would like to know how he came up with the idea. He still wrestles occasionally, and, in 2009, Pro Wrestling Illustrated ranked him 169 of 500 in their PWI 500 list. I’m sure he found that to be quite an honor.

8 Tito Santana Went From The Ring To Spanish Class

Tito Santana SI

Merced Solis, better known by his stage name of Tito Santana, was a wrestling icon of the 1980s, and anyone who was interested in the sport at the time probably recognizes his name. He was pretty successful in the WWE at the time, and, though more modern names have drowned out some of the older guys, Santana might even remain as one of the few names non-fans could recognize. Even though the WWE doesn’t get much respect in the world of sports, you can’t deny that this guy was in pretty great shape, and I certainly wouldn’t want to have picked a fight with him in his heyday. Honestly, he’s 64 now, and I still wouldn’t want to have to go up against him. Well, I wouldn’t want to have to wrestle against anyone, in all honesty.

Following his illustrious wrestling career, he exited the league and pursued a slightly humorous career as a high-school Spanish teacher. Pro wrestlers are seldom heralded for their intellectual capabilities, but, beyond that, you might think that Santana’s status as an ex-wrestler would essentially bar him from teaching. Could you imagine being a wrestling fan of the '80s only to enter high school and have Tito Santana as your teacher?

7 Spike Dudley Got Serious 

Spike Dudley

Here’s another example of a man who traded a fabulous career in sports in for something much, much less interesting. I don’t claim to be a great career adviser, and I certainly understand that these guys can’t remain competitive forever, but, given his status as a once-famous WWE icon, you’d think that he could have avoided landing one of the least interesting positions available. Dudley was a two-time tag team champion in the ECW (say that three times fast), and he was an eight-time Hardcore Champion in the WWE.

He’s 45 now, however, and he decided to hang that up years ago in exchange for a comfortable position as a financial adviser with a firm known as MassMutual.

I’m getting a headache already merely thinking about how extremely mundane a career as a financial adviser must seem when you’ve spent your younger years as a tag team wrestler. Perhaps comparable to Clark Kent’s day job as a reporter for the Daily Planet, I’d have to imagine that Dudley has to, at times, suppress his urges to suplex his clients through his office desk. You might argue that I’m overselling it, and I’m sure the guy makes a great living doing what he does, but I just can’t imagine someone like that having the patience for that line of work.

6 Terrell Owens Was A Model

Terrell Owenes Eagles Model

This one hurts: I’m a lifelong fan of the Philadelphia Eagles, and, though I appreciate the accomplishments of Terrell Owens, I can’t help but cringe each time I am reminded of his impromptu driveway workout sessions. He also, at the time, signed one of the most expensive contracts for his position in league history, and he was famously part of the shoulda, coulda, woulda 2004 Eagles team which lost the Super Bowl to the New England Patriots. That’s alright, though, the 2018 title has done much to heal those wounds, though I still find it hard to forgive some of his antics.

He only played in Philadelphia for 22 games — that’s one game short of a season and a half, but he made a big splash while he was there. Suspended by then-head coach Andy Reid for his antics, he’s sort of a love-him-or-hate-him type of figure in Southern Pennsylvania. Did you know, however, that he spent some of his time after the NFL as a model? Yes, seriously, T.O. went on a brief stint as a model, which damaged his reputation slightly and made him out to be even more of a pariah to those who already didn’t like him.

5 Shawn Kemp Closed Up Shop

Shawn Kemp

While most Mendoza-line athletes bow out of their sports to the disappointment of few, beloved icons who’ve spent the majority of their careers in the same city are often afforded opportunities to start up other means of employment in that same place. For instance, tons of once-great players have gone on to open sports bars or restaurants, and I’d be willing to bet that nearly every sports town has an establishment like that.

Such is the story of Shawn Kemp, an ex-NBA player who spent a long and illustrious career in Seattle. Though the masses don’t quite know his name, he’s certainly a well-respected figure in the state of Washington. He, like many others, made an attempt to open a sports bar following his retirement in 2003. Electing to call his diner Oskar’s, Kemp was in business for a few years before the skyrocketing price of rent in Seattle eventually forced him to close up shop. It’s sad to see something like that go under as ex-player-run sports bars are the lifeblood of any major city. Something is definitely missing in Seattle now that Supersonics fans can’t watch the game at Oskars, but I’m sure something similar has already taken Kemp’s bar’s place.

4 John Bracewell Joined The Church 

John Bracewell

I, like so many other Americans, know absolutely nothing about cricket. Though it’s popular in some parts of Europe, I’d imagine that my viewing of a cricket match would be akin to someone who hasn’t ever heard of football watching an NFL game for the first time. I don’t understand anything about it, and the whole thing just looks ridiculous. Like a colony of ants marching along, I’m sure cricket players are deliberate in their actions, I just don’t know what they’re trying to accomplish.

Though I really couldn’t comment on his legacy or ability as an athlete, I’m lead to believe that John Bracewell is something of a big name in the world of cricket. I’ve gone over a list of his accolades, but I seriously can’t make heads nor tails of what they mean, so I’ll just assume he was a pretty accomplished player. He’s was also the coach of the Irish National cricket team, a position which he couldn’t have gotten easily. Also, at one time, he was a sexton. From the cricket pitch to the graveyard, I suppose. I really don’t see the connection, but perhaps his batting skills come in handy when it comes to wielding a shovel.

3 David Wells Became A Coach 

david wells

Every little league player dreams of getting coached by a one-time MLB star, though, in my experience, the coach of most of these teams is simply just one of the child’s parents attempting to live out their sport-star fantasies vicariously. Now, that might not always true; the school I attended didn’t put much emphasis on sports, so other little-leaguers may have had drastically different experiences. In fact, I recall a distinct period in which neither our high school football nor baseball teams had a coach, which speaks volumes of our interest in such endeavors.

That said, the students of Point Loma High School in San Diego, California actually get to be coached by an ex-pro baseball player. David “Boomer” Wells, famous for his time spent pitching with the New York Yankees, took it upon himself to coach the school’s baseball club. Though far from a household name when it comes to the sport, he once managed to pitch a perfect game, and I would argue that simply making it to the majors is an accomplishment in and of itself. It must be a source of entertainment for the now 52-year-old retired athlete, and it’s kind of a shame that more ex-MLB players don’t do this sort of thing.

2 Randy Johnson Is Artistic 

Have you ever watched a play in an NFL game in which some hapless sideline-bound cameraman gets bowled over by an out-of-control player? As long as nobody gets hurt, it can be a hilarious thing to watch, and I think everybody breathes a small sigh of relief that they weren’t in the path of such a destructive play. This kind of thing happens relatively often, and you’d think that an ex-player, seeing the dangers of professional journalism firsthand, might think to avoid the job.

While nowhere near as dangerous as football photography, Randy Johnson decided to put down the ball and glove and pick up a camera when he retired in 2009.

Nicknamed “The Big Unit” by his New York Yankee teammates, he hung in for a total of 22 seasons in the MLB, which is an impressively long career for any athlete. Today he can be seen on the sidelines of many professional baseball and football games, and he’s garnered a bit of a following as a photographer. Many of his ilk go relatively unrecognized for their work, so it’s nice to see that at least one sports photojournalist has managed to make a name for himself amidst a pretty overlooked line of work.

1 Adrian Dantley Wanted To Give Back 

The life of a professional basketball player must be a pretty exciting one. Even if you’re in the D league, the thrill of playing for a paying audience must be hard to replicate. Some hardened pros might be calloused to it, but I’m sure some of the less-celebrated players appreciated the support and fanaticism. Yet, it seems that retired NBA player Adrian Dantley sought some peace and quiet in the years following his career as a basketball player. He took up a job as a crossing guard in his native state of Maryland, and, though the job pays, I strongly doubt that he’s doing it for the money.

He earns a poultry $14,000 a year, but he says that he took the job in order to give back to his community.

He’s been quoted as saying that he wanted to help the kids, and that he didn’t want to merely sit in the house all day, which is a pretty noble goal. Plus, he’s honest, which is always a great thing to see in an athlete. It must be strange going from a life on the court to a life on the elementary school pavement, but it’s great to hear that he as an interest in upholding the safety standards of his community.

References: thesportster.com, sportingz.com, thesportster.com, bleacherreport.com

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