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Whether you’re a casual fan, life-long advocate or just a plain obsessed about all things sports, when your favorite player calls it quits it can be quite shocking. You remember what you were doing and where you were at when news broke about Sandy Koufax‘s abrupt withdrawal from the game of baseball. Or, even when Jim Brown decided to hang up his cleats.

As we get ready for another season of NFL football, pro athletes who walk away for good are lucky to keep their good years (and endorsement deals) on the up-and-up. To celebrate the love of the game, these are The 15 Most Shocking Retirement Speeches in sports history.

Photo: ESPN

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