Roger Clemens’ MVP Baseball – The Rocket went six innings, giving up 10 hits and five earned in a loss to the Tigers the day this game was released, Sept. 12, 1992. He’d play 15 more seasons — four more with the Red Sox — but the once certain Hall of Famer has faced steroid allegations and now perjury charges. Consequently, all the writers who have said they won’t vote for someone linked to steroids have a tough decision to make.
Cal Ripken Jr. Baseball – Baseball’s Iron Man was coming off his second MVP season and first Gold Glove when this game came out on June 1, 1992. He would go on to win his second, and last, Gold Glove that year and would appear in his 10th straight All-Star Game a little more than a month later. Ripken was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007 and is currently making the rounds speaking about the importance of perseverance.
Frank Thomas Big Hurt Baseball – This game was released on Sept. 4, 1995 following back-to-back MVP awards for The Big Hurt. Thomas’ career probably didn’t end the way he would have liked it to, bouncing between Oakland and Toronto, but his .301 career average paired with 521 home runs make him a virtual lock for the Hall of Fame once he becomes eligible in 2013. Thomas was also one of the few power hitters of his era not to be linked to PEDs.
Tony La Russa Baseball ’95 – Released on June 1, 1994 — just two months before players went on strike for nearly eight months — this game came out toward the end of La Russa’s time in Oakland. He moved on to St. Louis where he was named Manager of the Year in 2002 and won his second career World Series title in 2006. La Russa’s 4,934 games managed ranks second all-time and his .535 win percentage ranks eighth among managers with at least 3,000 games managed.
Tommy Lasorda Baseball – When this game was released on Oct. 6, 1989, Lasorda’s Dodgers had just finished fourth in their division, but were a year removed from a World Series title. Including that season, it was six years before the Dodgers made the playoffs again, getting swept in the division series in back-to-back years to end Lasorda’s career. Lasorda retired in 1996 after 21 seasons managing the Dodgers and the Hall of Famer continues to be a seemingly omnipresent figure around baseball and the Dodgers.