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11-24-2012, 11:32 PM
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It's hard to find a comparison to Howe because he played to an age well past the norm for hockey players, especially for someone playing forward as opposed to goalie. There aren't many players in other major team sports who played well past what would be considered the norm for the age to end a career.

On that basis, Nolan Ryan might be the best comparison in baseball. There have been pitchers that played well into their 40's, but once they get into that age range they're usually relying on knuckleballs and slow junk to baffle hitters, i.e. Phil Niekro, Charlie Hough, Hoyt Wilhelm, etc. Ryan was an anomaly in that he was still a starting pitcher and still throwing HEAT - having a 301-strikeout season at age 42!

As far as non-pitchers, guys like Cobb and Ted Williams were still above average and effective hitters in their final few years, whereas Willie Mays and Pete Rose both played a few years past their effectiveness as hitters.

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