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Every athlete in every sport eventually declines with age. It’s just more noticeable in the greats. For the stars who have reached amazing heights, the fall from grace can be long and painful to watch — or as in the case of slugger Michihiro Ogasawara, sudden and confusing.

Every player close to the finish line still feels they can perform at a high level, but Father Time always wins out. Some manage to walk away before the decline is complete, while others have the decision made for them, callous as it may seem at the time when a franchise nudges a former great toward the door.

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