DON SUTTON (1966-88)
The former Dodger knew early on that he wanted to be a
broadcaster after he retired, so he began to practice by sitting
in the dugout on his days off and doing play-by-play into a tape
recorder. He joined the Braves' crew in 1989, the year after he
retired, and now works 150 games a year. "I never envisioned
myself just packing up and going off and running a dive boat,"
says Sutton, 59. "I always assumed I would have to work, and if I
was lucky, it would be in this sport."
TOM SEAVER (1967-86)
When not broadcasting his annual slate of 50 Mets games, the
two-time Cy Young Award winner, 59, returns to Napa Valley,
Calif., to tend to the three acres of Cabernet grapes on his
property. He'll be ready to produce his first wine in 2005 but
hasn't decided if he will have his own label or sell his harvest
to someone else. "It's very much like baseball," he says of his
vineyard. "It develops over the course of a season. And then it
all gets pruned back, and the next year you start all over
STEVE CARLTON (1965-88)
One of the hardest pitchers to hit remains, even in retirement,
the hardest to catch. While declining virtually every interview
request since 1974, the former Phillies great, 59, embraces the
quiet of Durango, Colo., where he makes his home. The winningest
living pitcher is an avid golfer, playing four to five rounds a
week at the Dalton Ranch Club.
NOLAN RYAN (1966-93)
Baseball's strikeout king has three Texas cattle ranches and is a
majority owner of two Astros minor league clubs as well as a bank
in Round Rock. "I'm much busier now than I was as a player," says
GAYLORD PERRY (1962-83)
In his numerous personal appearances each year the former
spitballer plays the country yarn-spinner, recounting tales about
the slippery stuff. When not on the road, Perry, 65, splits time
between his 38-acre home in Spruce Pine, N.C., where he runs a
small livestock operation, and what he calls his "fishing home"
on the Outer Banks.
ROGER CLEMENS (1984-)
When Clemens left Game 4 of the 2003 World Series after a
seventh-inning strikeout, his career was over. Of that he was 99%
sure. His plans changed two months later when his buddy, Andy
Pettitte, signed with Clemens's hometown Astros, igniting a
Rocket comeback. "It's been as good as I hoped," says Clemens,
42. "I'm glad I left that one percent open."
PHIL NIEKRO (1964-87)
When not fishing, the 65-year-old coaches pitching for an
American Legion team. He makes a few trips each year to see the
Braves, but he mostly follows his former team from his Flowery
Branch, Ga., home, set on a lake. "I find the parking here
easier," the old knuckleballer says. "The popcorn is free, and
it's a pretty good seat."
SEVEN B/W PHOTOS: PHOTOGRAPHS BY JAY L. CLENDENIN/POLARIS