You feel old yet?
2016 hasn’t been a kind year to sports fans – unless you’re a Cleveland sports fan.
Consider 2016 the year that 90’s kids saw the stars of their youth leave the games they’ve dominated.
With yesterday’s announcement that Yankees’ slugger Alex Rodriguez would be walking away from the game next week, his name gets added to an ever-growing list of sports stars that we’ve lost to Father Time in 2016 alone. The sports-world is continuously changing, and becoming more and more a young man’s game. Besides the stars we’ve lost to retirement this year, there’s been countless others in recent memory: Derek Jeter, Jeff Gordon, Steve Nash and plenty of others fit the bill. Help us Kevin Garnett, you’re our only hope…
So how do we cope with the loss of the stars we watched growing up? We have to embrace those on the stage today. Here’s five 25-and-under studs who can restore your faith in the sports you love, and you can expect to play at the height of their game for years to come:
5. Connor McDavid
The NHL’s new wonderkid, McDavid took the league by storm in his rookie season despite missing time with injury. With 48 points in 45 games, the 19-year old already looks like a seasoned veteran. Keep an eye north of the border, because you might be watching the next Wayne Gretzky take center stage in Edmonton.
4. Bryce Harper
Trout’s NL counterpart, Harper, 23, is another budding MLB superstar. Last year’s NL MVP had an all-time offensive season with 42 home runs, a .330 average, and 99 RBIs. While he hasn’t been as consistent as Trout due to injuries and some immaturity, the tools are there for this to be MLB’s version of Larry Bird vs. Magic Johnson. He does have MLB’s best hair though…
3. Odell Beckham Jr.
Just 23 years old, with the stats that OBJ has racked up in his first two seasons in the NFL, it feels like he’s been in the league a lot longer than he has. With 2,755 receiving yards and 25 touchdowns through his first two campaigns with the New York Giants, Beckham seems well on his way to securing his place among the league’s elite.
2. Karl-Anthony Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns or Kareem-Abdul Towns? It was hard to tell the difference in the 19 year-old Timberwolves’ star’s rookie of the year winning season. Year one was outstanding, and now Year Two, with a young roster that keeps improving, Towns and the “Young Wolves” could make a statement this season.
1. Mike Trout
If you’re looking for the next face-of-baseball, look no further than the stud centerfielder of the Los Angeles Angels. At just 25 years old, Trout already has an AL MVP, a 40 homer season, and a 40 stolen base season under his belt. He hasn’t even hit his prime years yet – imagine topping the career he’s already put together.