Since 1876, approximately 16,000 young men have enjoyed at least a taste of glory by appearing in big league games, many of them only a few times. By the end of the 2009 season, out of the millions who have aspired, fewer than three thousand individuals will have had the good fortune to be a major league regular for five or more seasons. Most of these reached the big leagues in their late teens or early twenties, peaked in their late twenties, and played into their mid or late thirties. The median age at which they hung up their spikes was 35. However, there have been 197 young men who played in their last big league contest at the age of 30 or younger. With a focus on the stories of 15 greats and near-greats, this book provides information on the 197 men who played their final major league game before their 31st birthday. Why did their careers end so soon? The reasons are varied and include drug and alcohol abuse, suicide, illness, injury, banishment, and declining ability among others.