Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Lewis to retire from NFL

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By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

Baltimore Ravens Ray Lewis told his teammates his was retiring at the end of the season, according to reports.

Lewis missed most of the year after tearing a triceps muscle, but that didn’t diminish his career. On the field, Lewis has been one of the best defensive players. He’s a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and MVP of Super Bowl XXXV.

Lewis has been a mainstay in Baltimore since 1996, and the news hit some Ravens hard.

Daniel Downey, a Baltimore Ravens fan and collector, reflected on Lewis’ career for Beckett.

“You have to be from Baltimore to know what Ray Lewis means to football and the Baltimore Ravens. There are two familiar faces of Baltimore, and that is Cal Ripken, Jr. and Ray Lewis. They both do so much for Baltimore and the people in it.

If you have never been to a Ravens home game, you never have to experience what Ray Lewis does to the team. He comes out of the tunnel through blasting fire to Nelly’s “Hot in Here” and the whole stadium always erupts. You always see him bring his fellow players in a huddle numerous times during the game to pump them up, winning or losing.

He is the leader of the Baltimore Ravens. He motivates every player. Every rookie and every other player of Ravens have nothing but good things to say about him and his work/play effort. I know even though Ray Lewis will not be playing next year, I know that he will be a big part of the Ravens organization for many years to come and will still be a big part of the Baltimore sports scene. Hopefully we will be able to get him one more Super Bowl ring this year!”

Lewis currently has 2,902 cards in the Beckett database (you can find his full checklist here).

Ray Lewis RC checklist
– 1996 Bowman’s Best #164
– 1996 Collectors’ Choice #20
– 1996 Fleer #165
– 1996 Pro Line Intense #59
– 1996 Pro Line Memorabilia #59
– 1996 Score Board Lasers #99
– 1996 SkyBox Impact Rookies #6
– 1996 Stadium Club #351

Susan Lulgjuraj is an editor of Beckett Football. You can email her here with questions, comments or ideas. Follow her on Twitter here.


  1. Posted January 3, 2013 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    I live in Maryland and you are exactly right, I have never seen anyone pump up the home crowd and team as much as Ray. He is a force and it has been like having a coach on the field for all these years. No other defensive player in NFL history has played at such a hugh level for 17 years. It is incredible he’s lasted this long and it has been an absolute joy watching him. All NFL fans will miss his competitiveness and onfield play, but everyone in Baltimore will always appreciate the special relationship he’s had and all the good he’s done for so many. Thank you Ray and thank you Susan for highlighting the greatest defensive player to ever play the game.

  2. Kollectornet
    Posted January 3, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    As a Baltimore transplant (now in Atlanta) I have always considered Ray Lewis and Cal Ripen as #1 and #2 in Baltimore Sports. I didn’t appreciate the Ravens and Ray Lewis when I lived in the area. I thought I was catching Ray in his last home game last year with the Ravens against the Texans in the playoffs but it is real this year. He will be deeply missed. Everytime I see a Ravens game from now on, I will still be looking for him in the middle of the field, on the sideline, somewhere around that team. I hope he make it back as a Linebackers coach or in the front office. Really, the greatest of all time in Ravens History and at his position.

  3. jostens
    Posted January 4, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    his retirement means more work for criminal prosecuters

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