I wish this had more to do w/ strictly baseball, but it doesn't.
This whole Lance Armstrong, 7 straight thing has sparked up a lot of debate about him being the best athlete ever. You hear names like Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemuiex, Gordie Howe, Micheal Jordan, Bill Russell, Jim Brown, Jerry Rice thrown into the mix as well and deservedly so, they're the greats.
Maybe it's just me, but to me, the title of the Greatest Athlete Ever should go to an athlete, not a player. Most of these guys excelled at one sport and that was it. I'll take guys like Bo Jackson and the Deion Sanders that excelled at 2 sports. Hell Jim Brown was an all-american lacrosse player, he belongs. Jackie Robinson was a 3-sport athlete at UCLA. To be the greatest ever, shouldn't you have to excel at just more than one endevour?
I will probably be beaten to a pulp about this, but that's just the way I feel about Greatest Ever Athlete Discussion.
See I agree, guys like Dave Winfield, Jim Thorpe, Jim Brown, Carl Lewis and Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson (yes it was T&F, but it was many track and field events).
So at least I'm not the only one who feels this way.
I also see the other side of the coin where can no longer focus on all the sports he plays b/c one pays much more than the other (See Jordan's baseball career and Charlie Ward's college football career). That part does suck.
Deion was an All State High School basketball player too. I think I also brought up Danny Ainge in this conversation on another forum for winning the Wooden Award and 2 Rings with the Celtics, playing parts of 3 seasons with the Blue Jays, being a star high school football player and also being a scratch golfer.
Drunken Rhino, I agree with your way of looking at this.
Another guy is Iverson, who was considered a top QB prospect until he went basketball only. And don't forget Ron Curry and Julius Peppers, who both played onsome pretty good basketball teams at UNC and now play in the NFL (Peppers is clearly the better performer here in obht sports). Tony Gonzalez played basketball at Cal as well and was cosidered to have NBA potential.
But I have to give it to Bo as the best ever, with the caveat that I am disqualifying Brown, Robinson, Thorpe etc since I never saw them play.
It is for sure a tough thing to debate. Mike Vick is a great athelete for example. If he chose a sport other than football he very well could've been a star in that sport as well but maybe he didn't have the interest in other sports or he just loved football so much that he never gave them a try.
All of the true things I am about to tell you are shameless lies
Fool42 wrote:It is for sure a tough thing to debate. Mike Vick is a great athelete for example. If he chose a sport other than football he very well could've been a star in that sport as well but maybe he didn't have the interest in other sports or he just loved football so much that he never gave them a try.
Or maybe the difference today is that you can make a ton more money specializing in one sport.
Derrek Lee could have played basketball for UNC and he decided not to. John Elway was drafted by the Yanks (I think). Bo Jackson is the greatest athlete ever. 240 lbs and running a 4.3 40 yard dash is just gross. Most pro athletes played more than one sport.