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Raines in Cooperstown Meme Day

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Since it’s timely, I’ll bring this meme here:

  • Tim Raines
  • Pedro Martinez
  • Al MacInnis
  • Jarome Iginla
  • Edgar Martinez

HM: Richard Sherman, Larry Walker, Doug Gilmour, Russell Wilson, Vladimir Guerrero

I’ll re-up and concur with Jonah, who actually helped make this happen.  Now Expos fans need to pay it forward and beat the drum for Trammell and Whitaker. (And Kenny Lofton.)

 

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  • If all your favorite athletes just happen to be men, you should consider changing your sports consumption patterns a little bit.

    • howard

      why? the sports i like to watch are baseball, basketball, and soccer, and while there are some excellent women basketball and soccer players, none of them happens to be in my top 5. why is it mandatory that i start watching gymnastics or tennis instead?

      • It’s not mandatory. I said ‘consider changing.’ And if you are a fan of soccer or basketball and ‘just happen’ to not enjoy watching any women in those sports, then I would reiterate that you might find a lot of enjoyment in watching Marta or Louisa Necib or Christen Press or Sue Bird. You are welcome to ignore that advice, but I don’t really see why you would want to.

        • howard77

          nice smug distortion: there’s a huge difference between “none happens to be in my TOP 5” and your made-up version that “just happen not to enjoy watching ANY women in those sports.”

          nor have you provided an actual answer to my question.

          i think this conversation is over.

          • I was unfair in conflating ‘none happen to be in my top five’ with ‘don’t enjoy watching.’ I would still encourage you to consider why they don’t happen there, and maybe think about how that could affect your sports consumption going forward.

            I didn’t answer your question about why you have to start watching gymnastics because it was a ridiculous question.

    • brad

      Oops, replied to howard first.
      But he asks the right question. Why? I’m only a fan of baseball among sportsballs, anymore, and I wasn’t a fan of tennis or the individual Olympic sports women shine in, as a kid. I should have forced myself to love women’s soccer despite not watching Premier league or anything more than the occasional World Cup final?

      • sibusisodan

        The obvious rejoinder, with which I am in 75% sympathy, is: how hard is it to consume a sports product you _do_ enjoy – but the women’s version rather than the men’s?

        Now that UK broadcasters are choosing to give broadcast time and column inches to women in sports I follow, there’s no barrier to me enjoying it. Which is great (England women just won the cricket world cup!). It expands my sporting horizons and I don’t have to do anything different.

        I don’t know anything about baseball so it may be that the barriers to even following women’s baseball are high.

        • Scott Lemieux

          how hard is it to consume a sports product you _do_ enjoy – but the women’s version rather than the men’s?

          Ummm….hard? I do watch women’s hockey during the Olympics. Pro women’s hockey is not televised in the U.S. and there are no local teams. There are no pro women’s baseball or football teams. I don’t watch any other sports regularly. I did go to some college hoops when I lived in Seattle, and FWIW I saw more women’s games than men’s games.

          • sibusisodan

            Thanks – I didn’t know about the absence of pro or amateur women’s competitions in a lot of these sports.

          • The NWHL (pro women’s hockey) is available to stream for free in the US. I don’t watch hockey myself, but plenty of my friends do and they find the league very enjoyable and easy to follow.

          • Captain Oblivious

            Women’s pro fastpitch softball has been around, on and off, for decades. Women’s college softball WS has been airing on ESPN for years.

            • Scott Lemieux

              I watch women’s college softball occasionally and attended a dozen or so games live in grad school. I never watch men’s NCAA, on TV or live. It is true that no women’s softball players are among my favorite athletes of all time.

          • Joe Paulson

            Yeah.

            One thing that comes to mind is that there is a traditional game where women members of Congress (Kirsten Gillibrand pitches) play member of the press. After the member of Congress was shot, they aired a Congress game on C-SPAN, but in general, don’t know of these games being aired.

            Seems like it would have a small audience at least.

          • DocAmazing

            It’s criminal that women’s field hockey isn’t televised. In addition to being an amazing display of athleticism (when it’s played well), it also features women dressed like Catholic schoolgirls running up and down a muddy field swinging sticks. The Dada element alone made me watch in in college.

        • brad

          There is no women’s baseball, even in high school they don’t play it. There may well be competitive fast pitch softball leagues, but not such that I’m even aware of their existence.

          I’d love and welcome a woman professional player, most likely a relief pitcher or a utility infielder, but I disagree with the premise. Many women only enjoy a few Olympic sports such as ice skating or gymnastics (many women enjoy men’s pro league sports as well, obviously) are they in error as well? Sportsball is an escape, not a political act. I don’t enjoy football, really, anymore because of the combo of awareness of CTE, the corporate/military vibe, and the overall violent rapeyness of the players in particular among rapey violent sportsballers, but that’s not politics so much as reality.

          • sibusisodan

            Fair points on the lack of sports to watch!

            I can’t follow you on the ‘X isn’t a political act’ though. Sport consumption is political in the same way that any cultural consumption is political. The argument rightly gets short shrift in relation to film or music, and it should do here too.

            • brad

              True, but there’s also a real risk of elitism. If someone just plain actually likes Kid Rock’s music they may be objectively wrong, but so long as they’re not using that enjoyment as an argument for his Senate campaign then there’s nothing to be gained by anyone for judging them for it. Some people like Coldplay. They have bad taste, but they get pleasure from it, it’s harmless.

              Not all art or music is so inconsequential, sure, but most is.

              • sibusisodan

                I own 3 Coldplay albums, and even I’m not convinced I shouldn’t be pilloried for that.

                I wasn’t talking so much about taste as patterns of consumption and representation . My tastes are my tastes. But ‘keep your politics out of my tastes’ is not a very lovely argument.

                There’s a political problem when, say, the Oscars tilt towards white people, or the Hugos are male dominated. Saying ‘I watch films to escape, stop dragging politics into it’ is non-responsive. Same – I think? – for sports.

                • Right.

                  Imagine that the vast, overwhelming percentage of commercial music was produced and performed by men, even as men and women played music at roughly equal levels. Plus, no advertising dollars were spent to promote music by women. And a huge percentage of music consumers ‘just happened’ to exclusively enjoy music by men. It would certainly be the case that seeking out and discovering good music by women would be harder and many wouldn’t want to do it. But it sure wouldn’t mean that music consumption was non-political.

                  And it would also mean that plenty of normal folks, who just want to enjoy the thing and not worry about politics would be DENIED access to some wonderful songs because the culture was pushing them aside for gendered reasons. So while it would be ‘political’ to seek out those excluded artists, it would also be an individual aesthetic good.

                • brad

                  Men and women have always freely made music together. Politically I expect I more or less completely agree with you, Title X and greater promotion of women’s sports leagues are good things.
                  But to compare to music, some find enjoyment in that seeking out, in having a broad and diverse set of tastes, and some find specific niches they particularly enjoy and settle in there to focus on. Each is fine, to critique how someone chooses to relax is unfair to that individual person, provided they’re not forcing their tastes on others.

                • brad

                  But the Oscars are a collective thing, they’re not meant as recognition simply of personal enjoyment but of artistry and other forms of achievement. I mean, the kid in me loves Star Wars so much more even than Annie Hall, but that doesn’t mean I’d call it the better film. Personal enjoyment does have consequences and can lead to cultural exclusions, absolutely, but something so personal and individual as a top 5 fav sports players shouldn’t be judged politically, is my limited point.
                  I mean, I love Ali as a cultural icon, but fuck boxing. It’s two different worlds, which absolutely do interact but don’t have to define each other.

          • efgoldman

            Sportsball is an escape, not a political act.

            Hoo-Damn-ray!!
            That’s basically what I was trying to say, in a lot more, less coherent werdz, when all the bullshit about Kraft and Belichik and Orange Shitgibbon was around last fall. I assume the huge majority of franchise owners, and many more players than not, in all sports, are RWNJs that I’d never want to even have a cup of coffee with.

          • Joe Paulson

            For some, sports do go beyond mere enjoyment of a game. For instance, many fans root for their home country players. Obviously, back in the day, black ball players were even more civil rights icons than they would be now. Some fans like certain players because they match their religious beliefs too, Tim Tebow just an exaggerated example. And, yes, women’s sports is in part a matter of girl power and so on. This even goes to the media — a woman commentator on Sunday Night Baseball was a big deal and there’s an article in the NYT now regarding it. Hopefully it isn’t just that. Should be fun too.

        • howard77

          there is no barrier to watching: the question was about top 5, not make a list of the athletes you like regardless of length.

  • CrunchyFrog

    Monica Seles
    Michael Jordan
    Pele
    Roger Federer
    Walter Payton

  • brad

    Hmmm
    Mariano Rivera
    Bernie Williams
    Mario Lemieux
    Rickey Henderson
    Barry Bonds

  • Incontinentia Buttocks

    In no particular order:

    Rickey Henderson
    Martina Navratilova
    Joe Montana
    Russell Westbrook
    Muhammad Ali

    (I hate lists like this. These are the first five that came to mind. If you’d asked me at some other time, the list might be different.)

    • Downpup E

      Henderson shows up a lot for good reasons. Base stealing, of course, but also the weird stance, power, intensity and always having a weird communications gap with his manager, even though he was doing everything they could want.

      • quakerinabasement

        And personal discipline. The man played major league ball well into his forties because he kept himself in spectacular condition.

  • sibusisodan

    Jessica Ennis
    Graeme Swann
    Simone Biles
    Andrew Flintoff
    Dan Carter

    (plus ditto what IB says at the end)

  • howard

    5 minutes was long enough to devote to making this list!

    mickey mantle
    walt frazier
    lionel messi
    thurman munson
    julius erving

  • billcinsd

    I’m going with, in no particular order

    Men

    Lloyd Moseby
    Warren Jabali
    Darnell Hillman
    Julius Erving
    Lemar Parrish

    Women
    Lorena Ochoa
    Sue Bird
    Kristine Lilly
    Sheryl Swopes
    Meredith Rainey

    • Scott Lemieux

      The Shaker! Excellent obscure choice.

      • billcinsd

        Childhood friend of Rickey Henderson, brought up too early, left MLB too early because of back problems, in between a fine 5-tool player

  • Captain Oblivious

    The Williams Sisters
    Martina Navritalova
    Billie Jean King
    Ichiro!
    LeBron James

    HM: Martin St Louis

    • Scott Lemieux

      Ichiro! could definitely have been on my HM list.

  • efgoldman

    Iginla was a great player, to be sure, but I never thought of him as “exciting.”
    For hockey, Orr. Esposito (Phil), Bobby Hull, Dryden (college and NHL), Messier (exciting scary for opponents)
    HM Gordie Howe

    For hoops, Russell, Cousy, Magic, Bird, Tiny
    HM Wilt, Shaq, Worthy

    For baseball, one year, Yaz in ’67. Career, Ozzie Smith, Pedro, peak Clemens, young Fred Lynn (with the Red Sox, not after), George Brett (another scary opponent)
    HM: Reggie, Brooks Robinson

    Football, Tarkenton, OJ, Bruce Taylor (great CB, saw him in college and pros), Sayers, [you don’t know how much it hurts to type this – I hope Denverite’s not around] Elway.
    HM Stabler

    Heavy Boston bias? Sure. it’s what I grew up with. I expect if gulag shows up, his will be mostly Yankees, Rangers, Knicks.

    And yes, I’m old. Nobody on this list I didn’t see lots on TV, and at least a few times in person.

    • billcinsd

      I’m a little surprised you saw Bruce Taylor much on TV, as I would not have guessed BU was on TV much or that you got many Niners games in the early to mid 70s

      • efgoldman

        that you got many Niners games in the early to mid 70s

        I saw his college career in person. I believe he was a class or two behind me (’68). I was always in the band, so went to every game. The BU teams were hideously awful, but he was worth showing up for.
        CBS and Monday Night showed a national game (400 on Sundays), so we saw a lot of Cowboys and 49ers.

        (I first saw Dryden when he was at Cornell and broke our hearts every year)

  • jamespowell

    Muhammad Ali
    Shaquille O’Neal
    Kenny Lofton
    LeBron James
    Jim Brown

  • El Canibal Feliz

    Rod Carew
    Earl Campbell
    Muhammad Ali
    Vince Young
    Barry Bonds

  • kcrvpn

    In no order:

    Bo Jackson
    Marion Hossa
    Wayne Gretzky
    Serena Williams
    Michael Jordan

    I don’t know if favorite is the right word, but I am amazed at how much Phelps and Ledeky dominate their sport.

    And I know Hossa will seem weird to hockey fans, but he is the best two way player I have ever seen. At his best, it is a pure joy watching him simply dominate the puck on both ends of the ice for entire shifts: frustrating what his opponent wants to on offense do almost single-handedly, going into the corner with three opponents, coming out with the puck, springing the rush and somehow being in the perfect spot at the end of that rush to finish it, with two other opponents hanging on him and just a sliver of space to make the play.

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    Shawn Kemp
    Matt Hasselbeck
    Ken Griffey Jr.
    Ichiro!
    Beast Mode

  • petesh

    George Best [at Man U; great last name]
    Usain Bolt [greater last name]
    Martina Navratilova [“I got up at seven, just to watch her win”]
    Tommie Smith [even before the black-glove salute]
    Barry Bonds [even before …]

    My mileage may vary soon. Paula Radcliffe on deck, so to speak

    • billcinsd

      My favorite George Best Story — possibly apocryphal

      One night, a waiter was delivering champagne to Best’s hotel room, only
      to be confronted by thousands of pounds of casino winnings and the
      current Miss World lying on the bed. Without missing a beat, legend has
      it, he looked at the Manchester United icon and uttered the immortal
      words: “Where did it all go wrong?”

      • petesh

        I was restricting myself to on-field activities. And I suspect the waiter’s response has been improved, but the rest of the story has been confirmed.

        • billcinsd

          Fair enough. The waiter’s response is what makes the story. That Best gambled and bedded beautiful women was well known, I think

  • Breadbaker

    Denny McLain
    Chris Evert
    Kumar Sangakkara
    Gus Williams
    Ken Dryden

  • Gator90

    Muhammad Ali
    Tim Tebow
    Diego Maradona
    Abby Wambach
    Michael Cooper
    (As a liberal atheist Florida fan I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Tebow, but as my bumper sticker says, love trumps hate…)

  • iliketurtles

    Bob Probert
    Lawrence Taylor
    Charles Woodson
    Wendel Clark
    and another vote for Rickey Henderson

  • MikeJake

    Mike Tyson
    Mike Vick
    Eric Metcalf
    Steve Nash
    Wanderlei Silva

    I guess

  • cat butler

    Ron Francis
    Jerome Bettis
    Allen Iverson
    Martina Navratilova
    Earl Anthony

    • Downpup E

      Earl Anthony?! He made bowling look boring!
      I watched a bit of bowling, when Mark Roth was throwing so hard it looked like he’d leave a thumb in the ball. Fun, but no Stasia Czernicki.

      • cat butler

        I had an admittedly odd childhood. What can I say?

  • Thlayli

    Men:
    Lawrence Taylor
    Wayne Gretzky
    Mike Tyson
    Zlatan Ibrahimovic
    Odell Beckham Jr

    Women:
    Michelle Akers
    Jenny Thompson
    Lindsay Davenport
    Diana Taurasi
    Tobin Heath

    • Downpup E

      Mike Tyson is a lot more fun to watch since he retired. The bits at the end of Mike Tyson Mysteries are beyond.. well, just beyond.

      Anyhow, he has also done a bunch of films & stuff – https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/mike-tyson-is-americas-greatest-actor-as-long-as-the-role-is-mike-tyson/

    • billcinsd

      Jenny Thompson is an excellent choice. Great swimmer who became a doctor. I tend to confuse her with Summer Sanders for reasons

      • Paul Thomas

        They were swimming similar events at the same time– in fact, they actually shared a gold medal in the 1992 medley relay, though they did not actually swim in the same race (Sanders swum the preliminary heat).

        US women’s swimming in the 90s was a good place to be. You couldn’t swing a cat without hitting a world record holder. Brooke Bennett, Amanda Beard, Amy Van Dyken… of course, she was probably ‘roiding, but still…

        • billcinsd

          van Dyken was a BALCO client and had a very bad accident a couple of years ago that I did not remember

  • ASV

    Aaron Rodgers
    Charles Woodson
    Prince Fielder
    Robin Yount
    Let’s say Bob Uecker, he was technically an athlete

    • keta

      Fer crissakes, Uecker, get the goddamn bat off your shoulder!

      • Spot Letton

        Looks pretty unhappy to be there, and yet, the coiled tension in those massive arms…

        • billcinsd

          he needed to stay thin to chase down all of Niekro’s knucklers that he missed

  • dstatton

    Muhammad Ali
    Mickey Mantle
    John Unitas
    Mattina Navratilova
    Pete Maravich

    Went to LSU with Maravich.

    This is better than asking who are the best. No pissing contests.

  • (((advocatethis)))

    Willie Mays. By the time I started seeing him, in the late sixties, he was past his prime, but the fact that he’s one of the top five mlb players all time and I got to see him puts him on my list.
    Rickie Henderson. From his rookie year through his second stint in Oakland, the most exciting and disruptive athlete I’ve seen.
    Bo Jackson. Nuff said.
    Joe Montana. I grew up a Raiders fan, but the drive to wrap up the 2nd SB over the Bengals finally converted me.
    Steph Curry. He really is as good as the hype and he’s fun to watch as he has fun excelling.

  • keta

    Bobby Orr (greatest ever to my mind, and humble to the point of painfulness)
    Phil Esposito (mostly because he carried the Canadian team in the ’72 Summit Series)
    Joe Montana (became a 49ers fan when they really sucked, then watched them become dynastic)
    Eddie Giacomin (this goalie’s favourite goalie, back then)
    Steve Yzerman (quietly brilliant on a terrible team that became multiple Cup winners)

    All from many years ago because while there are countless athletes I admire(d) since childhood, my passion for pro athletes was easily at its highest back when.

    I like athletes (hell, people) who persevere when things suck, are humble about their other-worldly abilities, and if they play a team sport understand the importance of leadership and team unity.

  • quakerinabasement

    Minnie Minoso
    Serena Williams
    Sam Snead
    Dan Quisenberry
    Andres Galarraga

    • dstatton

      Up vote for Minnie Minoso.

  • Leigh Grossman

    Boston
    Rick Middleton
    Dwight Evans
    Dennis Eckersley
    Greg Harris (the ambidextrous one)
    John Valentin

    non-Boston
    Shanda Berry (ABL player who spent her off-seasons as a Baltimore cop)
    Dana Johnson
    Ricky Henderson
    Dan Quisenberry
    Amos Otis

    I seem to mostly like athletes with long careers and underappreciated (at the time) skill sets.

  • tsam100

    Edgar Martinez
    Joe Montana
    Felix Hernandez
    Jerry Rice
    Randy Johnson

  • Now Expos fans need to pay it forward and beat the drum for Trammell and Whitaker. (And Kenny Lofton.)

    This guy agrees.

  • NicknotNick

    Dennis Rodman
    John Stockton
    Luis Suarez
    Gheorghe Hagi
    Roger Federer

  • DocAmazing

    Ilie Nastase was always at least interesting to watch…

  • Kevin

    Time for Bonds to get in. Clemens too. Clemens had 81 WAR before he went to Toronto and got on Steroids. The average HOF pitcher has 74 WAR. Again, that’s just his pre-steroid career, so if that stuff bothers you, penalize him by looking at his career before…and he still gets in easy.

    Likewise, Barry Bonds had 99 WAR before he got on the juice. 99. The average HOF LF? 62. For their career. If Bonds isn’t in your HOF you don’t have a real HOF. Top 5 player of all time, even if you take out his later career.

    • cat butler

      Yes to both. Barry Bonds is definitely the greatest baseball player I’ve had the privilege of watching. My time in Pittsburgh coincided with his and I also got to see a few of his F.U. games to the fans in Pittsburgh when he was with the Giants.

    • Spot Letton

      Watched BB in person for many years. If you created a mechanical human-style hitting robot, whose moving parts had no up-and-down movement but simply swivelled, that was Barry Bonds. Most perfect batting stroke ever, whether he was hitting doubles pre-juice or, in the juice era, more and longer homers by way far than any other juicer. Allegedly.

      One quick argument against Clemens: Dave Stewart. Look it up.

      • Kevin

        One of the things that amazed me about Bonds (even in the steroid period), was his eye. He would just not swing at anything he didn’t like, and that could last multiple at bats. But make one tiny mistake, and he’s hitting it with power. Most pitchers were trying to “unintentionally” walk him, but he could out wait anyone, and once he got it, it was trouble.

        • petesh

          Heck, he was intentionally walked with the bases loaded. And the move made sense.

    • NobodySpecial

      How many WAR did Pete Rose have before he bet on baseball?

      • Kevin

        79.1. Pete’s an interesting case, he should have retired in 1979, but he played another 8 years. I’d put him in, you can easily put the history in to say what he did, but for the HOF to ignore someone so integral to it’s history is stupid.

        • NobodySpecial

          They have an exhibit. He’s not ignored. He’s just not celebrated for violating the rules. Same with Bonds.

          • Kevin

            Not even close to the same as Bonds. Fuck, Bud Selig was just let in this, tell me how he is in and any suspected steroids users are not? As if Selig and others didn’t turn a blind eye. And a lot of the stuff these guys used wasn’t even banned at the time. I still remember McGuire doing interviews after games with giant Andro bottles in his locker visible to all. Only later was that one added as a banned substance.

            And of course, the moralizing ignores all the greats from the 60’s and 70’s who were on amphetamines. Willie Mayes, Mike Schmidt…a lot of all time greats on that banned substance. Want to kick them out?

            • NobodySpecial

              I hear a lot of excuses being made here, but the simple fact is that Barry Bonds admitted in court that he used a banned substance. Hard to see why you should reward him for that.

              • Kevin

                How about: There was no testing for substances prior to 2003, so Barry Bonds never failed a test, and we don’t know who did or did not use PED’s in the era. And as i said, prominent players of earlier eras also used banned substances. Should we kick them out? Hell, we celebrate guys like Gaylord Perry for being caught cheating during games repeatedly, he’s a lovable rogue. But he’s in the HOF.

                Anyway, this is going to go nowhere, because your arguments aren’t really going to convince me, nor will mine convince you.

  • woodrowfan

    Tony Perez, Barry Larkin, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Dave Concepcion.

    oh, a non Red? Ozzie Smith!

  • Spot Letton

    Rickey Henderson, Joe Montana, Dennis Eckersley, Zinedine Zidane, and Teresa Weatherspoon of the NY Liberty.

    Used to go to a bunch of WNBA games in NY and Sacramento when our daughters were living with us, and seen up close women like Weatherspoon and the Monarchs’ Yolanda Griffith were among the most amazing athletes I’ve ever seen — yet, despite trying very hard, I still find WNBA unwatchable on TV. Anyone share this? Might be interesting to discuss why.

  • Big G

    Felix Millan
    Jerry Koosman
    Carl Yazstremski
    Roger Staubach
    Drew Pearson

    HM: Mike Bossy, Denis Potvin, Bjorn Borg, Lee Mazzilli

    These kinds of things really date you, don’t they?

  • EliHawk

    Greg Maddux
    Pedro Martinez
    Carli Lloyd
    Mario Chalmers
    Tomas Rosicky

    On the last two: I’m a Kansas fan, and Chalmers keyed the best defensive backcourt I’ve ever seen in College Hoops. For three straight seasons, he and Russell Robinson were good for forcing 5+ steals and some more turnovers that invariably turned into transition buckets the other way. Just the filthiest pickpocket I’ve seen in the college game. What they did to UNC in the Final Four in 2008 was just a thing of beauty.

    As an Arsenal fan who got into the club right when he arrived, and who majored in Czech and spent summers in Prague, I’ll always have a soft spot for the Little Mozart even though others (Henry, Ozil, Alexis, Cesc/RVP, Koscielny) in that era were objectively better players. Through all the injuries he and the club stayed loyal to each other and he seemed a positive locker room presence. Plus he always seemed to turn up and find a goal for a game against Spurs.

    • Kevin

      As a guy who hates NCAA and loves NBA, I laughed seeing Chalmers on your list, haha. But to each their own.

      (but seriously, NCAA sucks).

    • Paul Thomas

      “What they did to UNC in the Final Four in 2008 was just a thing of beauty.”

      Also won me a couple hundred bucks in an office pool… well, that, and Memphis’s inability to shoot free throws.

      • EliHawk

        Worth remembering too that for 3/4 of the title game he and Robinson absolutely locked down Derrick Rose right before he was the #1 draft pick. Rose only went off when Self switched to an ill-fated Box and 1 on Chris Douglas Roberts (who tbf was torching KU) and Rose finally went off (building the lead they eventually choked away with free throws and, well, Mario again. The other fun thing about him was, on a very balanced team, occasionally he’d just say “Fuck it” and get in a back and forth duel with his guy, even if it meant going shot for shot with Steph Curry for about 5 minutes in the Elite Eight.

  • NobodySpecial

    Barry Sanders
    Steve Yzerman
    Walter Payton
    Johnny Tapia
    Michael Jordan

    The list is for values of ‘Stop what I’m doing to go watch them’.
    Patrick Kane is almost in that top 5.

  • Ku Nam Ja

    Martina N.
    Edgar M.
    Magic J.
    Marshawn L.
    Steve L.

  • Richard Gadsden

    Kriss Akabusi
    Serena Williams
    Daley Thompson
    Ryan Giggs
    Tanni Gray-Thompson

    • Richard Gadsden

      Seriously, I could have done five cyclists. Hell, I could do ten men and ten women.

      But Vos is just a GOD. It’s like being able to see Bradman or Babe Ruth or Merckx live. You don’t get many chances in life to see the greatest of all time, so go see her ride if you can.

  • Paul Thomas

    Jerry Rice
    Steph Curry
    Barry Bonds
    Michael Phelps
    Kayla Harrison

    (On Kayla Harrison: I have a soft spot for Olympic athletes who achieve success in obscure sports that Americans haven’t traditionally done well at. Also, seriously, look up her story; it’s amazing.)

  • Kevin

    Robby Alomar
    Roy Halladay
    Roger Federer
    Jose Bautista (as a Toronto fan, love the swagger, his bat flip HR against Texas is an all-time sports moment for me)
    Gretzky (I was young for his peak in the 80’s, but even in the 90’s he’d take it behind the net and watching the other team just freeze and panic in dread was always amazing to watch. Wasn’t big, fast, strong, but seemed to be able to go anywhere he wanted, GOAT)

    • Kevin

      I’ll add another 2

      Vladimr Guerrero (who swings at everything and is that good? He had a .380 OBP in his career, and he barely walked.)

      Adrien Beltre (one of the greats of this era, still not recognized for how amazing he’s been, but he’ll be in the HOF one day. And unlike some others from his era, he’s been a plus defender his entire career at a tough position. Some other guys should have been moved from their positions, but got to stay because of their reputation. Beltre is still great).

      • Paul Thomas

        I would have appreciated Guerrero a lot more had he not spent so much of his career playing for the thrice-cursed Angels, but yeah, the guy was incredibly entertaining to watch.

        • Kevin

          I’m hoping his kid is anywhere near as good as him, he’s in the Blue Jays system, doing well as an 18 year old in A+ ball. They also have Dante Bichette’s son there, killing it. It’s weird seeing the kids of players I grew up watching…i didn’t think 36 was that old :(

  • Lurking Canadian

    I can really only think of four:

    Michael Jordan
    Wayne Gretzky
    Tiger Woods
    Jennifer Jones

    If I’m forced to pick a fifth: Isiah Thomas

    • Paul Thomas

      Jennifer Jones? Man, I know from obscure sports, but that one was a mystery to me.

      Looked the name up on Wikipedia and found two actresses, a curler, and a murderer. I assume you mean the curler.

      • Lurking Canadian

        Curling? Obscure? My second will call upon your second in the morning!

        And if you’ve ever seen the look in Jen’s eyes in the tenth end in a final game at the Scott…well, I don’t think she’s ever actually murdered anyone, but I wouldn’t want to be on her bad side.

  • LosGatosCA

    Top 5

    Billy Martin
    Earl Weaver
    Jim Harbaugh
    Hayden Fry
    Jack McCloskey
    ‘Clyde’ Frazier
    Dennis Rodman
    Vinnie Johnson
    Barry Bonds
    Barry Sanders
    Marshall Faulk
    Steph Curry
    Klay Thompson
    Jerry Rice
    Mad Bum

    You should see my top 10

  • Morbo

    Hmmm, sounds like a homerism thread to me but so be it in no particular order:
    Barry Sanders
    Sergei Fedorov
    …ok, there is some order…
    Miguel Cabrera
    Chauncey Billups
    and as the obligatory outside Detroit player: Ken Griffey Jr.

  • Tom Fitzpatrick

    Not very big on pro team sports. Jim Clark. A.J. Foyt. Greg Lemond.

  • HugeEuge

    Late to the game here and I’m listing only ones I saw personally more than once:
    Forego – best handicap weight carrying horse I ever saw, and more importantly won when I bet on him
    Eddie Giacomin
    Bernie Williams
    Mariano Rivera
    Tostao (Brazilian soccer player from late 1960s early 1970s, member of 1970 World Cup team)

  • rea

    (1) Invite Loria to a fancy dinner–maybe a wedding.
    (2) Have the band play, “The Raines of Cooperstown
    (3) ????

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