Dr. Duran Duran wrote:Jim Thorpe, and it's not even a contest, IMO. The man won two gold medals in the 1912 Olympics for the Decathlon and Pentathlon and was a Pro Football Hall of Famer.
Here's an article that agrees with you DDD.http://bettersports.blogspot.com/2007/0 ... f-all.html
Look at what Babe Didrikson did...and all before she died at age 42.
Greatest multi-sport athletes of all-time
Notre Dame receiver Jeff Samardzija has chosen baseball over football -- for $10m. Projected as a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft, he agreed to a 5 year $10 million contract. He is a going to be a pitcher for the Cubs. While I love football, I can understand Samardzija, baseball is easier on the body, and you can make a lot more money
This got me thinking of what other players played two sports. Below are my list of top 10 multi-sport athletes of all-time:
10. John Elway - Considered to be one of the greatest QB's in football history and a Hall of Famer, Elway was also a very good baseball player. I won't go into his NFL career as he owns numerous records and won 2 Super Bowls. His baseball career includes being drafted by the Royals out of high school. At Stanford he hit .361 with nine homers and 50 RBIs in 49 games as a sophomore. After that he was the first pick of the Yankees in 1981. He hit .314 with a club-high 24 homers with the Yankees single-A farm club.
9. Bob Hayes - In 1963 he set a world record by running the 100-yard dash in 9.1 seconds. He won two gold medals (100 yard and 4X100) at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. He then signed with the Cowboys, and in his first two seasons, Hayes led the NFL in receiving touchdowns. The only person to have won an NFL ring and gold medal. In the NFL he made the Pro Bowl 3 times and was All-Pro 4 times. One year he averaged 20 yards per punt return which is amazing. His speed forced NFL teams to develop the zone defense.
8. Dave Winfield - He was a Hall of Fame slugger in baseball, but check this out. He was drafted by four professional teams in three different sports. After college (Minnesota), where he played baseball and basketball, he was drafted by the NBA's Atlanta Hawks, the ABA's Utah Stars, the NFL Vikings and by the San Diego Padres in baseball.
7. Dick Groat - Jon Wertheim makes the case for this baseball and basketball player from Duke. Wertheim calls him the best Duke basketball player EVER. He was a NL MVP and won two World Series rings with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In college at Duke, he averaged 26 pts per game in 1952 and led the country in assists and was the national player of the year. He chose baseball because Branch Rickey, the Pirates coach, forced him to pick a sport, and baseball was the more lucrative of the two sports.
6. Deion Sanders - played nine years in baseball, and will probably be a Hall of Fame football player when he becomes eligible. While a great football player - an 8-time Pro Bowl player who won 2 Super Bowls, he was also an above average baseball player, and probably would have been better had he played the sport full-time. The only man to play in both the Super Bowl and the World Series.
5. Babe Didrikson - Probably the greatest women athlete of ever. She was a great golfer (won 41 LPGA events and 11 majors), an All-American basketball player, who also won two track and field gold medals in the 1932 Olympics, and who knows what else she would have done had she not died at 42 of cancer.
4. Jackie Robinson was great in football and track in college, but ultimately made his name in baseball as a Hall of Fame player and the one who broke the color barrier in MLB. At UCLA, he became the first athlete in UCLA history to letter in four different sports in one year. Until 1947 he was presumed to be the only person ever selected to play in the college all-star games in both basketball and football.
3. Bo Jackson who was drafted first overall in football but choose baseball first. He eventually came back to football before a hip injury ended his career. An all-star in baseball he was the All-Star games MVP in 1989. In football he was on his way to a great career before he got hurt. What's remarkable is that he was the comeback player of the year in MLB after his injury. In terms of actual results, he probably shouldn't be ranked so high, but at his peak, he was an electric athlete who was the most popular athlete in the country at one point. Who knows what he could have accomplished had he stayed healthy.
2. Jim Brown - You might know him as one of the greatest football players of all-time. But he is also a Hall of Fame Lacrosse player - some consider him the greatest lacrosse player of all time. In fact, he got his scholarship to Syracuse as a lacrosse player and walked onto the football team. He led Syracuse's lacrosse team to an undefeated season in 1957, leading the country in scoring. As a football player? In only 9 years he became the all-time leading rushing leader in the NFL, and currently sits third on that list and was a Hall of Famer.
1. Jim Thorpe- considered one of the most versatile athletes in modern sports. He won Olympic gold medals in the pentathlon and decathlon, starred in college and professional football, played Major League Baseball and also had a career in basketball. What more could you ask of someone - a professional star in four sports.