Autographs - The 100 Most Important Autographs in the Hobby (Any Medium) : Doyle Collection Image Gallery

Muhammad Ali is regarded by boxing commentators and historians as one of the greatest professional boxers of all time. The Ring, a prominent boxing magazine, named him number one in a 1998 ranking of greatest heavyweights from all eras. In 1999, The Associated Press voted Ali the number one heavyweight of the 20th century. In 1999, Ali was named the second greatest boxer in history, pound for pound, by ESPN; behind only welterweight and middleweight legend Sugar Ray Robinson. In December 2007, ESPN listed Ali second in its choice of the greatest heavyweights of all time, behind Joe Louis.

The '55 Pirates would finish the season in last place in the National League. But things were looking good as a young player named Roberto Clemente would join the team on April 17th. With Clemente on the roster, they would be 5 years away from a World Series victory! Elected 1973.

Cobb was one of the games greatest players and fiercest competitors. His batting accomplishments are legendary - a lifetime average of .366, 4,189 hits, 12 batting titles (including nine in a row), 23 consecutive seasons in which he hit better than .300, three .400 seasons (topped by a .420 mark in 1911), 295 triples and 2,244 runs. "The Georgia Peach" also stole 897 bases during a 24-year career, primarily with the Detroit Tigers. While Ruth was considered the best, Cobb was always next. Elected 1936.

Baseball's "Iron Horse," Lou Gehrig teamed with Babe Ruth to form the sport's most devastating tandem. A "Gibraltar in cleats," Gehrig posted 13 consecutive seasons with 100 runs scored and 100 RBI, averaging 141 runs and 149 RBI. The two-time American League Most Valuable Player set an AL mark with 185 RBI in 1931, hit a record 23 career grand slams and won the 1934 Triple Crown. His .361 batting average in seven World Series led the New York Yankees to six titles. A true gentleman and a tragic figure, Gehrig's consecutive games played streak ended at 2,130 when he was sidelined by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a disease that now bears his name. Elected 1939.

Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963), also known by his initials, MJ, is an American former professional basketball player who is the principal owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played 15 seasons in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards. His biography on the official NBA website states: "By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time." He was one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation and was considered instrumental in popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s. Jordan played three seasons for coach Dean Smith at the University of North Carolina. As a freshman, he was a member of the Tar Heels' national championship team in 1982. Jordan joined the Bulls in 1984 as the third overall draft pick. He quickly emerged as a league star and entertained crowds with his prolific scoring. His leaping ability, demonstrated by performing slam dunks from the free throw line in Slam Dunk Contests, earned him the nicknames Air Jordan and His Airness. He also gained a reputation for being one of the best defensive players in basketball. In 1991, he won his first NBA championship with the Bulls, and followed that achievement with titles in 1992 and 1993, securing a "three-peat". Although Jordan abruptly retired from basketball before the beginning of the 1993–94 NBA season, and started a new career in Minor League Baseball, he returned to the Bulls in March 1995 and led them to three additional championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998, as well as a then-record 72 regular-season wins in the 1995–96 NBA season. Jordan retired for a second time in January 1999, but returned for two more NBA seasons from 2001 to 2003 as a member of the Wizards. Jordan's individual accolades and accomplishments include six NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, ten scoring titles (both all-time records), five MVP Awards, ten All-NBA First Team designations, nine All-Defensive First Team honors, fourteen NBA All-Star Game selections, three All-Star Game MVP Awards, three steals titles, and the 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. He holds the NBA records for highest career regular season scoring average (30.12 points per game) and highest career playoff scoring average (33.45 points per game). In 1999, he was named the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century by ESPN, and was second to Babe Ruth on the Associated Press' list of athletes of the century. Jordan is a two-time inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, having been enshrined in 2009 for his individual career, and again in 2010 as part of the group induction of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team ("The Dream Team"). He became a member of the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2015.

An overpowering left-hander, Sandy Koufax enjoyed a six-year stretch as perhaps the most dominating pitcher in the game's history. Koufax captured five straight ERA titles and set a modern record with 382 strikeouts in 1965. His fastball and devastating curve enabled him to pitch no-hitters in four consecutive seasons, including a perfect game in 1965. He posted a 0.95 ERA in four World Series, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to three championships. Hall of Fame slugger Willie Stargell once said: "Trying to hit (Koufax) was like trying to drink coffee with a fork." Elected 1972.

"You're going to be a great player, kid," said Jackie Robinson to Mickey Mantle after the 1952 World Series. Mantle was a star from the start,; his talent and boyish good looks earned him iconic status. Despite a series of devastating injuries, Mantle accumulated a long list of impressive accomplishments, finishing his 18-year career with 536 home runs and a .298 batting average. When healthy, Mantle was an excellent defensive outfielder - lightning fast, with a strong and accurate arm. The switch-hitter won three MVP Awards and a Triple Crown, contributing to 12 pennants and seven World Series titles for the New York Yankees, all while establishing numerous Fall Classic records. Elected 1974.

In 1947 Jackie Robinson would break the major leagues' "unwritten" color barrier in baseball debuting with the Brooklyn Dodgers and becoming the first black player in the 20th century. Robinson was selected by Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey not only for the skills he brought to the field, but also for those he possessed off it. The Dodgers picked the right player as while you can sure the way fans and players treated him it hurt him by season end he would win them over leading the way for other players. In 1997, Robinson was honored posthumously when Major League Baseball universally retired his uniform number 42. Elected 1962

In 1947 Jackie Robinson would break the major leagues' "unwritten" color barrier in baseball debuting with the Brooklyn Dodgers and becoming the first black player in the 20th century. Robinson was selected by Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey not only for the skills he brought to the field, but also for those he possessed off it. The Dodgers picked the right player as while you can sure the way fans and players treated him it hurt him by season end he would win them over leading the way for other players. In 1997, Robinson was honored posthumously when Major League Baseball universally retired his uniform number 42. Elected 1962

In 1947 Jackie Robinson would break the major leagues' "unwritten" color barrier in baseball debuting with the Brooklyn Dodgers and becoming the first black player in the 20th century. Robinson was selected by Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey not only for the skills he brought to the field, but also for those he possessed off it. The Dodgers picked the right player as while you can sure the way fans and players treated him it hurt him by season end he would win them over leading the way for other players. In 1997, Robinson was honored posthumously when Major League Baseball universally retired his uniform number 42. Elected 1962

In 1947 Jackie Robinson would break the major leagues' "unwritten" color barrier in baseball debuting with the Brooklyn Dodgers and becoming the first black player in the 20th century. Robinson was selected by Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey not only for the skills he brought to the field, but also for those he possessed off it. The Dodgers picked the right player as while you can sure the way fans and players treated him it hurt him by season end he would win them over leading the way for other players. In 1997, Robinson was honored posthumously when Major League Baseball universally retired his uniform number 42. Elected 1962

Still an American icon decades after his death, George Herman "Babe" Ruth emerged from humble beginnings to become the game's greatest slugger and gate attraction. Ruth hit home runs at a prodigious rate - his single season output often exceeded those of entire major league teams. He retired with 714 career home runs, at a time when only tow other players had reached 300. He also posted a record of 94-46 in 163 games as a pitcher, most coming before he became a regular in the outfield. Reggie Jackson once deflected a comparison to "The Sultan of Swat," saying, "There will never be another Babe Ruth. He was the greatest home run hitter who ever lived." Elected 1936.

Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods (born December 30, 1975) is an American professional golfer. He ranks second in both major championships and PGA Tour wins and also holds numerous records in golf. Woods is widely regarded as being one of the greatest golfers in the history of the sport. Following an outstanding junior, college, and amateur golf career, Woods turned professional in 1996 at the age of 20. By the end of April 1997, he had won three PGA Tour events in addition to his first major, the 1997 Masters, which he won by 12 strokes in a record-breaking performance. He first reached the number one position in the world rankings in June 1997, less than a year after turning pro. Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, Woods was the dominant force in golf; he was the top-ranked golfer in the world from August 1999 to September 2004 (264 weeks) and again from June 2005 to October 2010 (281 weeks). During this time, he won thirteen of golf's major championships. The next decade of Woods' career was marked by multiple comebacks from both personal problems and injuries. He took a self-imposed hiatus from professional golf from December 2009 to early April 2010 in an attempt to resolve marital issues with his estranged wife Elin. His many alleged extramarital indiscretions were revealed by several women through worldwide media sources, and the couple eventually divorced. Woods fell to number 58 in the world rankings in November 2011, before ascending to once again reach the No.1 ranking between March 2013 and May 2014. However, Woods' personal problems persisted outside of golf; injuries led him to undergo four back surgeries in 2014, 2015 and 2017. He competed in only one tournament between August 2015 and January 2018; this led him to drop out of the rankings of the world's top 1,000 golfers. On his return to regular competition, Woods made steady progress to the top of the game, winning his first tournament in five years at the Tour Championship in September 2018 and his first major in eleven years at the 2019 Masters. Woods has broken numerous golf records. He has been World Number One for the most consecutive weeks and for the greatest total number of weeks of any golfer. He has been awarded PGA Player of the Year a record eleven times and has won the Byron Nelson Award for lowest adjusted scoring average a record eight times. Woods has the record of leading the money list in ten different seasons. He has won 15 professional major golf championships (trailing only Jack Nicklaus, who leads with 18) and 81 PGA Tour events (second all time behind Sam Snead, who won 82). Woods leads all active golfers in career major wins and career PGA Tour wins. He is the youngest player to achieve the career Grand Slam, and is only the second golfer (after Nicklaus) to have achieved a career Grand Slam three times. Woods has won 18 World Golf Championships

Exhibiting an understated style that became his trademark, Hank Aaron hammered his way to baseball's all-time home run mark via one of the most consistent offensive careers in history. He hit 755 home runs, a record that stood for more than 30 years, and still holds major league marks for total bases, extra base hits and RBI, while his 3,771 career hits ranks third. He was the 1957 National League MVP, won three Gold Glove Awards for his play in right field and was named to a record 25 All-Star teams. Curt Simmons once said of Aaron, "Trying to throw a fastball by him is like trying to sneak a sunrise past a rooster." Elected 1982.

A major figure in 19th century baseball, the strong willed Adrian Constantine "Cap" Anson played five seasons in the National Association and 22 in the National League, mainly at first base with Chicago. He batted better than .300 during 24 of those seasons and was the first player to accumulate more than 3,000 hits. He served as player-manager for Chicago, earning more than 1,200 wins and capturing five NL pennants in a seven year stretch from 1880 to 1886. Elected 1939.

A major figure in 19th century baseball, the strong willed Adrian Constantine "Cap" Anson played five seasons in the National Association and 22 in the National League, mainly at first base with Chicago. He batted better than .300 during 24 of those seasons and was the first player to accumulate more than 3,000 hits. He served as player-manager for Chicago, earning more than 1,200 wins and capturing five NL pennants in a seven year stretch from 1880 to 1886. Elected 1939.

A major figure in 19th century baseball, the strong willed Adrian Constantine "Cap" Anson played five seasons in the National Association and 22 in the National League, mainly at first base with Chicago. He batted better than .300 during 24 of those seasons and was the first player to accumulate more than 3,000 hits. He served as player-manager for Chicago, earning more than 1,200 wins and capturing five NL pennants in a seven year stretch from 1880 to 1886. Elected 1939.

In 1969, Ted Williams autographed a ball for Johnny Bench, "To a Hall of Famer for sure." Perhaps the best defensive catcher of all time, Bench won ten straight Gold Glove Awards and popularized the one-handed style of catching. Bench crushed 389 lifetime home runs and batted .267 for his career. He led the National League in home runs twice, RBI three times and total bases once. He won the NL Most Valuable Player Award in 1970 and 1972 and the World Series MVP in 1976. With Bench behind the plate the Cincinnati Reds won four pennants and two World Series. Elected 1989.

"If you can't imitate him, don't copy him," Yogi Berra once said. There was no imitating Berra, one of the most unique characters in baseball history, known for his witty "Yogi-isms." In 19 seasons as a player, the 18 time All-Star won 14 pennants, 10 World Series and three Most Valuable Player Awards. Berra regularly finished in the top 10 in homers and RBI, including 358 and 1,430 for his career, respectively. In seven seasons managing the New York Yankees and Mets, Berra won pennants in each league and spent 20 seasons as a coach with the Houston Astros, Mets and Yankees. Elected 1972.

Barry Lamar Bonds is a former professional baseball left fielder who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. Bonds received seven NL MVP Awards and 14 All-Star selections, and is considered to be one of the greatest baseball players of all-time. Bonds was regarded as an exceptional hitter; he led MLB in on-base plus slugging six times and placed within the top five hitters in 12 of his 17 qualifying seasons. He holds many MLB hitting records, including most career home runs, most home runs in a single season (73, set in 2001) and most career walks. He also received eight Gold Gloves for his defense in the outfield. He is ranked second in career Wins Above Replacement among all major league position players, behind only Babe Ruth.

In 21 seasons with the Kansas City Royals, George Brett topped the .300 mark 11 times, becoming the first player to win batting titles in three decades: 1976 (.333). 1980 (.390) and 1990 (.329). He led the American League in hits three times, finishing his career with 3,154, including 665 doubles, 137 triples and 317 homers. The 13 time All-Star was the AL Most Valuable Player in 1980 and earned a Gold Glove Award in 1985, the same year the Royals won their first World Series championship. Elected 1999.

Roy Campanella broke into baseball with the Baltimore Elite Giants of the Negro National League at age 16 and joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948. He was selected to eight All-Star Games and played in five World Series. Strong defensively, "Campy" also was a star with the bat, setting then-records for single-season (41) and career (242) home runs by a catcher. He won three National League Most Valuable Player Awards (1951. 1953 and 1955). His playing career was cut short by an automobile accident in 1958. Elected 1969.

Alexander Cartwright is often referred to as "The Father of Modern Baseball." Cartwright was a founding and influential member of the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York city, baseball's first organized club. He played a key role in formalizing the first published rules of the game, including the concepts of four territory, the distance between bases, three-out innings, nine-member teams with fixed batting orders, and the elimination of retiring base runners by throwing batted baseballs at them. In 1849, Cartwright traveled west, sowing the seeds of baseball all the way to California and subsequently Hawaii. Elected 1938.

Alexander Cartwright is often referred to as "The Father of Modern Baseball." Cartwright was a founding and influential member of the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York city, baseball's first organized club. He played a key role in formalizing the first published rules of the game, including the concepts of four territory, the distance between bases, three-out innings, nine-member teams with fixed batting orders, and the elimination of retiring base runners by throwing batted baseballs at them. In 1849, Cartwright traveled west, sowing the seeds of baseball all the way to California and subsequently Hawaii. Elected 1938.

A pioneer of early baseball, Henry Chadwick influenced the game by wielding a pen, not bat. The renowned journalist developed the modern box score, introduced statistics such as batting average and the concept of earned and unearned runs, wrote numerous instructional manuals on the game and edited multiple baseball guides. He was an influential member of baseball's early rules committees, and his tireless work and devoted love for the game greatly aided in popularizing baseball during its infancy. Elected 1938.

William Roger Clemens, nicknamed "Rocket", is an American former baseball pitcher who played 24 seasons in Major League Baseball for four teams. Clemens was one of the most dominant pitchers in major league history, tallying 354 wins, a 3.12 ERA, and 4,672 strikeouts, the third most of all time. An 11-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion, he won seven Cy Young Awards during his career, more than any other pitcher in history. Clemens was known for his fierce competitive nature and hard-throwing pitching style. , which he used to intimidate batters.

Signed in 1906 at age 18, Eddie Collins played 25 seasons in the major leagues - a 20th-century record for position players. In 10 seasons, he batter better than .340, helping earn membership in the exclusive 3,000 hit club. The fiery second baseman starred in the famous "100,000 infield" with the Philadelphia Athletics and also for the Chicago White Sox. The "choke-grip" batting style Collins used proved fruitful. An aggressive and confident second baseman, he also was an outstanding baserunner. Elected 1939.

The flamboyant ace on the Depression era St. Louis Cardinals, Jay Hanna Dean led the raucous "Gashouse Gang" to a World Series championship in 1934, in doing so, he remains the last National League pitcher with 30 wins in a season. Given to self-assured boasting, Dean was fond of saying: "If you can do it, it ain't bragging." After a broken toe suffered in the 1937 All-Star Game led to injuries that slowing halted his pitching career, Dean became a legendary broadcaster known for twisting the English language while winning generations of fans on radio and television. Elected 1953.

The flamboyant ace on the Depression era St. Louis Cardinals, Jay Hanna Dean led the raucous "Gashouse Gang" to a World Series championship in 1934, in doing so, he remains the last National League pitcher with 30 wins in a season. Given to self-assured boasting, Dean was fond of saying: "If you can do it, it ain't bragging." After a broken toe suffered in the 1937 All-Star Game led to injuries that slowing halted his pitching career, Dean became a legendary broadcaster known for twisting the English language while winning generations of fans on radio and television. Elected 1953.

Joe DiMaggio's grace and class transcended the playing field into American culture. His ability at the plate and in center field led Hall of Fame manager Connie Mack to note, "DiMaggio is the best player that ever lived." Joltin' Joe's 56-game hitting streak in 1941 helped him to the second of three Most Valuable Player Awards. The "Yankee Clipper" was an All-Star every season of during his 13-year career. At baseball's 1969 Centennial Celebration, he was named the game's greatest living legend. Elected 1955.

A fearsome hitter whose power earned him the moniker "The Beast," Jimmie Foxx anchored an intimidating Philadelphia Athletics lineup that produced pennant winners from 1929 to 1931. The second batter in history to tope 500 home runs, Foxx belted 30 or more homers in 12 consecutive seasons and drove in more than 100 runs 13 straight years, including an astounding 175 in 1938 with the Boston Red Sox. Referring to the powerful first baseman's physique, the New York Yankees pitcher Lefty Gomez said, "He has muscles in his hair." A three -time Most Valuable Player, "Double X" also took the Triple Crown in 1933. Elected 1951.

A fearsome hitter whose power earned him the moniker "The Beast," Jimmie Foxx anchored an intimidating Philadelphia Athletics lineup that produced pennant winners from 1929 to 1931. The second batter in history to tope 500 home runs, Foxx belted 30 or more homers in 12 consecutive seasons and drove in more than 100 runs 13 straight years, including an astounding 175 in 1938 with the Boston Red Sox. Referring to the powerful first baseman's physique, the New York Yankees pitcher Lefty Gomez said, "He has muscles in his hair." A three -time Most Valuable Player, "Double X" also took the Triple Crown in 1933. Elected 1951.

One of three Hall of Famers to garner Most Valuable Awards at two different positions, (first base , 1935; outfield, 1940), Henry "Hank" Greenberg was one of the game's premier sluggers. Widely regarded as the first great Jewish ball player, Greenberg finished his career with 331 home runs, despite missing three full seasons and parts of two others while serving in the military. His big bat helped lead the Detroit Tigers to World Series titles in 1935 and 1945, batting .318 in four Fall Classics overall. Joe DiMaggio once said of Greenberg: "He was one of the truly great hitters, and when I first saw him at bat, he made my eyes pop out." Elected 1956.

One of three Hall of Famers to garner Most Valuable Awards at two different positions, (first base , 1935; outfield, 1940), Henry "Hank" Greenberg was one of the game's premier sluggers. Widely regarded as the first great Jewish ball player, Greenberg finished his career with 331 home runs, despite missing three full seasons and parts of two others while serving in the military. His big bat helped lead the Detroit Tigers to World Series titles in 1935 and 1945, batting .318 in four Fall Classics overall. Joe DiMaggio once said of Greenberg: "He was one of the truly great hitters, and when I first saw him at bat, he made my eyes pop out." Elected 1956.

Rogers Hornsby hit for average and power, winning two Triple Crowns and seven batting titles during his 23-year major league career. His .424 average in 1924 remains the highest in the National League since 1901. Intense and demanding, Hornsby often wore out his welcome with clubs, despite two pennants a player-manager. At the start of 1935, Hornsby was one of only three players - long with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig - with 300 career home runs. His lifetime batting average of .358 remains the second-highest of all time.

Reggie Jackson was among the most charismatic players ever to don a baseball uniform. One of the few athletes to have a candy bar named after him, Jackson backed up his celebrity persona with 563 home runs and 11 trips to the postseason - including five World Series titles - in a 21-season major league career. "Mr. October's" crowning moment came in Game 6 of the 1977 Fall Classic when he belted three home runs - on three consecutive pitches - against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Elected 1993.

Derek Sanderson Jeter is a former professional baseball shortstop, current businessman and baseball executive who is the chief executive officer and part owner of the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball. As a shortstop, Jeter spent his entire 20-year MLB playing career with the New York Yankees. A five-time World Series champion, Jeter is regarded as a central figure of the Yankees success of the late 1990s and early 2000s for his hitting, base running, fielding and leadership. His is the Yankees all0-time career leader in hits, doubles, games played, stolen bases, times on base, plate appearances and at bats. His accolades include 14 All-Star selections, five Gold Glove Awards, five Silver Slugger Awards, two Hank Aaron Awards, and a Roberto Clemente Award. Jeter was the 28th player to reach 3,000 hits and finished his career ranked sixth in MLB history in career hits and first among shortstops. In 2017, the Yankees retired his uniform number 2.

Undeniably the hardest throwing pitcher of his era, Walter Johnson was celebrated as much for his character as for his heroics on the mound. In a career that spanned from the rowdy Deadball Era through the Jazz Age. "The Big Train" always behaved in a noble and gentlemanly fashion, both on and off the field. "I throw as hard as I can when I think I have to throw as hard as I can," he reasoned when endlessly questioned about his fastball. Pitching his entire big league career with the Washington Senators in the nation's capital, Johnson finished with 417 wins, second only to Cy Young and 3,509 strikeouts, a record that stood for 56 years. Elected 1936.

Napoleon "Nap" Lajoie combined graceful fielding with precision at the plate. Lajoie hit .300 or better in 17 of 21 seasons, topping .350 in nine campaigns and his high of .426 in 1901 remains an American League single-season record. That year, he won the AL Triple Crown and initiated the first court challenge to the reserve clause. By 1903, the Cleveland club became known as the "Naps" as a tribute to his star power. Billy Murphy, a St. Louis journalist, once wrote; "As long as baseball lives, the memory of Lajoie will last; and it ever will be a fresh memory of a ball player and a gentlemen. Elected 1937.

Maris would hold the single-season home run record from 1961 to 1996 when the steroid era came into play. Many believe Maris' record is still them record!

Connie Mack won five World Series titles, a record nine American League pennants, and 3,731 games, nearly 1,00o more than any other manager in history. Still, "The Tall Tactician," is best remembered as a dignified leader who donned a business suit to dispense wisdom to a generation of players. "Your born with two strikes against you, so don't take a third one on your own," Mack was fond of stating to his clubs. Though his entrance to baseball came by playing catcher for 11 seasons, in 1901 Mack assumed control of the Philadelphia Athletics, the team he would lead for the next 50 years. Elected 1937.

Greg Maddux dazzled with his right arm, not his physique, making batters curse their fate. Showing mind boggling control for 23 seasons split mostly between the Cubs and Braves, the durable hurler spent only 15 days on the disabled list. At his best from 1992 to 1995, Maddux captured four consecutive NL Cy Young Awards, going 75-29 with a 1.98 ERA. The eight time All-Star collected a record 18 Golden Glove Awards and retired in 2008 with 355 wins, eight-most all time, while logging 3,371 strikeouts. Elected 2014,

"Christy Mathewson was the greatest pitcher who ever lived. He had knowledge, judgment, perfect control and form," raved Hall of Fame manager Connie Mack. "Big Six" won 373 games in 17 seasons, almost entirely for the New York Giants. Using his famous fade-away pitch, Mathewson won at least 22 games for 12 straight years, which included four 30-win seasons. His lone championship in four World Series appearances came in 1905, when he tossed three shutouts in six days against the Philadelphia Athletics. Mathewson set the modern National League mark with 37 wins in 1908. Elected 1936.

"Christy Mathewson was the greatest pitcher who ever lived. He had knowledge, judgment, perfect control and form," raved Hall of Fame manager Connie Mack. "Big Six" won 373 games in 17 seasons, almost entirely for the New York Giants. Using his famous fade-away pitch, Mathewson won at least 22 games for 12 straight years, which included four 30-win seasons. His lone championship in four World Series appearances came in 1905, when he tossed three shutouts in six days against the Philadelphia Athletics. Mathewson set the modern National League mark with 37 wins in 1908. Elected 1936.

Willie Mays, the "Say Hey Kid", excelled at all phases of the game with a boyish enthusiasm and infectious exuberance. His staggering career statistics totaled 3,283 hits and 660 home runs. "You used to think if the score was 5-0, he'd hit a five run home run," recalled Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson. The New York Giants superstar earned National League Rookie of the Year in 1951 and two NL MVP Awards (1954 and 1965). He accumulated 12 Gold Glove Awards and played in a record tying 24 All-Star Games. His catch of Vic Wertz's deep fly ball in the 1954 World Series remains one of baseball's memorable moments. Elected 1979.

"There has only been one manager, and his name is John McGraw," Hall of Fame manager Connie Mack once declared. McGraw was a fiery third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles in the 1890's, but he received much more recognition as an innovative, autocratic field manager. In his 31 years at the helm of the New York Giants, McGraw's teams won 10 pennants, finished second 10 times, and won three World Series titles. "Little Napoleon" finished his career with 2,763 managerial wins. As a player, he was credited with helping to develop the hit-and-run, the "Baltimore Chop," the squeeze play and other strategic moves. Elected 1937.

Mark David McGwire, nicknamed "Big Mac", is a former professional baseball first baseman and currently the bench coach for the San Diego Padres. His MLB playing career spanned from 1986 to 2001 while playing for the Oakland Athletics and the St. Louis Cardinals, winning the World Series championship each with Oakland A's as a player in 1989 and with St Louis as a coach in 2011. One of the most prolific home run hitters in baseball history, McGwire holds the major league career record for a bats per home run ratio, and is the former record holder for both home runs in a single season and home runs hit by rookie. He ranks 11th all-time in home runs with 583, and led the major leagues in home runs in five different seasons, while establishing the major league record for home runs hit in a a four-season period from 1996 - 1999 with 245. Further, he demonstrated exemplary patience as a batter, producing a career .394 on base percentage and twice leading the major leagues in bases on balls. Injuries cut short the manifestation of even greater potential as he reached 140 games played in just eight of 16 total seasons. A right-handed batter and thrower, McGwire stood 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 215 pounds during his playing career.

Born in Akron, Ohio, Munson was selected as the fourth pick of the 1968 MLB draft and was named as the catcher on the 1968 College Baseball All-American Team. Munson hit over .300 in his two seasons in the minor leagues, establishing himself as a top prospect. He became the Yankees' starting catcher late in the 1969 season, and after his first complete season in 1970, in which he batted .302, he was voted AL Rookie of the Year. Consi9dered the "heart and soul" of the Yankees, Munson was named captain of the Yankees in 1976, the team's first since Lou Gehrig. That same year, he won the AL MVP Award, making him the only Yankee to win the Rookie of the Year and MVP Awards. Munson led the Yankees to three consecutive World Series appearances from 1976 to 1978, winning championships in the latter two years. He is the first player in baseball history to be named a College Baseball All-American and then in MLB win a Rookie of the Year Award, MVP Award, Gold Glove Award, and World Series championship. He is also the only catcher in MLB postseason history to record at least a .300+ batting average (.357). 20 RBIs (22), and 20 defensive caught stealing's (24). During an off day in the summer of 1969, Munson died at age 32 while practicing landing his Cessna Citation aircraft at Akron-Canton Airport. He suffered a broken neck as a result of the crash, and his cause of death was asphyxiations. The Yankees honored him immediately retiring his uniform 15, and dedicating a plaque to him in Monument Park.

"Here stands baseball's perfect warrior. Here stands baseball's perfect knight," once proclaimed Ford C. Frick of Stan Musial. After 22 years with the St. Louis Cardinals, Musial ranked at or near the top of baseball's all-time lists in nearly every offensive category,. He topped the .300 mark in 17 consecutive seasons and won seven National League batting titles with his famed "corkscrew" stance and ringing line drives. A three-time MVP, "The Man" played in 24 All-Star Games and was a member of three World Series championship teams. In 1948, Musial feel a home run shy of capturing the Triple Crown. In 2011, Musial was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. Elected 1969.

Melvin Thomas "Mel" Ott was a New York Giants hero for 22 seasons, during which he emerged as one of the game's premier sluggers. As a 17-year old "Boy Wonder" in 1926, Ott's size belied his power. Using an unorthodox batting style in which he lifted his right foot prior to impact, he smashed 511 home runs, then a National League record. He hit 30-or-more homers in a season eight times and led or shared the league lead on six occasions. "Master Melvin" earned 11 consecutive All-Star selections and batted .304 lifetime with 488 doubles NS 1,860 RBI. Elected 1951.

"Satchel" Paige was one of the most entertaining pitchers in major league history. A tall, lanky fireballers, he was arguably the hardest thrower in the Negro Leagues, as well as one of the greatest gate attractions. James "Cool Papa" Bell, once declared, "He made his living by throwing the ball to a spot over the plate the size of a matchbox." In the 1930s, Paige barnstormed around the continent, baffling the hitters with creatively named pitches like the "Bat Dodger" and "Hesitation Pitch." In 1948, on his 42nd birthday, Paige's contract was sold to the Cleveland Indians, making him the oldest player to debut in the major leagues. Elected 1971.

Cal Ripken Jr. gave new meaning to the phrase "everyday player." From May 30, 1982 through September 19, 1998, the lanky shortstop played in 2,632 consecutive games for the Orioles, shattering Lou Gehrig's "unbreakable" mark of 2,130. Beyond "The Streak," however, Ripken methodically put together a remarkable career, notching 3,184 hits, 431 home runs, 19 straight All-Star appearances and two MVP Awards. Though his solid, steady play earned him hero status throughout America, Ripken also had a fair for the dramatic, homering in both his record-setting 2,131st consecutive game and his final All-Star game. Elected 2007.

Peter Edward Rose, Sr., also known by his nickname, "Charlie Hustle" is a former professional baseball player and manager. Rose played in the major leagues from 1963 to 1986, and managed from 1984 to 1989. Rose was a switch hitter and is the all-time MLB leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053), singles (3,215), and outs (10,328). He won three World Series rings, three batting titles, one MVP Award, two Gold Gloves, and the Rookie of the Year Award, and also made 17 All-Star appearances at an unequaled five positions (second baseman, left fielder, right fielder, third baseman, and first baseman), Rose won both of his Gold Gloves as an outfielder in 1969 and 1970. In August 1980 (his last year as a manager and three years after retiring as a player), Rose was penalized with permanent ineligibility from baseball amidst accusations that he gambled on baseball games when he played for and managed the Reds; the charges of wrongdoing included claims that he bet on his own team. In 1991, the Baseball Hall of Fame formally voted to ban those on the "permanently ineligible" list from induction, after previously excluding such players by informal agreement among voters. After years of public denial, Rose admitted in 2004 that he bet on baseball and on the Reds. The issue of Rose's possible reinstatement and election to the Hall of Fame remains contentious throughout baseball.

With a dominating fastball and an unsurpassed work ethic, Nolan Ryan's career spanned four decades and culminated with an MLB-record 5,714 strikeouts. Ryan threw so hard - and could be so wild - that Reggie Jackson described him as "the only guy who could put fear in me. Not because he could get me out, but because he could kill me. You just hoped to mix in a walk so you could have a good night and go 0-for-3." Often among the league leaders in strikeouts, Ryan won 324 games and pitched a major league record seven no-hitters, three more that any other hurler in history. As team president of the Texas Rangers from 2008 until 2013, Ryan led the franchise to its first two World Series appearances (2010 and 2011). Elected 1999.

A sharp batting eye and extraordinary fielding ability at first base led Ty Cobb to call George Sisler "the nearest thing to a perfect ballplayer." The owner of an engineering degree, Sisler was one of baseball's most intelligent and graceful players, starring predominately for the St. Louis Browns. he won two batting titles, hitting better than .400 both times, and amassed 257 hits in 1920 - a record that stood for 84 years. Sisler had a 41-game hitting streak in 1922 and hit .300-or-better 13 times while compiling a .340 lifetime average. Elected 1939.

The most celebrated defensive outfielder of the Dead Ball Era, Tris Speaker played a shallow center field, amassing a record 449 assists and mastering the unassisted double play. John Lardner wrote that Speaker was "as free and easy in the broad spaces of an outfield as a wild horse on a prairie." A terrific hitter with a .345 lifetime average, Speaker set the career record of 792 doubles and finished with 3,514 hits. A successful player-manager, he led the 1920 Cleveland Indians to the World Series championship. Elected 1937.

Theodore Samuel Williams had only one goal in life; to walk down the street and have people say, "There goes the greatest hitter who ever lived." In a 19 year career with the Boston Red Sox - twice interrupted by military service - "The Splendid Splinter" won two Triple Crowns, two MVP Awards and six batting championships. He retired with a career average of .344 and remains the last player to top .400 for a full season (batting .406 in 1941). With keen eyesight, quick wrists and a simple motto - "Get a good ball to hit" - Williams compiled all the evidence he needed to achieve his goal. Elected 1966.

Legendary baseball promoter Henry Chadwick once wrote, "There is no doubt that Harry Wright is the father of professional ball playing." William Henry "Harry" Wright organized, managed and played centerfield for baseball's first all-professional team, the famed 1869 Cincinnati Restocking's. Wright first played baseball with the New York Knickerbockers and later guided the Boston Red Stockings to four straight National Association pennants (1872-1875) and National League titles in 1877 and 1878. According to Chadwick, Wright was "the most experienced, skillful and successful manager of a base ball team in the professional fraternity." Elected 1953.

Legendary baseball promoter Henry Chadwick once wrote, "There is no doubt that Harry Wright is the father of professional ball playing." William Henry "Harry" Wright organized, managed and played centerfield for baseball's first all-professional team, the famed 1869 Cincinnati Restocking's. Wright first played baseball with the New York Knickerbockers and later guided the Boston Red Stockings to four straight National Association pennants (1872-1875) and National League titles in 1877 and 1878. According to Chadwick, Wright was "the most experienced, skillful and successful manager of a base ball team in the professional fraternity." Elected 1953.

Nicknamed "Cy" - short for Cyclone - Denton True Young was one of the most consistent and durable pitchers in baseball history. Cy Young set records that will probably stand forever. He won more than 30 games five times and recorded 20-or-more victories in an astounding 15 seasons. Young explained: "I had a good arm and legs. When I would go to Spring Training, I would never touch a ball for three weeks. I never did any unnecessary throwing." His 511 career wins along with the record for innings pitched 7,355, games started, and this stat is just plain crazy, he has 749 complete games, set a standard that may never be broken. Pitchers today are lucky if they pitch 15 total games a season. Elected 1937.

Nicknamed "Cy" - short for Cyclone - Denton True Young was one of the most consistent and durable pitchers in baseball history. Cy Young set records that will probably stand forever. He won more than 30 games five times and recorded 20-or-more victories in an astounding 15 seasons. Young explained: "I had a good arm and legs. When I would go to Spring Training, I would never touch a ball for three weeks. I never did any unnecessary throwing." His 511 career wins along with the record for innings pitched 7,355, games started, and this stat is just plain crazy, he has 749 complete games, set a standard that may never be broken. Pitchers today are lucky if they pitch 15 total games a season. Elected 1937.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr.; April 16, 1947) is an American retired professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. During his career as a center, Abdul-Jabbar was a record six-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), a record 19-time NBA All-Star, a 15-time All-NBA selection, and an 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team member. A member of six NBA championship teams as a player and two more as an assistant coach, Abdul-Jabbar twice was voted NBA Finals MVP. In 1996, he was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. NBA coach Pat Riley and players Isiah Thomas and Julius Erving have called him the greatest basketball player of all time. After winning 71 consecutive basketball games on his high school team in New York City, Alcindor was recruited by Jerry Norman, the assistant coach of UCLA, where he played for coach John Wooden[7] on three consecutive national championship teams and was a record three-time MVP of the NCAA Tournament. Drafted with the first overall pick by the one-season-old Bucks franchise in the 1969 NBA draft, Alcindor spent six seasons in Milwaukee. After leading the Bucks to its first NBA championship at age 24 in 1971, he took the Muslim name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Using his trademark "skyhook" shot, he established himself as one of the league's top scorers. In 1975, he was traded to the Lakers, with whom he played the final 14 seasons of his career and won five additional NBA championships. Abdul-Jabbar's contributions were a key component in the "Showtime" era of Lakers basketball. Over his 20-year NBA career, his teams succeeded in making the playoffs 18 times and got past the first round 14 times; his teams reached the NBA Finals on 10 occasions. At the time of his retirement at age 42 in 1989, Abdul-Jabbar was the NBA's all-time leader in points scored (38,387), games played (1,560), minutes played (57,446), field goals made (15,837), field goal attempts (28,307), blocked shots (3,189), defensive rebounds (9,394), career wins (1,074), and personal fouls (4,657). He remains the all-time leader in points scored and career wins. He is ranked third all-time in both rebounds and blocked shots. In 2007, ESPN voted him the greatest center of all time, in 2008, they named him the "greatest player in college basketball history", and in 2016, they named him the second best player in NBA history (behind Michael Jordan) Abdul-Jabbar has also been an actor, a basketball coach, and a best-selling author. In 2012, he was selected by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be a U.S. global cultural ambassador. In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Larry Joe Bird (born December 7, 1956) is an American retired NBA basketball player. He won three NBA championships in 1981, 1984, and 1986 with the Boston Celtics. He has also won the NBA MVP award three times, in 1984, 1985, and 1986 as a Celtic. He played college basketball at Indiana State University where he developed a rivalry and friendship with Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson when he faced him in the 1979 NCAA national championship game and three NBA championship series (1984, 1985 and 1987). He has been described as one of the greatest basketball players and greatest shooters of all time. Bird was nicknamed Larry Legend and The Hick from French Lick, after his hometown in Indiana. He was also called Kodak by his first NBA coach, Bill Fitch, because Bird could form pictures in his head of the plays on the basketball court. Finally, he was nicknamed The Great White Hope. In 1992, Bird was a member of the United States men's national basketball team. The team was one of the most famous teams in US Olympic history, known as "The Dream Team." The team captured the gold medal after going undefeated. In 1997, Bird became the head coach of the Indiana Pacers. He was also President of the Pacers (2000-2012, 2013-2017). He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Kobe Bean Bryant (born August 23, 1978), often known mononymously as Kobe, is an American former professional basketball player. He played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association(NBA). He entered the NBA directly from high school and won five NBA championships. Bryant is an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and 12-time member of the All-Defensive team. He led the NBA in scoring during two seasons and ranks third on the league's all-time regular season scoring and fourth on the all-time postseason scoring list. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Bryant is the first guard in NBA history to play at least 20 seasons. Bryant is the son of former NBA player Joe Bryant. He enjoyed a successful high school basketball career at Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania, where he was recognized as the top high school basketball player in the country. Upon graduation, he declared for the 1996 NBA draft and was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall pick; the Hornets then traded him to the Lakers. As a rookie, Bryant earned himself a reputation as a high-flyer and a fan favorite by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest, and he was named an All-Star by his second season. Despite a feud between the two players, Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002. In 2003, Bryant was accused of sexual assault, but the charges were eventually dropped and a civil suit was settled out of court. After the Lakers lost the 2004 NBA Finals, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat and Bryant became the cornerstone of the Lakers. He led the NBA in scoring during the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons. In 2006, he scored a career-high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second most points scored in a single game in league history behind Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in 1962. Bryant was awarded the regular season's Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) in 2008. After the Lakers lost in the 2008 NBA Finals, Bryant led the team to two consecutive championships in 2009 and 2010, earning the Finals MVP Award on both occasions. He continued to be among the top players in the league through 2013, when he suffered a torn Achilles tendon at age 34. Although he recovered from that injury, he suffered season-ending injuries to his knee and shoulder, respectively, in the following two seasons. Citing his physical decline, Bryant retired after the 2015–16 season. At 34 years and 104 days of age, Bryant became the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points. He became the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history on February 1, 2010, when he surpassed Jerry West. During his third year in the league, Bryant was chosen to start the All-Star Game, and he would continue to be selected to start that game for a record 18 consecutive appearances until his retirement. His four All-Star MVP Aw

Wilton Norman Chamberlain (August 21, 1936 – October 12, 1999) was an American basketball player who played as a center and is considered one of the greatest players in history.[1][2] He played for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played for the University of Kansas and also for the Harlem Globetrotters before playing in the NBA. Chamberlain stood 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) tall, and weighed 250 pounds (110 kg) as a rookie[3] before bulking up to 275 and eventually to over 300 pounds (140 kg) with the Lakers. Chamberlain holds numerous NBA records in scoring, rebounding, and durability categories. He is the only player to score 100 points in a single NBA game or average more than 40 and 50 points in a season. He won seven scoring, eleven rebounding, nine field goal percentage titles and led the league in assists once. Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to average at least 30 points and 20 rebounds per game in a season, which he accomplished seven times. He is also the only player to average at least 30 points and 20 rebounds per game over the entire course of his NBA career. Although he suffered a long string of losses in the playoffs,[4] Chamberlain had a successful career, winning two NBA championships, earning four regular-season Most Valuable Player awards, the Rookie of the Year award, one NBA Finals MVP award, and was selected to 13 All-Star Games and ten All-NBA First and Second teams. He was subsequently enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978, elected into the NBA's 35th Anniversary Team of 1980, and in 1996 he was chosen as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.

Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is an American retired professional basketball player and former president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played point guard for the Lakers for 13 seasons. After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA draft by the Lakers. He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had contracted HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. After protests from his fellow players, he retired again for four years, but returned in 1996, at age 36, to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time. Johnson's career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. He led the league in regular-season assists four times, and is the NBA's all-time leader in average assists per game, at 11.2. Johnson was a member of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team ("The Dream Team"), which won the Olympic gold medal in 1992. After leaving the NBA in 1992, Johnson formed the Magic Johnson All-Stars, a barnstorming team that travelled around the world playing exhibition games. Johnson was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996. Johnson became a two-time inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame—being enshrined in 2002 for his individual career, and again in 2010 as a member of the "Dream Team".He was rated the greatest NBA point guard of all time by ESPN in 2007.[4] His friendship and rivalry with Boston Celtics star Larry Bird, whom he faced in the 1979 NCAA finals and three NBA championship series, are well documented.

Peter Press Maravich (June 22, 1947 – January 5, 1988), known by his nickname Pistol Pete, was an American professional basketball player. Maravich was born in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, and raised in the Carolinas. Maravich starred in college at Louisiana State University (LSU) while playing for his father, head coach Press Maravich. He played for three NBA teams until injuries forced his retirement in 1980 following a ten-year career. He is the all-time leading NCAA Division I scorer with 3,667 points scored and an average of 44.2 points per game. All of his accomplishments were achieved before the adoption of the three point line and shot clock, and despite being unable to play varsity as a freshman under then-NCAA rules. One of the youngest players ever inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Maravich was cited by the Hall as "perhaps the greatest creative offensive talent in history".In an April 2010 interview, Hall of Fame player John Havlicek said that "the best ball-handler of all time was Pete Maravich".Maravich died suddenly at age 40 during a pick-up game in 1988 as a consequence of a previously undetected heart defect.

Peter Press Maravich (June 22, 1947 – January 5, 1988), known by his nickname Pistol Pete, was an American professional basketball player. Maravich was born in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, and raised in the Carolinas. Maravich starred in college at Louisiana State University (LSU) while playing for his father, head coach Press Maravich. He played for three NBA teams until injuries forced his retirement in 1980 following a ten-year career. He is the all-time leading NCAA Division I scorer with 3,667 points scored and an average of 44.2 points per game. All of his accomplishments were achieved before the adoption of the three point line and shot clock, and despite being unable to play varsity as a freshman under then-NCAA rules. One of the youngest players ever inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Maravich was cited by the Hall as "perhaps the greatest creative offensive talent in history".In an April 2010 interview, Hall of Fame player John Havlicek said that "the best ball-handler of all time was Pete Maravich".Maravich died suddenly at age 40 during a pick-up game in 1988 as a consequence of a previously undetected heart defect.

Shaquille Rashaun "Shaq" O'Neal (/??'ki?l/ sh?-KEEL; /?æk/ SHAK; born March 6, 1972) is a retired professional American basketball player who is a sports analyst on the television program Inside the NBA on TNT. He is considered one of the greatest players in National Basketball Association (NBA) history. At 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) tall[4] and 325 pounds (147 kg), he was one of the tallest and heaviest players yet. O'Neal played for six teams throughout his 19-year career. Following his time at Louisiana State University, O'Neal was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft. He quickly became one of the best centers in the league, winning Rookie of the Year in 1992–93 and leading his team to the 1995 NBA Finals. After four years with the Magic, O'Neal signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers. They won three consecutive championships in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Amid tension between O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004, and his fourth NBA championship followed in 2006. Midway through the 2007–2008 season he was traded to the Phoenix Suns. After a season-and-a-half with the Suns, O'Neal was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2009–10 season. O'Neal played for the Boston Celtics in the 2010–11 season before retiring. O'Neal's individual accolades include the 1999–2000 MVP award, the 1992–93 NBA Rookie of the Year award, 15 All-Star game selections, three All-Star Game MVP awards, three Finals MVP awards, two, 14 All-NBA team selections, and three NBA All-Defensive Team selections. He is one of only three players to win NBA MVP, All-Star game MVP and Finals MVP awards in the same year (2000); the other players are Willis Reed in 1970 and Michael Jordan in 1996 and 1998. He ranks 8th all-time in points scored, 6th in field goals, 15th in rebounds, and 8th in blocks. Largely due to his ability to dunk the basketball, O'Neal also ranks third all-time in field goal percentage (58.2%).O'Neal was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. He was elected to the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2017.

Oscar Palmer Robertson (born November 24, 1938), nicknamed "The Big O", is an American retired professional basketball player who played for the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks. The 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m), 205 lb (93 kg) Robertson played point guard and was a 12-time All-Star, 11-time member of the All-NBA Team, and one-time winner of the MVP award in 14 seasons. In 1962, he became the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double for a season. In the 1970–71 NBA season, he was a key player on the team that brought the Bucks their only NBA title to date. His playing career, especially during high school and college, was plagued by racism. Robertson is a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, having been inducted in 1980 for his individual career, and in 2010 as a member of the 1960 United States men's Olympic basketball team and president of the National Basketball Players Association. He also was voted one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996. The United States Basketball Writers Association renamed their College Player of the Year Award the Oscar Robertson Trophy in his honor in 1998, and he was one of five people chosen to represent the inaugural National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame class in 2006. He was ranked as the 36th best American athlete of the 20th century by ESPN. Robertson was also an integral part of Robertson v. National Basketball Ass'n of 1970. The landmark NBA antitrust suit, which was filed when Robertson was the president of the NBA Players' Association, led to an extensive reform of the league's strict free agency and draft rules and, subsequently, to higher salaries for all players.

William Felton Russell (born February 12, 1934) is an American retired professional basketball player who played center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1956 to 1969. A five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a twelve-time All-Star, he was the centerpiece of the Celtics dynasty that won eleven NBA championships during his thirteen-year career. Russell and Henri Richard of the National Hockey League are tied for the record of the most championships won by an athlete in a North American sports league. Russell led the University of San Francisco to two consecutive NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956, and he captained the gold-medal winning U.S. national basketball team at the 1956 Summer Olympics. Bill Russell is regarded by many as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He is 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) tall, with a 7 ft 4 in (2.24 m) wingspan.[2][3] His shot-blocking and man-to-man defense were major reasons for the Celtics' domination of the NBA during his career. Russell was equally notable for his rebounding abilities. He led the NBA in rebounds four times, had a dozen consecutive seasons of 1,000 or more rebounds,[4] and remains second all-time in both total rebounds and rebounds per game. He is one of just two NBA players (the other being prominent rival Wilt Chamberlain) to have grabbed more than 50 rebounds in a game. Russell was never the focal point of the Celtics' offense, but he did score 14,522 career points and provided effective passing. Russell played in the wake of black pioneers Earl Lloyd, Chuck Cooper, and Sweetwater Clifton, and he was the first black player to achieve superstar status in the NBA. He also served a three-season (1966–69) stint as player-coach for the Celtics, becoming the first black coach in North American professional sports and the first to win a championship. In 2011, Barack Obama awarded Russell the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his accomplishments on the court and in the Civil Rights Movement. Russell is one of seven players in history to win an NCAA Championship, an NBA Championship, and an Olympic gold medal.[5] He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. He was selected into the NBA 25th Anniversary Team in 1971 and the NBA 35th Anniversary Team in 1980, and named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996, one of only four players to receive all three honors. In 2007, he was enshrined in the FIBA Hall of Fame. In Russell's honor the NBA renamed the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player trophy in 2009: it is now the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award

Jerome Alan West (born May 28, 1938)[3][4] is an American basketball executive and former player. During his active career West played professionally for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His nicknames included Mr. Clutch, for his ability to make a big play in a clutch situation, such as his famous buzzer-beating 60-foot shot that tied Game 3 of the 1970 NBA Finals against the New York Knicks; The Logo, in reference to his silhouette being incorporated into the NBA logo; Mr. Outside, in reference to his perimeter play with the Los Angeles Lakers; and Zeke from Cabin Creek, for the creek near his birthplace of Chelyan, West Virginia. West played the small forward position early in his career, and he was a standout at East Bank High School and at West Virginia University, where he led the Mountaineers to the 1959 NCAA championship game. He earned the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player honor despite the loss. He then embarked on a 14-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and was the co-captain of the 1960 U.S. Olympic gold medal team, a squad that was inducted as a unit into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. West's NBA career was highly successful. Playing the guard position, he was voted 12 times into the All-NBA First and Second Teams, was elected into the NBA All-Star Team 14 times, and was chosen as the All-Star MVP in 1972, the same year that he won the only title of his career. West holds the NBA record for the highest points per game average in a playoff series with 46.3. He was also a member of the first five NBA All-Defensive Teams (one second, followed by four firsts), which were introduced when he was 32 years old. Having played in nine NBA Finals, he is also the only player in NBA history to be named Finals MVPdespite being on the losing team (1969). West was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980 and voted as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history in 1996. After his playing career ended, West took over as head coach of the Lakers for three years. He led Los Angeles into the playoffs each year and earned a Western Conference Finals berth once. Working as a player-scout for three years, West was named general manager of the Lakers prior to the 1982–83 NBA season. Under his reign, Los Angeles won six championship rings. In 2002, West became general manager of the Memphis Grizzlies and helped the franchise win their first-ever playoff berths. For his contributions, West won the NBA Executive of the Year Award twice, once as a Lakers manager (1995) and then as a Grizzlies manager (2004).

Joseph William Frazier (January 12, 1944 – November 7, 2011), nicknamed "Smokin' Joe", was an American professional boxer who competed from 1965 to 1981. He reigned as the undisputed heavyweight champion from 1970 to 1973, and as an amateur won a gold medal at the 1964 Summer Olympics. Frazier was known for his strength, durability, formidable punching power, and relentless pressure fighting style. Frazier emerged as the top contender in the late 1960s, defeating opponents that included Jerry Quarry, Oscar Bonavena, Buster Mathis, Eddie Machen, Doug Jones, George Chuvalo, and Jimmy Ellis en route to becoming undisputed heavyweight champion in 1970, and followed up by defeating Muhammad Ali by unanimous decision in the highly anticipated Fight of the Century in 1971. Two years later, Frazier lost his title when he was defeated by George Foreman. He fought on, beating Joe Bugner, losing a rematch to Aliand beating Quarry and Ellis again. Frazier's last world title challenge came in 1975, but he was beaten by Ali in their brutal rubber match, the Thrilla in Manila. He retired in 1976 following a second loss to Foreman. He made a comeback in 1981, fighting just once before retiring. The International Boxing Research Organization rates Frazier among the ten greatest heavyweights of all time.[2] The Ring magazine named him Fighter of the Year in 1967, 1970 and 1971, while the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) named him Fighter of the Year in 1969, 1971 and 1975. In 1999, The Ring magazine ranked him the eighth greatest heavyweight.[3] BoxRec ranks him as the 18th greatest heavyweight of all time. He is an inductee of both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame. Frazier's style was often compared to that of Henry Armstrong and occasionally Rocky Marciano, dependent on bobbing, weaving and relentless pressure to wear down his opponents. His best known punch was a powerful left hook, which accounted for most of his knockouts. In his career he lost to only two fighters, both former Olympic and world heavyweight champions: twice to Muhammad Ali, and twice to George Foreman. After retiring, Frazier made cameo appearances in several Hollywood movies, and two episodes of The Simpsons. His son Marvisbecame a boxer—trained by Frazier himself—but was defeated by an up-and-coming Mike Tyson in 1986. His daughter Jackie Frazier-Lyde also boxed professionally. Frazier continued to train fighters in his gym in Philadelphia. His attitude towards Ali in later life was largely characterized by bitterness and contempt, interspersed with brief reconciliations. Frazier was diagnosed with liver cancer in late September 2011 and admitted to hospice care. He died of complications from the disease on November 7, 2011.[6]

Evander Holyfield (born October 19, 1962) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1984 to 2011. He reigned as the undisputed champion at cruiserweight in the late 1980s and at heavyweight in the early 1990s, and remains the only boxer in history to win the undisputed championship in two weight classes. Nicknamed "The Real Deal", Holyfield is the only four-time world heavyweight champion, having held the unified WBA, WBC, and IBF titles from 1990 to 1992; the WBA and IBF titles again from 1993 to 1994 and between 1996 and 1999; and the WBA title for a fourth time from 2000 to 2001. As an amateur, Holyfield represented the United States at the 1984 Summer Olympics, winning a bronze medal in the light heavyweight division. He turned professional at the age of 21, moving up to cruiserweight in 1985 and winning his first world championship the following year, defeating Dwight Muhammad Qawi for the WBA title. Holyfield then went on to defeat Ricky Parkey and Carlos de Leónto win the WBC and IBF titles, thus becoming the undisputed cruiserweight champion. He moved up to heavyweight in 1988, later defeating Buster Douglas in 1990 to claim the unified WBA, WBC and IBF heavyweight titles and the undisputed heavyweight championship. He successfully defended his titles three times, scoring victories over former champions George Foreman and Larry Holmes, before suffering his first professional loss to Riddick Bowe in 1992. Holyfield regained the crown in a rematch one year later, defeating Bowe for the WBA and IBF titles (Bowe having relinquished the WBC title beforehand). Holyfield later lost these titles in an upset against Michael Moorer in 1994. Holyfield was forced to retire in 1994 upon medical advice, only to return a year later with a clean bill of health. In 1996 he defeated Mike Tyson and reclaim the WBA title, in what was named by The Ring magazine as the Fight of the Year and Upset of the Year. This made Holyfield the first boxer since Muhammad Ali to win a world heavyweight title three times. Holyfield won a 1997 rematch against Tyson, which saw the latter disqualified in round three for biting Holyfield on his ears. During this reign as champion, he also avenged his loss to Michael Moorer and reclaimed the IBF title. In 1999 he faced Lennox Lewis in a unification fight for the undisputed WBA, WBC and IBF titles, which ended in a controversial split draw. Holyfield was defeated in a rematch eight months later. The following year, he defeated John Ruiz for the vacant WBA title, becoming the first boxer in history to win a version of the heavyweight title four times. Holyfield lost a rematch against Ruiz seven months later and faced him for the third time in a draw. Holyfield retired in 2014, and is ranked number 77 on The Ring's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time and in 2002 named him the 22nd greatest fighter of the past 80 years. He currently ranks No. 9 in BoxRec's ranking of the greatest pound for pound boxers of

Ray Charles Leonard (born May 17, 1956), best known as "Sugar" Ray Leonard, is an American former professional boxer, motivational speaker, and occasional actor. Often regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time, he competed from 1977 to 1997, winning world titles in five weight divisions; the lineal championship in three weight divisions; as well as the undisputed welterweight title. Leonard was part of "The Fabulous Four", a group of boxers who all fought each other throughout the 1980s, consisting of himself, Roberto Durán, Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler. "The Fabulous Four" created a wave of popularity in the lower weight classes that kept boxing relevant in the post-Muhammad Ali era, during which Leonard defeated future fellow International Boxing Hall of Fame inductees Hearns, Durán, Hagler, and Wilfred Benítez. Leonard was also the first boxer to earn more than $100 million in purses, and was named "Boxer of the Decade" in the 1980s.[8] The Ring magazine named him Fighter of the Year in 1979 and 1981, while the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) named him Fighter of the Year in 1976, 1979, and 1981. In 2002, Leonard was voted by The Ring as the ninth greatest fighter of the last 80 years; BoxRec ranks him as the 27th greatest boxer of all time, pound for pound.

Joseph Louis Barrow (May 13, 1914 – April 12, 1981), best known as Joe Louis was an American professional boxer who competed from 1934 to 1951. He reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949, and is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. Nicknamed the "Brown Bomber", Louis' championship reign lasted 140 consecutive months, during which he participated in 26 championship fights. The 27th fight, against Ezzard Charles in 1950, was a challenge for Charles' heavyweight title and so is not included in Louis' reign. He was victorious in 25 consecutive title defenses. In 2005, Louis was ranked as the best heavyweight of all time by the International Boxing Research Organization, and was ranked number one on The Ring magazine's list of the "100 greatest punchers of all time". Louis' cultural impact was felt well outside the ring. He is widely regarded as the first person of African-American descent to achieve the status of a nationwide hero within the United States, and was also a focal point of anti-Nazi sentiment leading up to and during World War II. He was instrumental in integrating the game of golf, breaking the sport's color barrier in America by appearing under a sponsor's exemption in a PGA event in 1952. Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, former home of the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League, and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County's Joe Louis "The Champ" Golf Course, situated south of Chicago in Riverdale, Illinois, are named in his honor.

Joseph Louis Barrow (May 13, 1914 – April 12, 1981), best known as Joe Louis was an American professional boxer who competed from 1934 to 1951. He reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949, and is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. Nicknamed the "Brown Bomber", Louis' championship reign lasted 140 consecutive months, during which he participated in 26 championship fights. The 27th fight, against Ezzard Charles in 1950, was a challenge for Charles' heavyweight title and so is not included in Louis' reign. He was victorious in 25 consecutive title defenses. In 2005, Louis was ranked as the best heavyweight of all time by the International Boxing Research Organization, and was ranked number one on The Ring magazine's list of the "100 greatest punchers of all time". Louis' cultural impact was felt well outside the ring. He is widely regarded as the first person of African-American descent to achieve the status of a nationwide hero within the United States, and was also a focal point of anti-Nazi sentiment leading up to and during World War II. He was instrumental in integrating the game of golf, breaking the sport's color barrier in America by appearing under a sponsor's exemption in a PGA event in 1952. Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, former home of the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League, and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County's Joe Louis "The Champ" Golf Course, situated south of Chicago in Riverdale, Illinois, are named in his honor.

Joseph Louis Barrow (May 13, 1914 – April 12, 1981), best known as Joe Louis was an American professional boxer who competed from 1934 to 1951. He reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949, and is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. Nicknamed the "Brown Bomber", Louis' championship reign lasted 140 consecutive months, during which he participated in 26 championship fights. The 27th fight, against Ezzard Charles in 1950, was a challenge for Charles' heavyweight title and so is not included in Louis' reign. He was victorious in 25 consecutive title defenses. In 2005, Louis was ranked as the best heavyweight of all time by the International Boxing Research Organization, and was ranked number one on The Ring magazine's list of the "100 greatest punchers of all time". Louis' cultural impact was felt well outside the ring. He is widely regarded as the first person of African-American descent to achieve the status of a nationwide hero within the United States, and was also a focal point of anti-Nazi sentiment leading up to and during World War II. He was instrumental in integrating the game of golf, breaking the sport's color barrier in America by appearing under a sponsor's exemption in a PGA event in 1952. Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, former home of the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League, and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County's Joe Louis "The Champ" Golf Course, situated south of Chicago in Riverdale, Illinois, are named in his honor.

Rocco Francis Marchegiano (September 1, 1923 – August 31, 1969), best known as Rocky Marciano (/m??rsi'??no?/), was an American professional boxer who competed from 1947 to 1955, and held the world heavyweight title from 1952 to 1956. He is the only Heavyweight champion to have retired undefeated as champion.[2] His six title defenses were against Jersey Joe Walcott, Roland La Starza, Ezzard Charles (twice), Don Cockell and Archie Moore. Known for his relentless fighting style, formidable punching power, stamina, and exceptionally durable chin, Marciano has been included by boxing historians in lists of the greatest boxers of all time, and is currently ranked by BoxRec as the eighth greatest heavyweight boxer in history. His knockout-to-win percentage of 87.76% remains one of the highest in heavyweight boxing history.

Rocco Francis Marchegiano (September 1, 1923 – August 31, 1969), best known as Rocky Marciano (/m??rsi'??no?/), was an American professional boxer who competed from 1947 to 1955, and held the world heavyweight title from 1952 to 1956. He is the only Heavyweight champion to have retired undefeated as champion.[2] His six title defenses were against Jersey Joe Walcott, Roland La Starza, Ezzard Charles (twice), Don Cockell and Archie Moore. Known for his relentless fighting style, formidable punching power, stamina, and exceptionally durable chin, Marciano has been included by boxing historians in lists of the greatest boxers of all time, and is currently ranked by BoxRec as the eighth greatest heavyweight boxer in history. His knockout-to-win percentage of 87.76% remains one of the highest in heavyweight boxing history.

John Lawrence Sullivan (October 15, 1858 – February 2, 1918), known simply as John L. among his admirers, and dubbed the "Boston Strong Boy" by the press, was an Irish-American boxer recognized as the first lineal heavyweight champion of gloved boxing, de facto reigning from February 7, 1882, to 1892. He is also generally recognized as the last heavyweight champion of bare-knuckle boxing under the London Prize Ring Rules, being the cultural icon of the late 19th century America, arguably the first boxing superstar and one of the world's highest-paid athletes of his era. Newspapers coverage of his career, with latest accounts of his championship fights often appeared in the headlines, and as cover stories, gave birth for the sports journalism in the United States and set the pattern internationally for covering boxing events in media, and photodocumenting the prizefights.

Michael Gerard Tyson (born June 30, 1966) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1985 to 2005. He reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title at 20 years, four months and 22 days old. Tyson won his first 19 professional fights by knockout or stoppage, 12 of them in the first round. He won the WBC title in 1986 after stopping Trevor Berbick in the second round, and added the WBA and IBF titles after defeating James Smith and Tony Tucker in 1987. This made Tyson the first heavyweight boxer to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, and the only heavyweight to successively unify them. Tyson became the lineal champion in 1988 when he knocked out Michael Spinks in 91 seconds of the first round. He successfully defended his titles nine times, which included victories over Larry Holmes and Frank Bruno. In 1990, Tyson lost the titles to underdog Buster Douglas, who knocked him out in the tenth round. Attempting to regain the titles, Tyson defeated Donovan Ruddock twice in 1991, but pulled out of a fight with then-undisputed heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield (who had defeated Douglas later in 1990) due to a rib injury.

Michael Gerard Tyson (born June 30, 1966) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1985 to 2005. He reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title at 20 years, four months and 22 days old. Tyson won his first 19 professional fights by knockout or stoppage, 12 of them in the first round. He won the WBC title in 1986 after stopping Trevor Berbick in the second round, and added the WBA and IBF titles after defeating James Smith and Tony Tucker in 1987. This made Tyson the first heavyweight boxer to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, and the only heavyweight to successively unify them. Tyson became the lineal champion in 1988 when he knocked out Michael Spinks in 91 seconds of the first round. He successfully defended his titles nine times, which included victories over Larry Holmes and Frank Bruno. In 1990, Tyson lost the titles to underdog Buster Douglas, who knocked him out in the tenth round. Attempting to regain the titles, Tyson defeated Donovan Ruddock twice in 1991, but pulled out of a fight with then-undisputed heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield (who had defeated Douglas later in 1990) due to a rib injury.

Michael Gerard Tyson (born June 30, 1966) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1985 to 2005. He reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title at 20 years, four months and 22 days old. Tyson won his first 19 professional fights by knockout or stoppage, 12 of them in the first round. He won the WBC title in 1986 after stopping Trevor Berbick in the second round, and added the WBA and IBF titles after defeating James Smith and Tony Tucker in 1987. This made Tyson the first heavyweight boxer to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, and the only heavyweight to successively unify them. Tyson became the lineal champion in 1988 when he knocked out Michael Spinks in 91 seconds of the first round. He successfully defended his titles nine times, which included victories over Larry Holmes and Frank Bruno. In 1990, Tyson lost the titles to underdog Buster Douglas, who knocked him out in the tenth round. Attempting to regain the titles, Tyson defeated Donovan Ruddock twice in 1991, but pulled out of a fight with then-undisputed heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield (who had defeated Douglas later in 1990) due to a rib injury.

Allen Davis (July 4, 1929 – October 8, 2011) was an American football coach and executive. He was the principal owner and general manager of the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League (NFL) for 39 years, from 1972 until his death in 2011. Prior to becoming the principal owner of the Raiders, he served as the team's head coach from 1963 to 1965 and part owner from 1966 to 1971, assuming both positions while the Raiders were part of the American Football League (AFL). He also served as the commissioner of the AFL in 1966.Known for his motto "Just win, baby", the Raiders became one of the NFL's most successful and popular teams under Davis' management. Although the franchise would enter a period of decline in his final years, the Raiders would enjoy many successes during the 1970s and 1980s, and won three Super Bowl titles. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992. Davis was active in civil rights, refusing to allow the Raiders to play in any city where black and white players had to stay in separate hotels. He was the first NFL owner to hire an African American head coach and a female chief executive. He was also the second NFL owner to hire a Latino head coach (Tom Flores). He remains the only executive in NFL history to be an assistant coach, head coach, general manager, commissioner, and owner.

John Albert Elway Jr. (born June 28, 1960) is a former American football quarterback who is currently general manager and president of football operations of the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). Elway played college football at Stanford and his entire 16-year professional career with the Denver Broncos. At the time of his retirement in early 1999, Elway had recorded the most victories by a starting quarterback and statistically was the second most prolific passer in NFL history. He was also a prolific rusher of the ball, being one of only two players ever to score a rushing touchdown in four different Super Bowls (the other being Thurman Thomas) and the only quarterback to do so. Elway was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004 in his first year of eligibility and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000.

Brett Lorenzo Favre born October 10, 1969) is a former American football quarterback who spent the majority of his career with the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). He was a 20-year veteran of the NFL, having played quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons in 1991, the Packers from 1992 to 2007, the New York Jets in 2008, and the Minnesota Vikings from 2009 to 2010. Favre was the first NFL quarterback to pass for 500 touchdowns, throw for 70,000 yards, complete 6,000 passes, and attempt 10,000 passes. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, Favre played college football for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles for four years, setting many school records. He was selected in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Falcons, with whom he spent one season as a backup before being traded to Green Bay for the Packers' first-round pick in the 1992 NFL Draft. Favre became the Packers' starting quarterback in the fourth game of the 1992 NFL season and started every game through the 2007 season. He played for the Packers for 16 years before being traded to the Jets for the 2008 season and spending his final two seasons with the Vikings. In that time, he made an NFL-record 297 consecutive starts, 321 including the playoffs. Favre's eleven Pro Bowl invitations is the third most among quarterbacks in NFL history. He is the only player to win the Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player Award three consecutive times, doing so from 1995 to 1997, and is one of only six quarterbacks to have won the award as well as the Super Bowl in the same season.[1] He led teams to eight division championships, five NFC Championship Games, and two Super Bowl appearances: Super Bowl XXXI and Super Bowl XXXII. He and the Packers won Super Bowl XXXI over the New England Patriots. Favre holds many NFL records, including most career pass attempts, most career interceptions thrown, most consecutive starts by a player, most times sacked, and most fumbles.[2] At the time of his retirement, he was the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards, passing touchdowns and quarterback wins; all three records have since been broken by Peyton Manning and Tom Brady respectively. Favre was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

Vincent Thomas Lombardi (June 11, 1913 – September 3, 1970) was an American football player, coach, and executive in the National Football League (NFL). He is best known as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s, where he led the team to three straight and five total NFL Championships in seven years, in addition to winning the first two Super Bowls at the conclusion of the 1966 and 1967 NFL seasons. Lombardi began his coaching career as an assistant and later as a head coach at St. Cecilia High School in Englewood, New Jersey. He was an assistant coach at Fordham, at the United States Military Academy, and with the New York Giants before becoming a head coach for the Green Bay Packers from 1959 to 1967 and the Washington Redskins in 1969. He never had a losing season as a head coach in the NFL, compiling a regular season winning percentage of 72.8% (96–34–6), and 90% (9–1) in the postseason for an overall record of 105 wins, 35 losses, and 6 ties in the NFL. Although Lombardi was noted for his gruff demeanor and "iron discipline", he was far ahead of his time in creating a supportive environment for gay players, and he emphatically challenged existing Jim Crow Laws, and provided leadership to break the color barrier in football. He once said that he "... viewed his players as neither black nor white, but Packer green". Lombardi is considered by many to be the greatest coach in football history, and he is recognized as one of the greatest coaches and leaders in the history of all American sports. The year after his sudden death from cancer in 1970, he was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the NFL Super Bowl trophy was named in his honor.

Daniel Constantine Marino Jr. (born September 15, 1961) is an American former football quarterback who played seventeen seasons for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). After a successful college career at Pittsburgh and being named First-team All-American in 1981, Marino was the last quarterback taken in the first round of the quarterback class of 1983. Marino held or currently holds dozens of NFL records associated with the quarterback position, and despite never being on a Super Bowl-winning team, he is recognized as one of the greatest quarterbacks, and generally considered to be among the best pure passers in American football history. Best remembered for his quick release and powerful arm, Marino helped the Dolphins become consistent postseason contenders, leading them to the playoffs ten times and one Super Bowl appearance in XIX, although a title victory ultimately eluded him during his career. Marino is considered by many to be one of the greatest players to never win a Super Bowl and has the most career victories of quarterbacks to not win a title at 155 (147–93 in regular season and 8–10 in playoffs). A nine-time Pro Bowl selection, eight-time first or second team All-Pro, and All-AFC six times, Marino was voted NFL Rookie of the Year by several media outlets. The following season in 1984, Marino was the NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP), when he set single season records of 5,084 passing yards, 48 touchdown passes, nine 300-yard passing games, and four 400-yard passing games. He was voted the 1994 NFL Comeback Player of the Year, and the 1998 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. At the time of his retirement, Marino held more than 40 NFL single season and career passing records (many of which have since been surpassed), including career passing attempts (8,358), completions (4,967), passing yards (61,361), and touchdown passes (420). Marino was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005 in his first year of eligibility, and is currently one of only three former Miami Dolphins to have his jersey number (no. 13) retired.

Joseph Clifford Montana Jr. (born June 11, 1956), nicknamed Joe Cool and The Comeback Kid, is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 16 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. After winning a national championship at Notre Dame, Montana started his NFL career in 1979 with San Francisco, where he played for the next 14 seasons. While a member of the 49ers, Montana started and won four Super Bowls and was the first player ever to have been named Super Bowl Most Valuable Player three times. He also holds Super Bowl career records for most passes without an interception (122 in 4 games) and the all-time highest passer rating of 127.8. In 1993, Montana was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs where he played his final two seasons, and led the franchise to its first AFC Championship Game in January 1994. Montana was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000, his first year of eligibility. In 1989, and again in 1990, the Associated Press named Montana the NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP), and Sports Illustrated magazine named Montana the 1990 "Sportsman of the Year". Four years earlier, in 1986, Montana won the AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award.[7] Montana was elected to eight Pro Bowls, as well as being voted 1st team All-Pro by the AP in 1987, 1989, and 1990. Montana had the highest passer rating in the National Football Conference (NFC) five times (1981, 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1989); and, in both 1987 and 1989, Montana had the highest passer rating in the NFL.[8] Among his career highlights, "The Catch" (the game-winning touchdown pass vs. Dallas in the 1981 NFC Championship Game) and a Super Bowl-winning 92-yard drive against the Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII are staples of NFL highlight films. The 49ers retired the number 16, the jersey number Montana wore while with the team. In 1994, Montana earned a spot on the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team; he is also a member of the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team. In 1999, editors at The Sporting News ranked Montana third on their list of Football's 100 Greatest Players. Also in 1999, ESPN named Montana the 25th greatest athlete of the 20th century. In 2006, Sports Illustrated rated him the number-one clutch quarterback of all time.

Joseph William Namath (/'ne?m??/; born May 31, 1943), nicknamed Broadway Joe, is a former American football quarterback and actor. He played college football for the University of Alabama under coach Paul "Bear" Bryant from 1962 to 1964, and professional football in the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL) during the 1960s and 1970s. Namath was an AFL icon and played for that league's New York Jets for most of his professional football career. He finished his career with the Los Angeles Rams. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985. He retired after playing 143 games over 13 years in the AFL and NFL, including playoffs. His teams had an overall record of 68 wins, 71 losses, and four ties, 64–64–4 in 132 starts, and 4–7 in relief. He completed 1,886 passes for 27,663 yards, threw 173 touchdowns, and had 220 interceptions, for a career passer rating of 65.5.[2] He played for three division champions (the 1968 and 1969 AFL East Champion Jets and the 1977 NFC West Champion Rams), earned one league championship (1968 AFL Championship), and one Super Bowl victory (Super Bowl III). In 1999, he was ranked number 96 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, the only player on the list to have spent a majority of his career with the Jets. In his 1975 autobiography, Bryant called Namath the most natural athlete he had ever coached.

Walter Jerry Payton (July 25, 1954 – November 1, 1999) was an American football running back who played for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL) for thirteen seasons. Payton was known around the NFL as "Sweetness". A nine-time Pro Bowl selectee, Payton is remembered as a prolific rusher, once holding records for career rushing yards, touchdowns, carries, yards from scrimmage, all-purpose yards, and many other categories. He was also versatile, and retired with the most receptions by a non-receiver, and had eight career touchdown passes. He was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame that same year, and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996. Hall of Fame NFL player and coach Mike Ditka described Payton as the greatest football player he had ever seen—but even greater as a human being. Payton began his football career in Mississippi, and went on to have an outstanding collegiate football career at Jackson State University, where he was an All-American. He started his professional career with the Chicago Bears in 1975, who selected him with the 1975 Draft's fourth overall pick. Payton proceeded to win the 1977 AP NFL Most Valuable Player Award and won Super Bowl XX with the 1985 Chicago Bears. He retired from football at the end of the 1987 season having rushed for at least 1,200 yards in 10 of his 13 seasons in the NFL. After struggling with the rare liver disease primary sclerosing cholangitis for several months, Payton died on November 1, 1999, aged 45, from cholangiocarcinoma. His legacy includes the Walter Payton Award, the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, and a heightened awareness of the need for organ donations

Jerry Lee Rice Sr. (born October 13, 1962) is a former American football wide receiver who played in the National Football League (NFL), primarily with the San Francisco 49ers. Due to his numerous records, accomplishments, and accolades, he is widely regarded as the greatest wide receiver in NFL history. Rice is the career leader in most major statistical categories for wide receivers, including receptions, touchdown receptions, and receiving yards, once being the leader for total yards and touchdowns in a season. He has scored more points than any other non-kicker in NFL history with 1,256.[7] Rice was selected to the Pro Bowl 13 times (1986–1996, 1998, 2002) and named All-Pro 12 times in his 20 NFL seasons. He won three Super Bowls with the 49ers and an AFC Championship with the Oakland Raiders. As of 2017, Rice holds over 100 NFL records, the most of any player by a wide margin. In 1999, The Sporting News listed Rice second behind Jim Brown on its list of "Football's 100 Greatest Players In 2010, he was chosen by NFL Network's NFL Films production The Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players as the greatest player in NFL history. Rice was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006. Rice was also inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

Barry Sanders (born July 16, 1968) is a former American football running back. He played professionally for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). A Pro Bowl invitee in each of his ten NFL seasons and two-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year, Sanders led the league in rushing yards four times and established himself as one of the most elusive runners in pro football with his quickness and agility. In 2007, he was ranked by NFL Network's NFL Top 10 series as the most elusive runner in NFL history, and also topped its list of greatest players never to play in a Super Bowl. He is often regarded as one of the greatest running backs in NFL history. Sanders played college football for the Oklahoma State Cowboys football team, where, as a junior in 1988 he compiled what is considered one of the greatest individual seasons in college football history, rushing for 2,850 yards and 42 touchdowns in 12 games. He was awarded the Heisman Trophy as the most outstanding college player in the nation and was unanimously recognized as an All-American. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003. Sanders joined the Lions in 1989 and had an immediate impact, winning the NFL's Rookie of the Year award. Through ten seasons in Detroit, he averaged over 1,500 rushing yards per season and just under 100 rushing yards per game. In 1997, he became the third player to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season and was named the NFL Most Valuable Player. Still seemingly in his prime, Sanders unexpectedly retired from football after the 1998 season, 1,457 yards short of breaking the NFL's all-time rushing record. His number 20 jersey was retired by the Lions, and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

Bruce Bernard Smith (born June 18, 1963) is a former American football defensive end for the Buffalo Bills and the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. He was a member of the Buffalo Bills teams that played in four consecutive Super Bowls as AFC champions. The holder of the NFL career record for quarterback sacks with 200, Smith was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009, his first year of eligibility. Smith was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

Emmitt James Smith III (born May 15, 1969) is a former college and professional American football running back who became the National Football League's (NFL) all-time leading rusher during his fifteen seasons in the league during the 1990s and 2000s. Smith grew up in Pensacola, Florida and became the second-leading rusher in American high school football history while playing for Escambia High School. Smith then attended the University of Florida, where he set numerous school rushing records over a three-year college career with the Florida Gators. After being named a unanimous All-American in 1989, Smith chose to forgo his senior year of eligibility and play professionally. He came back and completed his college coursework, graduating from the University of Florida in 1996. The Dallas Cowboys selected Smith in the first round of the 1990 NFL draft. During his long professional career, he became the NFL's all-time rushing leader with 18,355 yards, breaking the record formerly held by Walter Payton, and played for three Super Bowl-winning Dallas Cowboys teams. He also holds the record for career rushing touchdowns with 164.[1] Smith is the only running back to ever win a Super Bowl championship, the NFL Most Valuable Player award, the NFL rushing crown, and the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award all in the same season (1993). He is also one of four running backs to lead the NFL in rushing three or more consecutive seasons, joining Steve Van Buren, Jim Brown and Earl Campbell. Smith led the league in rushing and won the Super Bowl in the same year three times (1992, 1993, and 1995) when to that point it had never been done. Smith is also one of only two non-kickers in NFL history to score more than 1,000 career points (the other being Jerry Rice). Smith was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

James Francis Thorpe (Sac and Fox (Sauk): Wa-Tho-Huk, translated as "Bright Path";[4] May 22 or 28,[2] 1887 – March 28, 1953)[5] was an American athlete and Olympic gold medalist. A member of the Sac and Fox Nation, Thorpe became the first Native American to win a gold medal for the United States. Considered one of the most versatile athletes of modern sports, he won Olympic gold medals in the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon, and played American football (collegiate and professional), professional baseball, and basketball. He lost his Olympic titles after it was found he had been paid for playing two seasons of semi-professional baseball before competing in the Olympics, thus violating the amateurism rules that were then in place. In 1983, 30 years after his death, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) restored his Olympic medals.

Walter Charles Hagen (December 21, 1892 – October 6, 1969) was an American professional golfer and a major figure in golf in the first half of the 20th century. His tally of 11 professional majors is third behind Jack Nicklaus (18) and Tiger Woods (15). Hagen is widely considered one of the greatest golfers ever. Hagen won the U.S. Open twice, and in 1922 he became the first native-born American to win the British Open, and won the Claret Jug three more times.[3] He also won the PGA Championship a record-tying five times (all in match play), and the Western Open five times when it had near-major championship status. Hagen totaled 45 PGA wins in his career, and was a six-time Ryder Cup captain. The Masters Tournament, the newest major, was established in 1934, after his prime.

Robert Marvin Hull, OC (born January 3, 1939) is a Canadian former ice hockey player who is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. His blonde hair, legendary skating speed, end to end rushes, and the ability to shoot the puck at very high velocity, were all a part of the player known as "The Golden Jet". His talents were such that one or two opposing players were often assigned just to shadow him—a tribute to his explosiveness. In his 23 years in the National Hockey League (NHL) and World Hockey Association (WHA), Hull played for the Chicago Black Hawks, Winnipeg Jets, and Hartford Whalers. He won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player twice and the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading point scorer three times, while helping the Black Hawks win the Stanley Cup in 1961. He also led the WHA's Winnipeg Jets to Avco Cup championships in 1976 and 1978. He led the NHL in goals seven times, the second most of any player in history, and led the WHA in goals one additional time while being the WHA's most valuable player two times. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983, the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 1997, and received the Wayne Gretzky International Award in 2003. In 2017 Hull was named one of the '100 Greatest NHL Players' in history.

Robert Tyre Jones Jr. (March 17, 1902 – December 18, 1971) was an American amateur golfer who was one of the most influential figures in the history of the sport; he was also a lawyer by profession. Jones founded and helped design the Augusta National Golf Club, and co-founded the Masters Tournament. The innovations that he introduced at the Masters have been copied by virtually every professional golf tournament in the world. Jones was the most successful amateur golfer ever to compete at a national and international level. During his peak from 1923 to 1930, he dominated top-level amateur competition, and competed very successfully against the world's best professional golfers. Jones often beat stars such as Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen, the era's top pros. Jones earned his living mainly as a lawyer, and competed in golf only as an amateur, primarily on a part-time basis, and chose to retire from competition at age 28, though he earned significant money from golf after that, as an instructor and equipment designer. Explaining his decision to retire, Jones said, "It [championship golf] is something like a cage. First you are expected to get into it and then you are expected to stay there. But of course, nobody can stay there." Jones is most famous for his unique "Grand Slam," consisting of his victory in all four major golf tournaments of his era (the open and amateur championships in both the U.S. & the U.K.) in a single calendar year (1930). In all Jones played in 31 majors, winning 13 and placing among the top ten finishers 27 times.

Jack William Nicklaus (born January 21, 1940), nicknamed The Golden Bear, is an American retired professional golfer. In the opinion of many observers, he is the greatest golfer of all time. During a span of more than 25 years, he won a record 18 major championships, three ahead of Tiger Woods (15). Nicklaus focused on the major championships—Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship—and played a selective schedule of regular PGA Tour events. He has competed in more major championships (164) than any other player. He finished with 73 PGA Tour victories, third on the all-time list behind Sam Snead (82) and Tiger Woods (81). Nicklaus won the U.S. Amateur in 1959 and 1961 and challenged for a win in the 1960 U.S. Open, where he finished in second place, two shots behind Arnold Palmer. Nicklaus turned professional at age 21 toward the end of 1961. He earned his first professional win at the 1962 U.S. Open when he defeated Palmer by three shots in a next day 18-hole playoff. This win over Palmer began the on-course rivalry between the two golf superstars. In 1966, Nicklaus won the Masters Tournament for the second year in a row, becoming the first golfer to achieve this distinction, and won The Open Championship, completing his career grand slam of major championships. At age 26, he became the youngest to do so at the time. He won another Open Championship in 1970. Between 1971 and 1980, he won an additional nine major championships, overtook Bobby Jones' record of 13 majors, and became the first player to complete double and triple career grand slams of golf's four professional major championships. When Nicklaus claimed his 18th and final major championship at age 46 at the 1986 Masters, he became the tournament's oldest winner. Nicklaus joined the Senior PGA Tour (now known as the PGA Tour Champions) when he became eligible in January 1990, and by April 1996 had won 10 tournaments, including eight major championships despite playing a very limited schedule. He continued to play at least some of the four regular Tour majors until 2005, when he made his final appearances at the Masters Tournament and The Open Championship.

Arnold Daniel Palmer (September 10, 1929 – September 25, 2016) was an American professional golfer who is generally regarded as one of the greatest and most charismatic players in the sport's history. Dating back to 1955, he won numerous events on both the PGA Tour and the circuit now known as PGA Tour Champions. Nicknamed The King, he was one of golf's most popular stars and seen as a trailblazer, the first superstar of the sport's television age, which began in the 1950s. Palmer's social impact on behalf of golf was perhaps unrivaled among fellow professionals; his humble background and plain-spoken popularity helped change the perception of golf from an elite, upper-class pastime (private clubs) to a more populist sport accessible to middle and working classes (public courses). Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player were "The Big Three" in golf during the 1960s; they are widely credited with popularizing and commercializing the sport around the world. In a career spanning more than six decades, he won 62 PGA Tour titles from 1955 to 1973. As of today, he is fifth on the Tour's all-time victory list, trailing only Sam Snead, Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and Ben Hogan. He won seven major titles in a six-plus-year domination from the 1958 Masters to the 1964 Masters. He also won the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998, and in 1974 was one of the 13 original inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Arnold Daniel Palmer (September 10, 1929 – September 25, 2016) was an American professional golfer who is generally regarded as one of the greatest and most charismatic players in the sport's history. Dating back to 1955, he won numerous events on both the PGA Tour and the circuit now known as PGA Tour Champions. Nicknamed The King, he was one of golf's most popular stars and seen as a trailblazer, the first superstar of the sport's television age, which began in the 1950s. Palmer's social impact on behalf of golf was perhaps unrivaled among fellow professionals; his humble background and plain-spoken popularity helped change the perception of golf from an elite, upper-class pastime (private clubs) to a more populist sport accessible to middle and working classes (public courses). Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player were "The Big Three" in golf during the 1960s; they are widely credited with popularizing and commercializing the sport around the world. In a career spanning more than six decades, he won 62 PGA Tour titles from 1955 to 1973. As of today, he is fifth on the Tour's all-time victory list, trailing only Sam Snead, Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and Ben Hogan. He won seven major titles in a six-plus-year domination from the 1958 Masters to the 1964 Masters. He also won the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998, and in 1974 was one of the 13 original inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Wayne Douglas Gretzky CC (born January 26, 1961) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach. He played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for four teams from 1979 to 1999. Nicknamed "The Great One", he has been called "the greatest hockey player ever" by many sportswriters, players, and the league itself.[2] Gretzky is the leading scorer in NHL history, with more goals and assists than any other player.[3] He garnered more assists than any other player scored total points, and is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season – a feat he accomplished four times. In addition, Gretzky tallied over 100 points in 16 professional seasons, 14 of them consecutive. At the time of his retirement in 1999 and persisting through 2017, he holds 61 NHL records: 40 regular season records, 15 playoff records, and six All-Star records. Born and raised in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, Gretzky honed his skills at a backyard rink and regularly played minor hockey at a level far above his peers.[4] Despite his unimpressive stature, strength and speed, Gretzky's intelligence and reading of the game were unrivaled. He was adept at dodging checks from opposing players, and consistently anticipated where the puck was going to be and executed the right move at the right time. Gretzky became known for setting up behind his opponent's net, an area that was nicknamed "Gretzky's office. In 1978, Gretzky signed with the Indianapolis Racers of the World Hockey Association (WHA), where he briefly played before being traded to the Edmonton Oilers. When the WHA folded, the Oilers joined the NHL, where he established many scoring records and led his team to four Stanley Cup championships. Gretzky's trade to the Los Angeles Kings on August 9, 1988, had an immediate impact on the team's performance, eventually leading them to the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals, and he is credited with popularizing hockey in California.[6] Gretzky played briefly for the St. Louis Blues before finishing his career with the New York Rangers. Gretzky captured nine Hart Trophies as the most valuable player, 10 Art Ross Trophies for most points in a season, two Conn Smythe Trophies as playoff MVP and five Lester B. Pearson Awards (now called the Ted Lindsay Award) for most outstanding player as judged by his peers. He won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship and performance five times, and often spoke out against fighting in hockey. After his retirement in 1999, Gretzky was immediately inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, making him the most recent player to have the waiting period waived. The NHL retired his jersey number 99 league-wide, making him the only player to receive such an honour. Gretzky was one of six players voted to the International Ice Hockey Federation's (IIHF) Centennial All-Star Team.[8] Gretzky became executive director for the Canadian national men's hockey team during the 2002 Winter Olympics, in which the team won a gold m

Gordon Howe OC (March 31, 1928 – June 10, 2016) was a Canadian professional ice hockey player. From 1946 to 1980, he played twenty-six seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) and six seasons in the World Hockey Association (WHA); his first 25 seasons were spent with the Detroit Red Wings. Nicknamed Mr. Hockey, Howe is often considered the most complete player to ever play the game and one of the greatest of all time. A 23-time NHL All-Star, he held many of the sport's career scoring records until they were broken in the 1980s by Wayne Gretzky, who himself has been a major champion of Howe's legacy. He continues to hold NHL records for most games and seasons played. In 2017, Howe was named one of the "100 Greatest NHL Players". owe made his NHL debut with the Red Wings in 1946. He won the Art Ross Trophy for leading the league in scoring each year from 1950–51 to 1953–54, then again in 1956-57 and 1962–63, for a total of six times, which is the second most in NHL history. He led the NHL in goal scoring four times. He ranked among the top ten in NHL scoring for 21 consecutive years and set an NHL record for points in a season (95) in 1953, a record which was broken six years later. He won the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings four times and won six Hart Trophies as the NHL's most valuable player. He also led the NHL in playoff points six times. Howe retired for the first time in 1971 and was immediately inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame that same year. He was then inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame the next year, but came back two years later to join his sons Mark and Marty on the Houston Aeros of the WHA. Although in his mid-40s, he scored over 100 points twice in six years, won two straight Avco World Trophies (1974 and 1975) and was named most valuable player in 1974. He made a brief return to the NHL in 1979–80, playing one season with the Hartford Whalers, then retired at age 52. His involvement with the WHA was central to their brief pre-NHL merger success, forcing the NHL to recruit European talent and expand to new markets. Howe was most famous for his scoring prowess, physical strength and career longevity, and redefined the ideal qualities of a forward. He is the only player to have competed in the NHL in five different decades (1940s through 1980s). He became the namesake of the "Gordie Howe hat trick": a goal, an assist and a fight in the same game, though he only recorded two such games in his career. He was the inaugural recipient of the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

Robert Marvin Hull, OC (born January 3, 1939) is a Canadian former ice hockey player who is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. His blonde hair, legendary skating speed, end to end rushes, and the ability to shoot the puck at very high velocity, were all a part of the player known as "The Golden Jet". His talents were such that one or two opposing players were often assigned just to shadow him—a tribute to his explosiveness. In his 23 years in the National Hockey League (NHL) and World Hockey Association (WHA), Hull played for the Chicago Black Hawks, Winnipeg Jets, and Hartford Whalers. He won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player twice and the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading point scorer three times, while helping the Black Hawks win the Stanley Cup in 1961. He also led the WHA's Winnipeg Jets to Avco Cup championships in 1976 and 1978. He led the NHL in goals seven times, the second most of any player in history, and led the WHA in goals one additional time while being the WHA's most valuable player two times. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983, the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 1997, and received the Wayne Gretzky International Award in 2003. In 2017 Hull was named one of the '100 Greatest NHL Players'

Mario Lemieux, OC CQ (French: [l?mjø]; born October 5, 1965) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player. He played parts of 17 National Hockey League seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins from 1984 to 2006, assuming ownership in 1999. Nicknamed "The Magnificent One" or Le Magnifique (as well as "Super Mario"), he is widely acknowledged to have been one of the greatest players of all time.[1] A gifted playmaker and fast skater despite his large size, Lemieux often beat defencemen with fakes and dekes. Lemieux led Pittsburgh to consecutive Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and 1992. Under his ownership, the Penguins won additional titles in 2009, 2016, and 2017. He is the only man to have his name on the Cup as both a player and an owner. He also led Team Canada to an Olympic gold medal in 2002, a championship at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, and a Canada Cup in 1987. He won the Lester B. Pearson Award as the most outstanding player voted by the players four times, the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player (MVP) during the regular season three times, the Art Ross Trophy as the league's points leader six times, and the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoffs MVP in 1991 and 1992. He is the only player to score one goal in each of the five possible situations in a single NHL game, a feat he accomplished in 1988. At the time of his retirement, he was the NHL's seventh-highest ranked career scorer with 690 goals and 1,033 assists. He ranks second in NHL history with a 0.754 goals-per game average for his career, behind only Mike Bossy (0.762). In 2004, he was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.

Mark John Douglas Messier (born January 18, 1961) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey center of the National Hockey League and former special assistant to the president and general manager of the New York Rangers. He played a quarter of a century in the NHL (1979–2004) with the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, and Vancouver Canucks. He also played professionally with the World Hockey Association (WHA)'s Indianapolis Racers and Cincinnati Stingers. He was the last former WHA player to be active in professional hockey, and the last active player who had played in the NHL in the 1970s. Messier is considered one of the greatest ice hockey players of all time. He is second on the all-time career lists for playoff points (295) and regular season games played (1756), and is third for regular season points (1887). He is a six-time Stanley Cup champion—five with the Oilers and one with the Rangers—and is the only player to captain two professional teams to championships. His playoff leadership while in New York, which ended a 54-year Stanley Cup drought in 1994, earned him the nickname "The Messiah", a play on his name. He was also known, over the course of his career, as "The Moose" for his aggression and strength.[4][5] He twice won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's most valuable player, in 1990 and 1992, and in 1984 he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player during the playoffs. He is a 15-time NHL All-Star. In 2007, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, in his first year of eligibility. In 2017 Messier was named one of the '100 Greatest NHL Players' in history.

Robert Gordon Orr, OC (born March 20, 1948) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player, widely acknowledged as one of the greatest of all time. Orr used his ice skating speed, scoring, and play-making abilities to revolutionize the position of defenceman. He played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for 12 seasons, starting with 10 with the Boston Bruins followed by two with the Chicago Black Hawks. Orr remains the only defenceman to have won the league scoring title with two Art Ross Trophies. He holds the record for most points and assists in a single season by a defenceman. Orr won a record eight consecutive Norris Trophies as the NHL's best defenceman and three consecutive Hart Trophies as the league's most valuable player (MVP). Orr was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979 at age 31, the youngest to be inducted at that time. In 2017 Orr was named one of the "100 Greatest NHL Players" in history. After his hockey career, he became a well-known scout for many professional teams. He also spends time talking to and mentoring young skaters. Orr started in organized hockey at age eight. He first played as a forward but moved to defence and was encouraged to use his skating skills to control play. Orr's play in Ontario provincial competition attracted the notice of NHL scouts as early as age twelve. At fourteen, Orr joined the Oshawa Generals, the Bruins' junior hockey affiliate, and he was an all-star for three of his four seasons. In 1966, Orr joined the Boston Bruins, a team that had not won a Stanley Cup since 1941 and had not qualified for the playoffs since 1959. With Orr, the Bruins won the Stanley Cup twice, in 1970 and 1972, and lost in the 1974 Final. In both victories, Orr scored the clinching goal and was named the playoff MVP. In the final achievement of his career, he was the MVP of the 1976 Canada Cup international hockey tournament.

Billie Jean King (née Moffitt; born November 22, 1943) is an American former World No. 1 professional tennis player. King won 39 Grand Slam titles: 12 in singles, 16 in women's doubles, and 11 in mixed doubles. She won the singles title at the inaugural WTA Tour Championships. She often represented the United States in the Federation Cup and the Wightman Cup. She was a member of the victorious United States team in seven Federation Cups and nine Wightman Cups. For three years, she was the United States' captain in the Federation Cup. King is an advocate for gender equality and has long been a pioneer for equality and social justice. In 1973, at age 29, she won the "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match against the 55-year-old Bobby Riggs. She was also the founder of the Women's Tennis Association and the Women's Sports Foundation. She was also instrumental in persuading cigarette brand Virginia Slims to sponsor women's tennis in the 1970s and went on to serve on the board of their parent company Philip Morris in the 2000s. Regarded by many in the sport as one of the greatest women's tennis players of all time,[3][4][5][6] King was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987. The Fed Cup Award of Excellence was bestowed on her in 2010. In 1972, she was the joint winner, with John Wooden, of the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award and was one of the Time Persons of the Year in 1975. She has also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year lifetime achievement award. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1990, and in 2006, the USTA National Tennis Center in New York City was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. In 2018, she won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, KBE ( born 23 October 1940), known as Pelé ([pe'l?]), is a Brazilian retired professional footballer who played as a forward. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. In 1999, he was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS), and was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century award. That same year, Pelé was elected Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee. According to the IFFHS, Pelé is the most successful domestic league goal-scorer in football history scoring 650 goals in 694 League matches, and in total 1281 goals in 1363 games, which included unofficial friendlies and is a Guinness World Record. During his playing days, Pelé was for a period the best-paid athlete in the world. Pelé began playing for Santos at age 15 and the Brazil national team at 16. During his international career, he won three FIFA World Cups: 1958, 1962 and 1970, being the only player ever to do so. Pelé is the all-time leading goalscorer for Brazil with 77 goals in 92 games. At club level he is the record goalscorer for Santos, and led them to the 1962 and 1963 Copa Libertadores. Known for connecting the phrase "The Beautiful Game" with football, Pelé's "electrifying play and penchant for spectacular goals" made him a star around the world, and his teams toured internationally in order to take full advantage of his popularity. Since retiring in 1977, Pelé has been a worldwide ambassador for football and has made many acting and commercial ventures. In 2010, he was named the Honorary President of the New York Cosmos. Averaging almost a goal per game throughout his career, Pelé was adept at striking the ball with either foot in addition to anticipating his opponents' movements on the field. While predominantly a striker, he could also drop deep and take on a playmaking role, providing assists with his vision and passing ability, and he would also use his dribbling skills to go past opponents. In Brazil, he is hailed as a national hero for his accomplishments in football and for his outspoken support of policies that improve the social conditions of the poor. Throughout his career and in his retirement, Pelé received several individual and team awards for his performance in the field, his record-breaking achievements, and legacy in the sport.

Mildred Ella "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias (June 26, 1911 – September 27, 1956) was an American athlete who excelled in golf, basketball, baseball and track and field. She won two gold medals in track and field at the 1932 Summer Olympics, before turning to professional golf and winning 10 LPGA major championships. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time. Mildred Ella Didrikson was born on June 26, 1911, the sixth of seven children, in the coastal city of Port Arthur, Texas. Her mother, Hannah, and her father, Ole Didriksen, were immigrants from Norway. Although her three eldest siblings were born in Norway, Babe and her three other siblings were born in Port Arthur. She later changed the spelling of her surname from Didriksen to Didrikson. She moved with her family to 850 Doucette in Beaumont, Texas, at age 4. She claimed to have acquired the nickname "Babe" (after Babe Ruth) upon hitting five home runs in a childhood baseball game, but her Norwegian mother had called her "Bebe" from the time she was a toddler. Though best known for her athletic gifts, Didrikson had many talents. She also competed in sewing. An excellent seamstress, she made many of her clothes, including her golfing outfits. She claimed to have won the sewing championship at the 1931 State Fair of Texas in Dallas; she did win the South Texas State Fair in Beaumont, embellishing the story many years later in 1953. She attended Beaumont High School. Never a strong student, she was forced to repeat the eighth grade and was a year older than her classmates. She eventually dropped out without graduating after she moved to Dallas to play basketball.[5] She was a singer and a harmonica player and recorded several songs on the Mercury Records label. Her biggest seller was "I Felt a Little Teardrop" with "Detour" on the flip side. Already famous as Babe Didrikson, she married George Zaharias (1908–1984), a professional wrestler, in St. Louis, Missouri, on December 23, 1938. Thereafter, she was largely known as Babe Didrikson Zaharias or Babe Zaharias. The two met while playing golf. George Zaharias, a Greek American, was a native of Pueblo, Colorado. Called the "Crying Greek from Cripple Creek," Zaharias also did some part-time acting, appearing in the 1952 movie Pat and Mike. The Zahariases had no children. They were rebuffed by authorities when they sought to adopt