Which Sports of Today Are the Most Famous Athletes of All Time

A traffic light in front of a basketball game

Who are the most famous athletes of all time? The answer to that question might surprise you. For a long time, the prevailing thought was that it was a relatively new concept: someone like Joe Montana would emerge and set the NFL on his heels. But in reality, this is hardly the case. It is actually pretty much a sportswriter at heart.

A more useful way of putting it is this: most famous athletes of all time are basically the cream of the crop. They have proven themselves over the years, and they have done so consistently. They are the cream of the crop, and there are very few, if any, who haven’t established some measure of personal or professional success in their lives. Here are a few of the names that make up that elite group.

Most Famous Athletes of All Time

Probably the most easily recognized athlete is football’s king, football’s most prolific quarterback of all time, and also the first Super Bowl champion. Even those that follow his footsteps, such as Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw, are not in that elite company. The three of them share four Super Bowl titles, but only one came after the Super Bowl. And even that came after a string of injuries to the group. It shows the resilience of this great game, even in its most diminished state.

Babe Ruth

A close up of a baseball field

Many will argue that the most famous athlete of all time belongs to another game, but to a far different realm of the sporting world. Baseball’s Babe Ruth is often cited as the best player ever, but he didn’t even play during the regular season in his day. He was an injury-prone player for many of his 11-season career, and his numbers slipped during the latter part of his career. He is, however, the most famous hitter of all time, and many consider him to be the greatest player ever. Ruth is included in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and no matter what you think of his statistics, you can’t deny that he deserves it.

The next on the list of most famous athletes of all time belongs to another sport. Baseball is a very popular sport in America, and it is represented strongly in the American economy. There are billions of dollars in revenue each year spent on baseball merchandise, and this doesn’t include all the money made from various television deals. In many ways, baseball has become America’s team.

Michael Jordan

A man playing a game of baseball

Basketball is the third most popular sport in the United States. Michael Jordan dominates the headlines all the time, but there are many other great players who have come before him. There are five “game winners” in NBA history that everyone recognizes, but there are others that only seem to make the occasional highlight reel. These include legends such as Joe Montana and Allen Iverson. When basketball is mentioned, many people immediately think of Jordan and Iverson. However, it was Bill Bridges who became one of the best college players of all time and to this day remains an All-American.

Finally, one sport that is often mentioned when you mention the most famous athletes of all time is golf. Tiger Woods is arguably the best golfer of all time, and his wins in major tournaments such as the Masters have made him into an icon. Woods has won so many major tournaments that some people think he is a one-man team, which is a tribute to his ability and consistency. Indeed, most people who play golf think of Woods as the greatest player of all time.

Bottom Line

As you can see, there are many different sports of course that deserve to be mentioned when you talk about the most famous athletes of all time. Baseball, basketball, football, golf, tennis, and swimming are all very popular, and many people play each of them every day. You can see how any given sport could easily dominate any given list. But it’s also important to remember that some of these players did not excel in their chosen sports, and they still became legends in their field.

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