Monday, June 06, 2016

Ours Go to 11: Volume 10, The Greatest Living Sports Legends Over 70

In the wake of the passing of Muhammad Ali--who would have topped such a list--I've been thinking about the truly legendary athletes who are still with us.

I'll focus strictly on those over the age of 70, so will not include Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Magic Johnson, Ken Griffey, Jr., Tiger Woods, Serena Williams, Lionel Messi and others of current or not so distant vintage. (Those close to this age barrier include Bobby Orr, Mike Schmidt, Johnny Bench, Julius Erving, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nolan Ryan and Terry Bradshaw, among others.) 

I'm also keeping this to athletes with whom I'm familiar, and while you should put whomever you want on your list, I think having played a major sport in the United States at some point will be a criteria for me. Thus, no Sadaharu Oh or some legendary cricket player I don't know. And apologies for not being able to come up with more than one woman.

Happy to hear your arguments and own submissions, but for me these are...

The 11 Most Legendary Living Athletes Past the Age of 70
As of June 6, 2016

1. Willie Mays 
2. Hank Aaron 
3. Jim Brown
4. Pele
5. Gordie Howe
6. Jack Nicklaus
7. Bill Russell
8. Joe Namath
9. Sandy Koufax
10. Arnold Palmer 
11. Dick Butkus

Honorable Mention 

Bob Gibson
Richard Petty
Frank Robinson
Tom Seaver
Steve Carlton
Jim Palmer
Reggie Jackson
Billie Jean King 
Oscar Robertson
Fran Tarkenton
Pete Rose
Gale Sayers
Carl Yaztrzemski
Bob Cousy 

Bobby Hull 
Whitey Ford
Rod Laver

1 comment:

Ken said...

I think Green Bay Packer fans might throw in a vote for Bart Starr or Ray Nitschke. In my time, the Butkus/ Nitschke rivalry was widely recognized.