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Statistical Debate

Which Athletes Make the Greatest Athletes?

Every athlete whether you are professional or amateur has one sport that they favor and dominate more in. Sometimes its down to physical traits like size, strength, or height, and sometimes its down to the mentality of the athlete. We all know some sports require more athletic ability than talent or skills. Hockey for example is sport that requires high levels of dexterity and hand eye coordination. Completely opposite of that is soccer which requires an immense amount of endurance and quick decision making. Although there are some well known athletes that are multi-sport athletes, where they are able to play more than one sport at a very high level.

This has brought up the question: Which type of athletes make the “Best” athletes?

Here are some of the most well known multi-sport athletes and their accomplishments.

Michael Jordan

mj_9881Primary Sport: Basketball (Chicago Bulls 1984-93, 95-98, Washington Wizards 2001-2003)

Accomplishments: 6x NBA Champion, 5x League MVP, Hall of Fame Class of 2009, 10x Scoring Champion, 14x NBA All-Star, 3x NBA All Star MVP, 1x Defensive Player of the Year, NBA Rookie of the Year 1985, 11x All-NBA selection, 9x All-Defensive selection

Secondary Sport: AA Baseball ( Birmingham Barons 1994-1995)

Accomplishments: None: Held a .202 Batting Average and hit 3 HRs

Bo Jackson

images-1Primary Sport: Baseball (Kansas City Royals 1986-1990, Chicago White sox 1991-1993, California Angels 1994)

Accomplishments: All star selection, MLB All-Star Game MVP, AL Comeback Player of the Year, Tony Conigliaro Award, 2x Led the American league in assists by a left fielder,  .250 batting average, 415 hits, 141 Homeruns.

Secondary Sport: Football (Los Angeles Raiders 1987-1990)

Accomplishments: Heisman Award, 1x Pro Bowl, Water Camp Award, Chic Harley Award, Only player to get All-Star Status in 2 major sports, 16 touchdowns, 2782 rushing yards

Deion Sanders

deion_g_sanders_260Primary Sport: Football ( Atlanta Falcons 1989-1993, SF 49ers 1994, Dallas Cowboys 1995-1999, Washington Redskins 2000, Baltimore Ravens 2004-2005)

Accomplishments: 8x Pro Bowler, 8x All-Pro, 2x Super Bowl Champion, AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 2x NFC Defensive Player of the Year, Hall of Fame Class of 2011.

Secondary Sport: Baseball ( NY Yankees 1989-1990, Atlanta Braves 1991-1994, Cincinnati Reds 1994-1995, SF Ginats 1995, Cincinnati Reds 1997,2001)

Accomplishments: Led NL in triples in 1992 with 14, .263 Batting Average, 558 hits,   39 Homeruns.

These are just a few of the many multi-sport athletes in our sports history. Some athletes were college stars in multiple sports who decided to go on and focus towards one professional sport, and others try to challenge themselves in the big leagues.

It is hard to compare one legendary athlete to another but, that is not what we are here to do. We are trying to decide on who exactly would make the best athletes; Football, Baseball, Hockey, Basketball, or Soccer players. We have all seen the potential for players in each of these sports to play at a high level in another sport besides their own profession. This is one question thats up for debate and always comes with many bias opinions.

I have personally ranked out of the 5 major sports in the United States which type of athletes make the most versatile athletes.

1) Football Players (NFL)

2) Basketball Players (NBA)

3) Baseball Players (MLB)

4) Hockey Players (NHL)

5) Soccer Players (MLS)

Now this list does not mean that one sport or athlete is better than the other but, those types of athletes are more likely to be able to integrate better in another sport.

I’ve made this list considering certain factors: Athleticism, Strength, Physical traits, Certain Skills, Reaction Times, Mental Pressure.


The reason why I chose football players as being the most versatile or greatest athletes is because not only are there more professional football players that have played at high levels in other sports than in any other professional sports but, the capacity for a football player to transfer over to another sport is a lot easier than from any other sport.

This is possible because football has certain aspects in it that are important in almost every sport. In Football players of high level contain these qualities; High aggression/contact, Great Hand eye coordination, High Endurance, Speed, High Athleticism, and a Tough Mentality.  With all of these aspects being important in the game they certainly have an advantage in the ability of being a multi-sport athlete.



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