Sports history is potentially in the making at every sporting event held and any player at any time could become one of the famous players to grace their game. Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, John Elway, and John McEnroe are all famous players of their own sports. There are plenty of players who never achieve fame for playing their sport, but there is potential for greatness in anyone.
As America’s favorite pass time, baseball has its own coterie of famous players. Early on, there was Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Both Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, they remain two of the most famous players the sport has ever seen. Lou Gehrig, after falling ill with his namesake’s disease, was the first baseball player to have his number retired. Hank Aaron also tops most famous players lists for his all around great game and record breaking 755 career homeruns. Another Hall of Fame inductee, he played from 1952 to 1976.
Nolan Ryan achieved baseball fame as a pitcher with his phenomenal fastball and record breaking strikeouts. His career lasted nearly 30 years from 1966 to 1993. Another player famous for pitching, though not yet a Hall of Famer, is Tom Browning. In 1988 he pitched a perfect game against the Dodgers – the first ever for the Cincinnati Reds.
While baseball legends and history only begin to scratch the surface of the wide world of sports elite group of famous players, one can only hope that the fans, sports writers, and commentators will give fame where it is due. Too often, players become famous not for their contribution to their game, but for their scrupulous behavior off the fields, courts, and fairways. Fame through sports should be reserved for those players who we stand in awe of when their game is on and who we stand beside when their game is off.