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Who is the greatest athlete of all time and who is most dominant ALL TIME?

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  • Who is the greatest athlete of all time and who is most dominant ALL TIME?

    From a discussion in another thread, but figured it would be better to start a new thread. The greatest athlete of all time in his sport, biggest difference between him and the rest of the players in his sport has got to be George Herman Ruth. Don't see how anyone else is close.

    I believe Mr Ruth is also the most dominant BUT I can understand an argument for Wilt. I admit I know nothing about swimming so I can't comment on Spitz and I guess Armstrong could be up there for dominant in cycling but when you look at Ruths numbers, records, whose records he broke, the OBP, SLG%, HR per ab, etc... It is just incredible compared to those he played against. Then even compared to modern athletes.... Be had more power than any man alive today. He hit balls that were like sand bags compared to balls today 600+ feet on several recorded occasions. Only men near him in power were the great Josh Gibson, the Mick and maybe Frank Howard.

    Anyone have an athlete they think was better or more dominant?
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  • #2
    Earl the GOAT Manigault....I believe Jordan stated that if he didn't get into drugs he would've been the greatest bball player of all time.

    I think he was a tad under 6 foot yet could touch the top of the backboard. Hops, quickness, great shooter.
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    • #3
      You have to take context greatly into account. Baseball prospectus published a book in which an entire chapter compared Barry Bonds and Babe Ruth. You can talk about steroids and PED's, but what Bonds accomplished is real in the sense that it happened and needs to be taken into account. Furthermore, there's the integration of international talent into the game, the changing of the mound and all sorts of factors that made Ruth's environment an overall easier.

      But I'll repeat what I said back in the other post, baseball doesn't offer the opportunity to dominate that other sports, primarily basketball, do. For example, you're at best going to have a significant impact on run prevention in 1-2 innings per night or 1-2 starts per week. As a fielder you have a pretty small impact in that department, you need to pitch to get that done. As a hitter, you can be a fucking awesome hitter but be minimized via the intentional walk and/or being pitched around. You're still impacting the game but it takes away from your opportunity. And lastly, as a hitter you get just a few chances to alter the outcome of the game.

      In contrast, as a basketball player, if you're very good you're going to be out there for 36-40 mpg, possibly more when the games really count. You can dominate offensively and defensively on every possession. You can dominate with scoring, passing, rebounding, etc. The very best basketball players go out and simultaneously score 30+ points while locking down the other team's best player. Look at the most recent basketball game: Lebron scored 32 points, dished out 5 dimes and hauled in 15 boards while holding Danny Granger to 7 points on 1-10 shooting.

      Babe Ruth may be as good of a baseball player as MJ was a basketball player, but just by virtue of the games they played one had more of an impact on winning than the other.

      I mean, look at last year's baseball season. The best hitter in the game, Matt Kemp was a force of destruction. 40 homers and 40 stolen bases playing half of your games in LAD's ballpark??? While hitting .325?? And where did his team end up finishing.....third in the weak West just 3 games over .500. He was the best baseball player in the world last season and his team missed the playoffs. The best basketball player in the world will never be sitting at home come playoff time.
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      • #4
        Cael Sanderson - Wrestling

        High School - Sanderson had a 127–3 record with four state titles. Edit: His 3 losses were during his Freshman year (14/15years old), while he was wrestling 17-18 year old juniors and seniors.

        College - Record 159–0, 4 NCAA titles, 3 Dan Hodge Trophy awards, 4-time NCAA Outstanding Wrestler, and 4-time Big 12 Conference Champion.

        Olympics - 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Sanderson won gold at the 84 kg (184.8 lb.) weight class, defeating Eui Jae Moon of South Korea in the finals.

        Other - He was also the 2003 World Championship silver medalist, and a three-time national freestyle champion (2001–03).

        Coaching - 2009, In only his second year, he coached the Nittany Lions to the 2010-2011 Big Ten Championship and the NCAA Championship.

        2011 - 2012, He went on to coach Penn State to claim its second Division I NCAA Team title in Sanderson's three years as head coach
        Last edited by TLopez; 05-14-2012, 05:50 PM.
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        • #5
          Bo Jackson If he doesnt get hurt he would of put up Jim Brown like numbers plus he was a good baseball player. I thought he was going the distance everytime he touched the football.

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          • #6
            Dakoose,

            What Ruth did was nothing like bonds, and I don't care about gear cause speed was around forever in the game, a modern baseball player would have to hit 200+ home runs to compare. When he hit 59 his first year with the yanks (and broke the record of 29 that was held by a pitcher...oh yea, that pitcher was Ruth) he out homered every other team! He himself hit more than any TEAM did. The difference between Ruth and the next best or the average player was greater than the best and second best ever in any sport. The domination in the terms you use would be valid IF he didn't dominate in the world series....you can say "they could just walk him" and they tried and sometimes did but we can only go by what actually happened and not what could have. He won ring after ring and dominated in the world series so I would argue that be was so great that even going to the plate 4-5 times a game he STILL dominated.

            Wilt is second to me. They changes the rules to make the game harder for him and it still didn't matter....but he couldn't make a foul shot or he would have had a bunch of rings.
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            "You are you. That is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You."
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            I would like to thank all the stupid people of the world. Without you guys I would only be average.


            "Tell them bitches get a stick I'm done leading the blind"
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            • #7
              I think it's pretty much impossible to compare athletes from different sports and even form the same sports, but different eras. I mean when Babe Ruth played he only basically played against white Americans (no African - Americans, no Latin players, no Japanese, etc). From what I have seen in my lifetime I would say Barry Bonds or Randy Johnson in baseball, MJ in basketball.. I think in football you are so dependent on your teammates to really pick one but after seeing how awful the Colts were last year I think I would say Peyton Manning is the best football player.

              And I don't know if anybody else on here watches soccer ever but that Lionel Messi on Barcelona is pretty ridiculous. He scored like 60+ goals this year

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Big O View Post
                I think in football you are so dependent on your teammates...
                Exactly why I chose Cael Sanderson. There's nobody to help you on a wrestling mat.
                2014 USPA Nevada State / Regional Championships - 1,168 total

                2014 USPA National Championships - 1,235 total

                2014 Village Gym Meet - 1,260 total

                2015 USPA Camp Pendleton Meet - 1,235 total


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by thedunhill225 View Post
                  Dakoose,

                  What Ruth did was nothing like bonds, and I don't care about gear cause speed was around forever in the game, a modern baseball player would have to hit 200+ home runs to compare. When he hit 59 his first year with the yanks (and broke the record of 29 that was held by a pitcher...oh yea, that pitcher was Ruth) he out homered every other team! He himself hit more than any TEAM did. The difference between Ruth and the next best or the average player was greater than the best and second best ever in any sport. The domination in the terms you use would be valid IF he didn't dominate in the world series....you can say "they could just walk him" and they tried and sometimes did but we can only go by what actually happened and not what could have. He won ring after ring and dominated in the world series so I would argue that be was so great that even going to the plate 4-5 times a game he STILL dominated.

                  Wilt is second to me. They changes the rules to make the game harder for him and it still didn't matter....but he couldn't make a foul shot or he would have had a bunch of rings.
                  Again, you need to take context into account. There are statistical algorithms that normalize historical data as well as current data and churn out context independent numbers that make comparisons across different eras very possible. You can't look at Babe's era and just ignore his competition pool. He was a great, great baseball player but I just can't put him up there with some of the other athletes.

                  Michael Jordan, Tiger, Ali and a few others come up on my list before the Babe.
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                  • #10
                    You've already changed your stance from your original statement. :laughing:

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                    • #11
                      These threads usually seem cool at first, but all too often, people already have their minds made up as to who the best is, and it is so subjective. I don't even think you can really compare cross-genre athletics or cross-era, i.e baseball and basketball now versus in the 20-30's, and say who is overall best athlete. It is always going to come down to opinion and those typically cannot be changed very often...

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                      • #12
                        I don't know much about baseball, but Josh Gibson was just as dominant as Ruth was at the same time wasn't he? Sure, he only played in the negro laegues but he hit over 900 home runs and had 84 in one year.

                        I also think Gordie Howe was just as dominant in his sport at the time as Ruth or Wilt, but Gretzky may be a better player. While Howe may have been more dominant, the game wasn't as advanced as it was when Gretzky played. I think the evolution of the game itself makes it very difficult to compare players from different eras.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Big O View Post

                          And I don't know if anybody else on here watches soccer ever but that Lionel Messi on Barcelona is pretty ridiculous. He scored like 60+ goals this year
                          Messi is totaly out of this world... in Europe we are used to see the best soccer players from every corner of the world, but the way this kid dominates is something I´ve never seen...

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                          I assume nobody mentioned Usain Bolt because he is an alien and this discssion is about humans

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                          • #14
                            I have to go with Wayne Gretzky.. i know he was in a different era of hockey and the game has changed a lot but the fact is no body will ever come close to any of his records in hockey. 2857 career regular season points in 1487 games. averaging almost 2 points per game.. over 1.3 assists per game and .6 goals per game over his entire career. Take him into the playoffs and still almost 2 points per game average over his career.

                            The only one who comes close to him in points per game average in the NHL history is Mario Lemieux. Those 2 were in a league of their own.

                            I figure hockey may not be to big of a pick here so outside of that I go with Barry Sanders. If he had kept playing as long as Emitt Smith there is no way he would not be the all time leading rusher in every category. Or put him behind Dallas' O-line.. all records would have been demolished.. the fact he gained that many yards with who he had around him is remarkable.

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                            • #15
                              Sorry when it comes to hockey #4 Bobby Orr was the greatest! Changed the game as a defenseman. Still holds scoring records to this day! 8 Norris trophies and would drop the gloves with anyone. And did this all before the age of 30 retiring from knee injuries! If he had the knee procedures of modern time who knows what kind of other records he would of set. Look up his numbers guy was amazing!

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