December 1: Top Ten All-Time Athletes

I made a radical proclamation on Twitter that I would make a “Top Ten list” for each day in December.  I set this as a personal goal, but one I was only half-way serious about.  After coming up with about 20 lists in about 2 days, I knew it was doable.  I asked for a couple more ideas (thanks, Larry!) and was able to finish of my list of lists one day later.  Most are baseball-centric, the others focus on sports, music, movies, and other random topics.  They won’t always make sense (as I contradict myself numerous times), but enjoy nonetheless.

Top Ten All-Time Athletes:


December 01

This list will incorporate my childhood favorites and then shifted around to allow any new ones and allow for time to do its damage (not all athletes’ histories age gracefully).

  1. Robin Ventura

I don’t know why I chose Robin, but once I latched onto him, I followed his career.  Starting with rooting for the White Sox, I then cheered on the Mets and watched his “grand slam single”, cheered for the Yankees (the only time in my life), and then watched his career come to an unfitting end in his hometown Dodger Blue.  He is a hall of famer in my book.  Take out his horrific ankle injury and I have to think he’d have a few extra years of production and qualify as a 3B.

  1. Patrick Roy

Only #2 on this list because I had to break any and all ties.  I was never a goalie, but I always had it in the back of my head that I wanted to be one.  After getting thrashed in college, this dream was thrown away, but my love of Patrick Roy has not fared the same fate.

  1. Trevor Plouffe

The only active player on this list.  Trevor has won me over with kindness, and it has been amazing watching a player progress like he has.  I can honestly say I was at his first game and have been a fan during his highs and lows.

  1. Kirby Puckett

I grew up in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.  I was born in 1984.  I played baseball and went to pro games.  Need I say more?

  1. Wayne Gretzky

Being a child of the 90s, you had The Great One and MJ.  Two of the greatest players either sport will ever see.  Not being into basketball, The Great One was more of a prototype player for me.  Reading about his resting heart rate in SI for Kids will always stick out to me.

  1. Dominik Hasek

If not for Patrick Roy, Hasek would be my favorite and who knows, maybe even had a chance to get some more Cups.

  1. Chris Chelios

Sure, he played on the hated Wings and rather nasty Blackhawks, but the man seemed to never age.  He played professional hockey nearly into his 50s… IN THE MODERN ERA!

  1. Ozzie Smith

My grade school into junior high glove was an Ozzie Smith model.  That was my favorite glove and whenever I’d make a great play I’d think of the Wizard.

  1. Nolan Ryan

Sure, he beat my favorite player’s face in, but getting woken up by my Dad in the morning and being told Nolan got “another no-hitter last night” will always be a cool memory.

  1. Ron Hextall

A goalie that can score a goal?  I’m in, enough said.


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