Most Likable Athletes of All-Time

Sat, Mar 14, 2020 9:13 PM

Stars...others revered, wasn’t on your team but you still had to love him

Let’s list them.

Tony Gwynn...for how great he was, not sure I can think of a more likable athlete 

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  • Sat, Mar 14, 2020 9:16 PM

    Great thread idea.

    Tony Gwynn, for sure.

    I've always liked Drew Brees.

    Rickie Fowler is a boss.

    Sat, Mar 14, 2020 9:58 PM

    Good call on Brees, Peyton Manning up there too

    Sat, Mar 14, 2020 10:14 PM

    I hate Pittsburgh with all of my being but it's hard to dislike Polamalu and not respect his game.

    Sat, Mar 14, 2020 10:39 PM

    Yeah, I always liked Polamalu even though I will forever dislike the Steelers.

    I liked Kirby Puckett a lot when I was a kid.

    Sun, Mar 15, 2020 10:39 AM

    Bob Feller

    Possibly the greatest right-handed pitcher of all-time

    Signed up for WW2, giving up 4 prime years

    Stayed involved in Cleveland community, charities, etc. long after playing days

    Very approachable in public

    Threw batting practice at spring training into his 80s

    Never charged for autographs (not sure that we will ever see ethics like this again)

    Sun, Mar 15, 2020 10:39 AM

    Bob Feller

    Possibly the greatest right-handed pitcher of all-time

    Signed up for WW2, giving up 4 prime years

    Stayed involved in Cleveland community, charities, etc. long after playing days

    Very approachable in public

    Threw batting practice at spring training into his 80s

    Never charged for autographs (not sure that we will ever see ethics like this again)

    Sun, Mar 15, 2020 12:08 PM

    Shaq. 

     

    Super nice guy. One of the greatest of all time.  

    Sun, Mar 15, 2020 12:21 PM

    After some more thought:

    Cal Ripken Jr/Walter Payton

    A notch down but still very high:

    Mariano Rivera

    Larry Walker

    Junior Seau 

    Troy Polamalu

    Jerry Rice

    Barry Sanders

    Kirby Puckett

    Ozzie Smith

    Derek Jeter

    Fred McGriff

    Roberto Clemente 

    Brooks Robinson

    Barry Larkin

    Dave Winfield 

    Shaq

    Grant Hill

    Fred Couples

    Payne Stewart 

    Arnold Palmer

    Roger Federer

    Mary Lou Retton

     

    I think playing in a small market that doesn’t dominate really helps. Players on the Yankees, Patriots, Celtics, Lakers, Steelers etc are always going to have a lot of dislike from others

     

    Sun, Mar 15, 2020 12:47 PM
    posted by Ironman92

    After some more thought:

    Cal Ripken Jr/Walter Payton

    A notch down but still very high:

    Mariano Rivera

    Larry Walker

    Junior Seau 

    Troy Polamalu

    Jerry Rice

    Barry Sanders

    Kirby Puckett

    Ozzie Smith

    Derek Jeter

    Fred McGriff

    Roberto Clemente 

    Brooks Robinson

    Barry Larkin

    Dave Winfield 

    Shaq

    Grant Hill

    Fred Couples

    Payne Stewart 

    Arnold Palmer

    Roger Federer

    Mary Lou Retton

     

    I think playing in a small market that doesn’t dominate really helps. Players on the Yankees, Patriots, Celtics, Lakers, Steelers etc are always going to have a lot of dislike from others

     

    Larkin refused to sign an autograph for me when I was 14. F that guy

    Sun, Mar 15, 2020 1:03 PM
    posted by superman

    Larkin refused to sign an autograph for me when I was 14. F that guy

    Yeah that stuff holds...I have an unhealthy hate for Mark Melacon because he went out of his way to be a douche to my son 

    Sun, Mar 15, 2020 1:29 PM

    Lots of mine are personal interactions.

    • Lindor (and I cant see it changing)
    • Gwynn
    • Rafa Nadal
    • Barry Sanders
    • Shaq
    • Rivera
    • David Wells (amazing story on this one below)
    • Reggie Miller
    • Grant Hill
    • Barkley (maybe the nicest celebrity out there)
    • Matt Kuchar (before the caddie thing lol)

    So, I'm at the 1999 Final Four with my cousins (Lupicas 3 boys) in Tampa Bay. We look up to our right and in the box directly behind us is Tino Martinez. Only one we could see. Between games we go over to them, and low and behold, it’s the core four, Tino, Paul O’Neil, David Wells and Scott Broscious. O’Neil recognizes Christopher as Mike Lupicas son and we all get picked up by Jeter and spend the next 30 minutes in the Yankees suite. David Wells is hammered and has an entire box of chicken wings he is eating and offers us some. Sinbad is with him and goes, “man didn’t his dad call you an overweight liability a few days ago?” So Wells proceeds to jokingly toss the wing he offered into the trash lol.

    He eventually gave us all some and was super nice. They all signed autographs, but David Wells was super nice to a bunch of annoying kids and I’ll never forget. None were overly mean, but most ignored us. Wells and Sinbad entertained us for 25/30 minutes. Shoulder rides, stories, magic tricks etc. Jeter was most standoffish, and was with a smokeshow (could probably look up who he was dating at that point, but I was 12 and didn’t know lol). 

    Sun, Mar 15, 2020 2:54 PM

    Arnold Palmer.

     

    End.of.thread.

    Sun, Mar 15, 2020 4:16 PM
    posted by Spock

    Arnold Palmer.

     

    End.of.thread.

    Charged WAY to much for 3-hole of golf on his arcade game. Dickhead.

    Sun, Mar 15, 2020 4:20 PM

    First thoughts were Cal Ripken, Ken Griffey Jr, Barry Sanders

    Sun, Mar 15, 2020 5:15 PM
    posted by Al Bundy

    Bob Feller

    Never charged for autographs (not sure that we will ever see ethics like this again)

    In the mid-90’s, I was at the Florida training camp at Chain of Lakes with my daughter who was in junior high. They were setting up a table for autographs with Feller (and there was going to be a fee charged).  He heard me say that we had to leave before it started and he called me over and autographed my daughter’s mitt, anyhow.....for free. 
     

    In 1986, Bert Blyleven held my three year old daughter for a picture at Municipal Stadium.  He was super nice. That same year, World B. Free held my daughter for a picture at the Cleveland Zoo. He was also super nice. 
     

    In 1990, I met and chatted with Bernie Kosar at a bar in Cleveland.  Again, super nice. 

    Sun, Mar 15, 2020 5:41 PM

    Boom Boom Mancini.

    Sun, Mar 15, 2020 7:40 PM

    Most likeable:   Archie Griffin - years ago when I was a Redcoat working outside the OSU locker room, he would never fail to smile and say hello to everyone walking by, and make you feel like he'd seen you for years. 

    Least likeable:  New York Yankees.  Was in Minneapolis 25 years ago, caught the Twins-Yanks one night.  I thought, hey, maybe I can get an autograph after the game.  But after waiting patiently with about 30 others, the Yankees came out,  everyone of them looked at us like we were graffiti, and boarded their bus without a word or a wave.   The lone exception:  one of them signed something because they knew the person.

    Those fans that waited were some of the most patient and polite folks I've every seen.  I'm sure players get tired of being pestered, but how hard it would have been for them to at least say, "Hey, thanks for coming out to watch!"?  I don't know, maybe that's a stupid sentiment from their perspective.

    Sun, Mar 15, 2020 8:37 PM

    john daly seems pretty cool

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