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Who were your favorite athletes growing up?

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Retired Community Manager

Who were your favorite athletes growing up?

Joe Montana never threw an interception in his four Super Bowl games with the San Francisco 49ers on the way to four Championships and three Super Bowl MVP awards. Michael Jordan won an NCAA Championship with UNC and six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls, and was a five-time NBA MVP. Serena Williams won 23 Grand Slam titles, setting the record after surpassing Steffi Graf in 2017. Who were your favorite athletes growing up?

 

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Reggie Jackson 77-78 Yankees in general. 78-79 Pittsburgh Steelers - The Iron Curtain! 

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Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox.  He arrived as the successor to Ted Williams, an impossible assignment, and weathered years of that pressure before emerging as a once-in-a-lifetime Hall of Fame player; spent his entire career in Boston and conducted himself humbly and loyally, no matter what.

Muhammad Ali.  Like most uninformed young sports fans in the early 1960s, I took on the opinions of the surrounding adults.  Cassius Clay was a loud-mouthed braggart who would surely get his comeuppance one day.  The man who emerged was so much more and thankfully I was open to who he became.  It's hard to quantify how Ali influenced sports, society, race relations, and humanitarianismHis stand against an unjust war and conscription cost him three of the prime years of his career and demonstrated he was more than a skilled athlete, but a thoughtful man of conscience who walked the walk. 

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And Ted Williams didn't have his own song. 🙂

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Conversationalist

I loved Johnny Unitas, he was so fantastic!

I loved Joe Namath of the Jets, he said he was going to the super Bowl to win it and his team did,yes!

My kids absolutely loved Michael Jordan, a superb athlete on the court of basketball. I was amazed at how he could make the basket in a corner,side,everywhere on the court. He said he practiced for hours before a game, that’s dedication! 
I loved Muhammad Ali, the dancing butterfly,sting like a bee. 
I loved watching Billy Jean King,such an inspiration for me, to play your hardest and to become the best but sincerely love Tennis. She was awesome,too!

I guess you can tell our family loved all around Sports!

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Sugar Ray Leonard. Family cheered for him in the Montreal Olynpics. He was sweeeeet! 

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Regular Contributor

While there were more, I'll name seven:  Jim Thorpe, Babe Ruth, Johnny Unitas, Wilt Chamberlain, Arnold Palmer, Rod Laver, and Johnny Weissmuller.

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Johnny Unitas was my husbands favorite when he was growing up too.

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Social Butterfly

Mr Hockey—Gordie Howe

Mr Tiger—Al Kaline

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Newbie

The '55 Brooklyn Dodgers...starting with my hero Gil Hodges!  Of course Jackie, Campy, Duke, Skoonj, Erskine, Sandy Amoros, Don Newcome, Joe Black.  I bled Dodger blue as a kid, until they left Brooklyn. 

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Chris Everett - great tennis player, classic personallity. Jean-Claude Killy - great Alpine skier, some wonderful memories watching him with my Dad and the family. Kenny Stabler - QB for the Oakland Raiders, 4 time All-Pro. Bob Lilly defensive tackle for the Cowboys - his dad was my Biology teacher at Pendleton high, what a nice man he was. So many of the Olympic Athletes - Dan O'brien, from the town I live in, Mark Spitz. Dorothy Hamill, and later Michelle Kwan - both classic. Scott Hamilton - so much tallent and energy. Larry Mahan - Rodeo, rode in my hometown of Pendleton, from my state, 5 time bronc champion, 6 time bull champion I believe. 

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Periodic Contributor

Stan Musial. 

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I 'm with you.  Stan the Man was it with me.  Loved going to the Cardinal games to watch him play.

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Not exactly growing up, but in my 20's and 30's, my favorite athlete was Tommy John, a pitcher for both the LA Dodgers and The California Angels and other teams, nicknamed, "The  Bionic Man". He played 26 seasons between 1963 and 1989. He was a 4-time MLB all-star and has the 3rd most wins (288) of any pitcher since 1900 not in the Hall of Fame. He was a joy to watch.

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Silver Conversationalist

Mickey Mantle!   I was a fan of the 1950s Yankees.  Family friends took me to a Yankee series in DC against the Washington Senators.   This was in 1960 and I got to see the Mantle-Maris outfield. Senators won the series 2-1 but I had a time to remember for life.

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I too am a Yankees fan. I was there in 1956 when Don Larsen pitched his no hitter. Great memories.

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Willie Mays, Tony Gwynn, Magic Johnson, Geordie Howe

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I was a Willie Mays fan also. 

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A bunch of late 60s--early 70s Orioles: Jim Palmer, Paul Blair (who I met about 20 years ago), Brooks Robinson, Al Bumbry, Elrod Hendricks. Cal Ripken, Jr., of course, and Mike Mussina until he went to the Yankees, but I was a grown-up by then. 

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Palmer had the perfect Oriole career time frame. He came up a year before the first time the Orioles were in the World Series, and retired a year after the 6th and last time they were in the World Series. In his first World series game, beat Sandy Koufax in the last game of Sandy's career. If he had not been injured in 74, considering the team still won the division, there is a very good chance that he would have had 9 consecutive seasons of at least 20 wins. Palmer also never gave up a grand slam.

Also Mark Belanger, he never dove for a ball because he was already in the right position.

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Admired? Many. Idolized? Mickey Mantle (and astronaut John Glenn!). As a DC boy, QB Sonny Jurgensen and The Senator’s Frank Howard. How many touchdowns I threw in my fantasy world as Sonny and tape measure shots as Frank and the Mick!

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Regular Social Butterfly

KC Chiefs master passer Lennie Dawson

 

Baseball's best ambassador Nolan Ryan

 

KC's own Buck O'Neil

 

Obviously I'm from Kansas City; these men were my heroes growing up, with Nolan being included because my Dad knew he'd be a legend, he said.

 

I love this topic and would appreciate different gens favs, especially as women't sports become prominent.

 

Thanks, Lynne, for a new and interesting topic!

 

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