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Greatest athlete in Boston history

craig44craig44 Posts: 10,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

I got this idea from another thread. We have done Rushmores before, but this one is more difficult. Who, in Boston history, is the cities best athlete? Here are a few of my ideas by sport:

Baseball: Williams, Yaz, Foxx, Boggs, Clemens, Pedro. I am leaving out Grove, only had a few great seasons with Boston. Same with Ruth

Basketball: Russell, Bird, Havelicheck, Pierce

Football: Tommy (come on, did you expect anyone else?)

Hockey: Orr, Bourque.

you all know who I am choosing, who do you guys think is the greatest?

George Brett, Bobby Orr and Terry Bradshaw.

Comments

  • charliej2356charliej2356 Posts: 277 ✭✭✭

    I'd say Bill Buckner ;-)

  • Alfonz24Alfonz24 Posts: 3,000 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Pablo Sandoval?

    #LetsGoSwitzerlandThe Man Who Does Not Read Has No Advantage Over the Man Who Cannot Read. The biggest obstacle to progress is a habit of “buying what we want and begging for what we need.”You get the Freedom you fight for and get the Oppression you deserve.
  • craig44craig44 Posts: 10,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Alfonz24 said:
    Pablo Sandoval?

    Pablo may be second, right after Carl Crawford

    George Brett, Bobby Orr and Terry Bradshaw.

  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 29,223 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Tom Brady
    Larry Bird
    Big Papi
    Bobby Orr

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 10,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @perkdog said:
    Tom Brady
    Larry Bird
    Big Papi
    Bobby Orr

    which one is the best?

    George Brett, Bobby Orr and Terry Bradshaw.

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 10,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am, of course, choosing Tommy.

    I think a case could be made for Larry, Bill, Orr and Ortiz.

    thanks @perkdog I totally brain-farted on Ortiz.

    George Brett, Bobby Orr and Terry Bradshaw.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 27,472 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Paul Revere - equestrian

  • erikthredderikthredd Posts: 7,911 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Greatest athlete in Boston history would be Bill Russell for me. We all know how great he was on the basketball court but while in college he was also rankled as a top 10 high jumper in college.

  • PillarDollarCollectorPillarDollarCollector Posts: 4,607 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Babe Ruth if his time with Boston counts.

    Collecting interests: Mexico & Peru early milled 1 reales + 1796-1891 US dimes

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  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 29,223 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @craig44 said:
    I am, of course, choosing Tommy.

    I think a case could be made for Larry, Bill, Orr and Ortiz.

    thanks @perkdog I totally brain-farted on Ortiz.

    Brady is my #1 without any hesitation

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 10,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PillarDollarCollector said:
    Babe Ruth if his time with Boston counts.

    I didnt add Babe because He didnt play nearly as long with Boston as he did with NY

    George Brett, Bobby Orr and Terry Bradshaw.

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,383 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @erikthredd said:
    Greatest athlete in Boston history would be Bill Russell for me. We all know how great he was on the basketball court but while in college he was also rankled as a top 10 high jumper in college.

    I never have liked the Celtics so I am biased, but I think Russell was overrated. The guy was a great defensive player who could control the middle for the great Celtics teams.

    Offensively, he wasn't that good. His foul shooting wasn't much better than Wilt Chamberlin who was notoriously bad. He also was not a great shooter in general. I was saw him miss a dunk shot. He hit the iron and the ball ended up a mid court.

    Russell was the perfect player for the powerful Celtics teams of the late 1950 and '60s, but if he had been with another, weaker team, he might not have been as impressive.

    As for the Best Boston athlete, it has to be Tom Brady. He was great for many years in a sport that has short careers. Second was Ted Williams who was an outstanding hitter for over 20 years. He would have put up even better numbers had it not been for his forced military service. Getting called up for the Korean War was really unfair.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • erikthredderikthredd Posts: 7,911 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillJones said:

    @erikthredd said:
    Greatest athlete in Boston history would be Bill Russell for me. We all know how great he was on the basketball court but while in college he was also rankled as a top 10 high jumper in college.

    I never have liked the Celtics so I am biased, but I think Russell was overrated. The guy was a great defensive player who could control the middle for the great Celtics teams.

    Offensively, he wasn't that good. His foul shooting wasn't much better than Wilt Chamberlin who was notoriously bad. He also was not a great shooter in general. I was saw him miss a dunk shot. He hit the iron and the ball ended up a mid court.

    Russell was the perfect player for the powerful Celtics teams of the late 1950 and '60s, but if he had been with another, weaker team, he might not have been as impressive.

    As for the Best Boston athlete, it has to be Tom Brady. He was great for many years in a sport that has short careers. Second was Ted Williams who was an outstanding hitter for over 20 years. He would have put up even better numbers had it not been for his forced military service. Getting called up for the Korean War was really unfair.

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. i don't agree with yours and I'll leave it at that.

  • galaxy27galaxy27 Posts: 7,063 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @dallasactuary and @thisistheshow welfare check

    jim rice

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Got to give a shout out to Tony Demarco, the "Boston Bomber", he was tough as nails, had bricks for hands. His two wars of attrition with Carmen Basilio are legendary, a true pleasure to watch him fight.

  • dallasactuarydallasactuary Posts: 4,081 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Boston has an incredible Mt. Rushmore, probably the greatest with GOAT candidates in every sport. For the life of me, though, I don't know how any name other than Ted Williams even enters anyone's mind on the baseball side.

    Williams
    Bird
    Brady
    Orr

    For some reason, I always liked saying the name Randy Vataha. So I'll throw his name in the ring for football.

    Also, Rocky Marciano was from just outside Boston, so there's another GOAT candidate from another sport.

    This is for you @thisistheshow - Jim Rice was actually a pretty good player.
  • coolstanleycoolstanley Posts: 2,386 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Bobby Orr

    Terry Bradshaw was AMAZING!!

    Ignore list -Basebal21

  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 29,223 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @dallasactuary said:
    Boston has an incredible Mt. Rushmore, probably the greatest with GOAT candidates in every sport. For the life of me, though, I don't know how any name other than Ted Williams even enters anyone's mind on the baseball side.

    Williams
    Bird
    Brady
    Orr

    For some reason, I always liked saying the name Randy Vataha. So I'll throw his name in the ring for football.

    Also, Rocky Marciano was from just outside Boston, so there's another GOAT candidate from another sport.

    Agreed about Williams, Ofcourse he was better than Big Papi but he is legendary with Boston fans for 2004

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 10,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @galaxy27 said:
    @dallasactuary and @thisistheshow welfare check

    jim rice

    now you have gone and done it

    George Brett, Bobby Orr and Terry Bradshaw.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This guy had a pretty good run in Boston.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Oops, nevermind, Craig already mentioned Pedro!

  • pdoidoipdoidoi Posts: 439 ✭✭✭

    Mike Eruzione
    Doug Flutie
    Phil Esposito
    Johnny Kelley

    Not the greatest, but a few names that Boston was proud to have and we rarely hear of.

  • DarinDarin Posts: 6,247 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You left out Tris Speaker as a baseball candidate. If he played his entire career with Red Sox he surely would have been their second best player all time behind Mr. Ballgame.
    As it was he wouldn’t take a pay cut after the 1915 season so he went to Cleveland and became top 3 player in their franchise history.
    So a few years after the Sox made the Speaker blunder they out did themselves with the Ruth blunder.
    Speaker was still in his prime from 1920-26 and of course Babe was on his way to becoming GOAT.
    Speakers stats from 1920-26 when he should have been with the Sox……. .363 BA .455 OBP 159 OPS+
    Ruth from 1920-26 when he also should have been with Boston……
    .362 BA .500 OBP 219 OPS+
    What a great combo to start a juggernaut with if only the Sox owner wasn’t so cheap.

    But to answer the question, Ted Williams for me. Because he retired 63 years ago and there has been absolutely no hitter to come along that has been nearly as good at the plate.
    In football Mahomes and Josh Allen have a better skill set than Brady simply by being mobile and not a human statue. That’s just to name a couple. Craig says what about all the super bowls? Well why do you never give any credit to the defense? Was that Brady that made that pick to end that one SB?

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  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,148 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Also have to mention Sandy Saddler, one of the greatest featherweights of all-time. He was 5'9", freakishly tall for the weight, vicious as hell, one of the hardest punchers in boxing history. His main goal was to seek and destroy, and of Saddler’s 144 victims, only 36 of them saw the final bell and those that did appeared to be nothing less than broken and beaten. Some consider Willie Pep to be the greatest featherweight that ever lived and Sandy Saddler brutalized him in their three fights, two of which Saddler won. The photo on top is Sandy Saddler, and the photo on bottom is Willie Pep's face after one of their fights.

  • coolstanleycoolstanley Posts: 2,386 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If Marciano was from Boston I would've put him as the greatest. Pound for pound the best fighter ever.

    Terry Bradshaw was AMAZING!!

    Ignore list -Basebal21

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 10,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @doubledragon said:
    Oops, nevermind, Craig already mentioned Pedro!

    No DD, you go ahead and mention Pedro!! He was a fantastic pitcher for us. He is on the shortlist of most dominant pitchers of all time. It always felt like an event around here on his day to pitch

    George Brett, Bobby Orr and Terry Bradshaw.

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 10,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Darin said:
    You left out Tris Speaker as a baseball candidate. If he played his entire career with Red Sox he surely would have been their second best player all time behind Mr. Ballgame.
    As it was he wouldn’t take a pay cut after the 1915 season so he went to Cleveland and became top 3 player in their franchise history.
    So a few years after the Sox made the Speaker blunder they out did themselves with the Ruth blunder.
    Speaker was still in his prime from 1920-26 and of course Babe was on his way to becoming GOAT.
    Speakers stats from 1920-26 when he should have been with the Sox……. .363 BA .455 OBP 159 OPS+
    Ruth from 1920-26 when he also should have been with Boston……
    .362 BA .500 OBP 219 OPS+
    What a great combo to start a juggernaut with if only the Sox owner wasn’t so cheap.

    But to answer the question, Ted Williams for me. Because he retired 63 years ago and there has been absolutely no hitter to come along that has been nearly as good at the plate.
    In football Mahomes and Josh Allen have a better skill set than Brady simply by being mobile and not a human statue. That’s just to name a couple. Craig says what about all the super bowls? Well why do you never give any credit to the defense? Was that Brady that made that pick to end that one SB?

    The list of players more "athletic" than Tommy is a long one. The list of players "better" than Tommy is a short one. As in zero.

    And you are correct about Speaker. a great player. I brain farted that one.

    George Brett, Bobby Orr and Terry Bradshaw.

  • MCMLVToppsMCMLVTopps Posts: 4,566 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @coolstanley said:
    If Marciano was from Boston I would've put him as the greatest. Pound for pound the best fighter ever.

    Marciano was from Brockton, MA, just 25 miles south of Boston...therefore, he was from Boston.

  • coolstanleycoolstanley Posts: 2,386 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MCMLVTopps said:

    @coolstanley said:
    If Marciano was from Boston I would've put him as the greatest. Pound for pound the best fighter ever.

    Marciano was from Brockton, MA, just 25 miles south of Boston...therefore, he was from Boston.

    Is Brockton considered Boston? They are two different counties.

    Marvelous Marvin Hagler is also from Brockton.

    Terry Bradshaw was AMAZING!!

    Ignore list -Basebal21

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,137 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The best athlete in baseball was probably Jimmie Foxx. He was the complete player.
    I'm surprised no one knows about his abilities.
    Williams a better hitter, but not athletically .........and Ortiz? Please.

    Brady the best athlete? Isn't running a big part of being an athlete? You guys have GOT to stop worshipping him! I'll take Gronkowski, the guy was a stud!

    Bird in basketball. Did everything well.

    Orr in hockey. Did everything well.

    Unless I misread the OP, it said athlete.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • SDSportsFanSDSportsFan Posts: 5,078 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Doug Flutie

    Tom Glavine - from Billerica (Middlesex County; same as Boston) - drafted ahead of Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille in the 1984 NHL draft.

    I would argue that Tom Brady cannot qualify as a Boston athlete, since he's not from there, and he never played there (he played in Foxborough, which is also in a different county from Boston).

    Steve

  • georgebailey2georgebailey2 Posts: 1,029 ✭✭✭

    Athlete.

    Other than Ainge, has anyone else who played in Boston manage to play professionally in two sports? Not that, that automatically makes one a better "athlete" than a single sport player.

    (Although, I will never forget seeing Dr. J strikeout, rather feebly, in a slow-pitch celebrity softball game at the Vet in the mid 80s)

  • SDSportsFanSDSportsFan Posts: 5,078 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2, 2023 10:28AM

    @georgebailey2 said:
    Athlete.

    Other than Ainge, has anyone else who played in Boston manage to play professionally in two sports? Not that, that automatically makes one a better "athlete" than a single sport player.

    Gene Conley played for the Boston Braves, Red Sox, and Celtics. He was with the Braves when they won the 1957 World Series, and he was with the Celtics when they won the NBA championship in 1959, 1960 and 1961.

    Steve

  • dallasactuarydallasactuary Posts: 4,081 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Randy Vataha was drafted by the New York Yankees.

    This is for you @thisistheshow - Jim Rice was actually a pretty good player.
  • craig44craig44 Posts: 10,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JoeBanzai said:
    The best athlete in baseball was probably Jimmie Foxx. He was the complete player.
    I'm surprised no one knows about his abilities.
    Williams a better hitter, but not athletically .........and Ortiz? Please.

    Brady the best athlete? Isn't running a big part of being an athlete? You guys have GOT to stop worshipping him! I'll take Gronkowski, the guy was a stud!

    Bird in basketball. Did everything well.

    Orr in hockey. Did everything well.

    Unless I misread the OP, it said athlete.

    Tim Tebow was a FAR better raw "athlete" than Tommy. He could run faster, bench press more, probably throw it further, jump higher.

    who was the better QB?

    Bo Jackson was a much better raw athlete than ted williams. who was the better player?

    It is not about pure raw athletic ability. it is about production.

    George Brett, Bobby Orr and Terry Bradshaw.

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,137 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2, 2023 4:30PM

    Well, it does say "athlete" not "player".

    The best athletes are not always the best players. Randy Moss was possibly the most gifted athlete I've ever seen, but I wouldn't rank him above several wide receivers who were better football players.

    Set aside Tebow and replace him with Elway or perhaps Steve Young, both better athletes than Brady.

    Maybe the OP can elaborate on what he wanted............or not.😁

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
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