Ranking the 20 Best Athletes Who Share a Birthday
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If there's one day that everyone gets to be spoiled, say what they want and get away with almost anything, it's their birthday.
And since my 29th is coming up in just a few weeks, I can't wait to get showered with presents, free dinners and Facebook wall posts to remind me just how special I really am.
There's just one downfall to a birthday—there are other people who have it too.
That's why I'm ranking the best athletes who share a birthday, because as great and successful as they might be individually, they're even more impressive when paired with the person who shares the same date on their birth certificate.
20. Rory McIlroy and Cesc Fabregas
Birthday: May 4
Rory McIlory has won two Majors, and at one point was ranked No. 1 in the world, while Cesc Fabregas has earned himself two European championships with his national team (Spain), along with a World Cup title in 2010.
You wouldn't think that these guys would have much in common, but it turns out they're both big-time winners, and that's a good trait to have.
19. Alex Ovechkin and Jimmie Johnson
Birthday: September 17
Not only does three-time winner and reigning NHL MVP, Alex Ovechkin, share a birthday with five-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, but the two also have arguably the greatest coach in NBA history as a birth mate as well, as Phil Jackson was born on this day too.
That's a hell of a lot of accolades for the trio. If only Ovie can get himself a Stanley Cup, though.
18. Rob Gronkowski and Clay Matthews III
Birthday: May 14
It must be a requirement to be an absolute beast if one is born on May 14, because that's what both Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Packers linebacker Clay Matthews III are.
17. Adrian Peterson and Ronaldinho
Birthday: March 21
If there was any doubt prior to last season, Adrian Peterson showed that he is the best running back in football. He came back from a torn ACL to rush for 2,097 yards in 2012, which was good enough for the second-best rushing season in NFL history, earning him the league MVP.
His Brazilian birthday counterpart, Ronaldinho, may not be the player he used to be, but after scooping two FIFA World Player awards in his career ('04, '05), as well as a World Cup title ('02), he's not too shabby himself.
16. Maria Sharapova and Candace Parker
Birthday: April 19
As the current No. 3-ranked player in women's tennis, Maria Sharapova has proven that she's a force to be reckoned with anytime she steps on the court.
Winning four career Grand Slam titles, Sharapova is definitely a world-class player.
It might be hard to believe, but Candace Parker might even be better in her sport.
Earning two national titles during her time at Tennessee, along with numerous individual awards, Candace was the obvious No. 1 choice in the '08 WNBA Draft for the L.A. Sparks.
All she has done, so far, is go to two All-Star games, and collect the league MVP and Rookie of the Year awards in her first season.
15. Kevin Durant and Calvin Johnson
Birthday: September 29
At just 24, he's perceived to be the next in line to take over the league in the next decade.
What Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson lacks in terms of team success, he more than makes up for with his freakish ability, matching (and possibly exceeding) Durant's.
Hauling in an NFL single-season record 1,964 receiving yards in 2012, "Megatron" is the undisputed champion at his position, and makes defensive backs lose sleep anytime they have to match up against him.
14. Willie Mays and Chris Paul
Birthday: May 6
Sure, these two share a birthday with A-list actor George Clooney and Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten, but Willie Mays and Chris Paul are the cream of the crop on this day.
Mays is a Hall of Fame outfielder who hit 660 homers, drove in 1,903 runs and earned 20 All-Star appearances in his 22 seasons in the league.
He also happens to be one of the greatest players to ever play the game.
It's obviously hard to match that, but Paul does his best, as he's a former Rookie of the Year, six-time All-Star and is often mentioned as the best point guard in the league.
After signing a massive contract extension to stay with the Clippers, he'll be expected to deliver a title in the coming years.
13. Peyton Manning and Chris Bosh
Birthday: March 24
It's hard to argue that Peyton Manning isn't one of the top quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL.
With 12 Pro Bowl appearances, four league MVPs and a Super Bowl title, Manning has accomplished pretty much everything you could ask for from a former No. 1 pick.
Chris Bosh might not stack up as high in the individual awards column with his birth mate, but he has more rings to show off, capturing the last two NBA titles with his Miami Heat team.
Bosh has also been selected to eight All-Star games, so it's not as if he's just riding the coattails of more popular friends/teammates, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
12. Derek Jeter and Michael Vick
Birthday: June 26
When the Yankees first put shortstop Derek Jeter into their lineup in 1995, I'm not sure they could imagine his career would go anything like it has.
With 13 All-Star game appearances and five World Series rings, Jeter is the perceived King of New York and a sure-fire Hall of Famer, whenever he does decide to hang it up.
Michael Vick might not have a championship ring, but his athleticism helped reshape the quarterback position, turning it into something more than just passing.
Becoming the first quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards in a season ('06), Vick showed that he's capable of beating teams in multiple ways, earning the respect as one of the greatest mobile passers ever.
11. Ray Lewis and Andy Murray
Birthday: May 15
While it'd be enough for a day to boast former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, a two-time Super Bowl winner, 13-time Pro Bowler and two-time Defensive Player of the Year, May 15 also claims Andy Murray amongst its great athletes.
Murray's a champion in his own right, currently holding two Grand Slam titles (he won this year's Wimbledon and is defending his U.S. Open from last year this week), and also earned himself a gold medal at the Olympics in his native Britain last summer.
10. Hank Aaron and Cristiano Ronaldo
Birthday: February 5
When Hank Aaron retired from baseball in 1976, he was the game's all-time home run leader and a World Series champ (1957). Thanks to those accomplishments—along with his 21 All-Star selections—he found himself selected into the Hall of Fame in 1982.
Cristiano Ronaldo may not have a World Cup title, but he is arguably the greatest soccer player in the world right now, annually competing with Barcelona's Lionel Messi for top goal-scoring honors in La Liga.
Ronaldo has also won numerous individual awards, most notably FIFA's World Player of the Year in 2008.
9. Albert Pujols and Joe Flacco
Birthday: January 16
Although his foot injury has slowed him down the past couple seasons—ever since he signed a big deal with the Angels—Albert Pujols was considered one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball.
Capturing two World Series titles, three NL MVPs and 445 homers while with St. Louis from 2001-11 proved that.
As for Joe Flacco, he's had quite the past eight months, hasn't he?
He led the Ravens to the Super Bowl—winning the game's MVP—and catapulted that performance into a monster contract.
Yeah, he's living the damn dream right now.
8. Paul Pierce and Jerry Rice
Birthday: October 13
While Paul Pierce's career has been impressive—he's second on the Celtics' all-time scoring list and is an NBA champion and Finals MVP—the guy who shares his birthday is the more established athlete.
When people think of the greatest receiver to ever play, Jerry Rice's name is mentioned about 99 percent of the time, as he's the all-time leader in careers TDs (208), receiving TDs (197), receptions (1549) and yards (22,895).
The dude basically wrote the book on how to be a wide receiver with stats like that.
7. Tom Brady and Ryan Lochte
Birthday: August 3
Tom Brady has five Super Bowl appearances, three titles, two league MVPs and is part of one of the most successful power couples.
Life is pretty grand for the Patriots quarterback.
6. Eli Manning and Michael Schumacher
Birthday: January 3
What does Eli Manning have to do in order to prove that he really is an elite NFL quarterback?
Although former Giants QB Phil Simms doesn't think Eli is—even after Manning's two Super Bowl MVPs—I think there's enough proof to suggest otherwise.
While there's debate about the New York signal-caller's elite status, there's no denying Michael Schumacher's, who is generally regarded as the greatest F1 driver to ever sit behind the wheel.
5. Magic Johnson and Tim Tebow
Birthday: August 14
Don't be confused, these guys are as high as No. 5 almost solely because of Magic Johnson's career achievements, which include five NBA titles, three league MVPs and 12 All-Star game appearance.
Sure, Tebow was solid in college while at Florida—winning two national titles ('07, '09) and a Heisman trophy ('07)—but Magic is one of the greatest to ever play the point guard position—while Tebow just hopes his NFL career won't end in the next few days.
4. Bill Russell and Robert Griffin III
Birthday: February 12
Like the guys who preceded them, this duo lands as high as they do off many of the accomplishments of the "greatest winner ever," Bill Russell.
Russell won an unprecedented 11 NBA titles in a 13-year career, winning the league MVP in five of those seasons and making the All-Star game in all but one of them.
Oh yeah, he also won two NCAA men's basketball titles while playing for San Francisco, too ('55, '56).
Robert Griffin III might not be able to boast similar awards, but he does own a Heisman trophy ('11), was the No. 2 overall pick in the '12 NFL draft and took home the Offensive Rookie of the Year award—I'd say he is living up to the hype.
These two are a dynamic duo—assuming RG3 returns to form after his knee injury from last season.
3. Muhammad Ali and Dwyane Wade
Birthday: January 17
These two make a strong argument as the best athlete duo born on the same day.
Most of us know about the legend of Muhammad Ali—as we're probably too young to have ever actually seen him box.
Ali is regarded as the best fighter ever, compiling a career record of 56-5, and becoming one of the most transcending athletes in any sport.
As for Dwyane Wade, the guy has three NBA titles, one Finals MVP and nine All-Star nods since entering the league in 2003.
With some of his competition at the shooting guard spot—namely Kobe Bryant—it's easy to forget that Wade is arguably one of the top-10 players at his position ever.
One shouldn't forget though.
2. Tiger Woods and LeBron James
Birthday: December 30
I mean really, what should I say here without making this just a rap sheet of accomplishments for both Tiger Woods and LeBron James.
Although they're separated by nine years, the two share many similarities.
We all know about their fame, fortune and career success, so instead of listing them all, just know that the pair will undoubtedly add even more to both of their trophy cases.
1. Michael Jordan and Jim Brown
Birthday: February 17
Jordan, who has six NBA titles and five league MVPs, and Brown, who won one NFL title, three league MVPs and led the league in rushing eight of nine seasons he played, may just be the two best athletes in sports history, too.
Jordan left the NBA in his prime to try his hand at baseball, and Brown was part of the lacrosse, basketball and track teams while at Syracuse in addition to his football career.
That's what makes these two the best athlete birthday duo ever.