10 Most Underrated Athletes of All Time
The Baseball Greats: Ruth, Bonds, Mays, Aaron, Cobb, Johnson, and Gehrig
The Football Greats: Brown, Montana, Rice, Smith, Hudson, and Jones
The Basketball Greats: Russell, Jordan, Chamberlain, Bird, and Magic
The Hockey Greats: Gretzky, Orr, Howe, Lemieux, and Richards
Yes, these players are great, but in this list, the spot light is going to be on the athletes who are great, but never get the credit they deserve. These are the ten most underrated athletes of all time.
I will show you their stats and you will wonder why they never get the credit they deserve. Let's start the countdown, with No. 10.
10. Sterling Sharpe
Sterling Sharpe is always over-looked when people talk about the greatest wide receivers of all time.
In a seven-year career, Sharpe caught 595 passes for 8,134 yards and 65 TD. Lets compare Sharpe to Charlie Joiner, who needed 19 years to catch 750 passes for 12,146 yards and 87 TD.
If Sharpe doubled his years and if you doubled his stats, his numbers would be 1190 catches, 16,268 yards and 130 TD. I'll take Sterling Sharpe over Charlie Joiner any day. Heck, I would take him over Shannon Sharpe any day.
When you talk about the great soccer players you say Pele, Diego Maradona, Zidane, Ronaldo, maybe even Ronaldinho, but nobody seems to talk about Zico, who is often called the "White Pele."
Ronaldo, one of the 10 greatest soccer players ever, has 330 career goals. Zico has 826 goals. I think Zico deserves more credit, and it's an outrage that he is never considered one of the ten greatest soccer players of all time.
8. Frank Robinson
Frank Robinson is one of the 30 greatest baseball players of all time. Frank Robinson is the only baseball player to win the MVP award in two different leagues. Robinson is the last player in the history of the NL to win the Triple Crown.
In his career, Robinson batted .294, hit 586 HR (seventh), and drove in 1812 runs (17th). But when you talk about the all-time greats, you usually say Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb, and Lou Gehrig.
I actually asked one of my friends to make a list of the 50 greatest baseball players. Robinson wasn't on the list.
7. Walt Bellamy
Walt Bellamy could be on of the 50 greatest players, but let's face it, he played for the wrong teams and in the wrong era. He played when Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, and Elgin Baylor were around.
Bellamy has amazing stats. 20.1 points per game and 13.7 rebounds per game.He is 32nd in points and 10th in rebounding, but I don't hear many people mention his name. He was a great player, and should be remembered.
6. Ralph Kiner
Ralph Kiner is one of the most underrated home run hitters in the history of baseball, despite finishing with only 369. Not many people know that Kiner led the league in home runs or tied for first in home runs in each of his first SEVEN seasons.
People were thinking that this was the guy to beat Babe Ruth's home run mark. However, Kiner got injured and retired a couple of years later. After his first seven seasons, Kiner had 294 HR. If you count his eighth season, he had 329 HR.
5. Ron Francis
Ron Francis is one of the greatest hockey players of all time, and nobody knows about it. In 23 seasons with the Whalers, Penguins, Hurricanes, and Maple Leafs, Ron Francis has scored 549 goals (24th), collected 1249 assists (2), giving him a total of 1789 points (fourth).
When I was reading the 100 greatest hockey players of all time article, I failed to find Ron Francis, and Francis has better numbers than most of the guys on the list. Francis also won two Stanley Cups.
4.Grover Cleveland (Pete Alexander)
Grover Cleveland is one of the greatest picthers of all time. In his first ten seasons, he compiled 235 wins, compared to 114 losses. His ERA was an amazing 2.06, struck out over 1700 batters, and had 77 shut-outs.
Maybe he is underrated because the next 10 years weren't that great, but they were still good. Cleveland was 138-94, with a 3.30 ERA, and had only 13 shut-outs. Cleveland led the league in wins six times, ERA four times, IP seven times, and strikeouts six times.
3. Curtis Martin
If you are making a lost of the ten greatest running backs in NFL history, Curtis Martin better be on the list. Both Barry Sanders and Curtis Martin remain as the only running backs to rush for at least 1000 yards in their first 10 seasons.
In 11 seasons with the New England Patriots and the New York Jets, Martin ran for over 14,000 yards and compiled 100 touchdowns. Only Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, and Barry Sanders have more rushing yards than Curtis Martin.
2. Tim Brown
Tim Brown might be the most underrated athlete of all time, but I decided to put him at number two. In a 17 year career, Brown is fourth in receptions (1094), third in receiving yards (14,934), and 16th in total touchdowns (105).
The nine-time pro bowler is destined to be a hall of famer, but not many people are calling him a legend. He never won a Super Bowl, but he played in one.
Even though Tim Brown has great stats, he still gets snubbed by football fans, although they should know that Tim Brown is one of the 10 greatest wide receivers in football history.
1. Stan Musial
In the history of sports, there has never been an athlete as underrated as Stan Musial. When you talk about the all time greats, Musial is usually third tier, but he is first tier in my book.
Musial led the league in batting average seven times, runs five times, hits six times, doubled eight times, tripled five times, on base% six times, and slugging% six times.
If you look at all of these accomplishments, Stan Musial is one of the 10 greatest players in baseball history. Not only did Musial have an amazing stat line (.331, 475 HR, 1951 RBI) he also won three World Series rings.