Everyone has their own take on who the best active player is in their respective sport.
Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Sidney Crosby, Tom Brady, and Alex Rodriguez all are players who elicit favor and fame from the fans and media, and each of them stun us with their brilliant and spectacular play-making abilities.
However, none of those players crack my list, (or would it be their list) of the title "Best active player in their respective sport."
No matter what nickname "The Big Aristotle" is assessed with, one thing remains clear: The guy dominated like none before him...or after him.
At 7'1'', 325 pounds, and a size-23 shoe, it's easy to see why.
A post-presence wonder, "Shaq" has maintained a .582% FG, and has averaged nearly 25 PPG, 11 REB, and 2.5 BLKs a season over his career.
His career totals are nothing to scoff at either: 27,619 Points, 12,566 Rebounds, and 2,628 Blocks among other impressive numbers.
Additionally, "Superman" has won a plethora of accolades.
He's been a NBA Champion four times, (three in succession at one point), and was a three-time Finals MVP, (all while apart of the Lakers squad).
The "Big Daddy" also has held two scoring titles, and has been selected to the All-Star team 15 times, (being the MVP in three of the games).
In the 1992-93 season, (his first year in the league), he won Rookie of the Year honors.
"The Diesel" simply never lets off the gas, and is the best active NBA player because of it.
Mr. Lidstrom has been nothing short of spectacular in his 17-year stint in the NHL, all with the Detroit Red Wings.
Largely considered the best defenseman of his era, Lidstrom can more than back up the hype with a career littered with impressive stat-lines, records and accolades.
With the Wings he has won four Stanley Cups, (being awarded the Conn Symthe once), and has been selected an All-Star ten times.
Lidstrom has also set a few honorable records within the club.
Most points in a season for a defenseman (80), most postseason assists (119), and most postseason games played (214) all are records that he has set with the Wings.
Additionally, he has become the first European-born captain to win a Cup, to win the Conn Smythe, and to win the Norris Trophy.
Perhaps a more validation variable of defensive success comes by form of the Norris Trophy, awarded to the NHL's top defenseman each year.
The award has been somewhat of a constant for Lidstrom, having won it a total of six times, and being nominated for it a total of nine times.
Clearly, the stats show that "Slick Nick", (a name I am dubbing him with), is the best active hockey player out there.
That batting-stance, upon first glance, enthralled me.
I had never seen anything like it, nor have I ever seen a player as consistently good as Ichiro.
After leaving his native-Japan in 2001 to become an MLB(er), nothing but greatness ensued.
He became the first Japanese-born full-time position player in the Bigs, and not too long later, he was setting other records too.
In his first full season, he led the league in both batting average and stolen bases, becoming the first player since Jackie Robinson to do so.
At season's end, he won not only Rookie of the Year Honors, but as well AL MVP, joining Fred Lynn as the only other player to achieve both feats in the same season.
Additionally he set a rookie record for most hits with 242, and became the first rookie to lead the All-Star Team in balloting.
Three years later, Ichiro produced his best season to date, and perhaps one of the finest seasons of all-time.
He racked up 262 hits, (an MLB record) to go along with a not-too-shabby .372 batting average en route to his fourth All-Star selection.
Over his career, (nine) seasons, Ichiro has won a Gold Glove nine times, has been selected an All-Star nine times, and has hit 200+ hits in each season.
Too many records to name are in posession of Ichiro, but here are some notable ones:
Within the Mariners Franchise, Ichiro holds the all-time record for steals (292), and holds the highest hit-streak at 27 games.
In the MLB, Ichiro collected the most hits out of any Major Leaguer in their first two seasons (450), most hits in a six-year span, and most hits in an eight-year span.
He also became the first player to hit an inside-the-park home run in an all-star game, has led the league in hits five times, and became the youngest player to amass over 3,000 career hits, (of course including all his years in Japan).
If these stats don't speak for themselves, then I don't know what does.
Ichiro is without a doubt the best active-player in the MLB.
LT is a warrior.
Everyone knows of his ability to juke defenders out of their socks. He can use deceiving head-fakes, shifty cuts, and jaw-dropping spin-moves to distance himself from the opposition.
But swept under the carpet is his speed. It's so easy to get caught up in his flashy moves that you forget how truly well-rounded of an athlete Tomlinson is.
Pre-draft, LT clocked a robust 4.38 40-time. That's on par with speedsters Chris Johnson of Tennessee, and DeSean Jackson of Philly, (both known for their high marks in the acceleration department).
Tomlinson was drafted in the first round with the fifth pick in the 2001 NFL Draft and more-than-certainly lived up to the hype.
In his rookie season, he rushed for over 1,200 yards and ten touchdowns; almost unheard of stats for a first-year player.
For the next seven seasons, he never fell below 1,100 rush yards or eleven touchdowns, being selected to the Pro-Bowl a total of five times, and also being chosen as an All-Pro four times.
During the 2003 season, Tomlinson became the first player ever to record both 1,000 rushing yards and 100 receptions in the same season.
In 2006, which was his best season-to-date, and one of the most remarkable of all-time, he totaled over 2,300 yards and set an NFL record for most touchdowns scored in a season with 31, (beating the previous best of 28 by Shaun Alexander).
Records also had in that season were most rushing touchdowns in a season (28), most points scored in a single season (186), most consecutive multi-touchdown games (8), and helped achieve his record of most consecutive games with at least one touchdown (18).
Aside from his NFL records though, a pair of notable ones were set too for the franchise.
He currently holds the records for most rushing yards (11,760), and most rushing touchdowns (141).
He remains second on the all-time list of rushing touchdowns to the great Emmitt Smith, but first among active players, which is why he is the greatest NFLer in the game today.