They capture the attention of a nation and the hearts of the world.
Their unlikely and un-logical runs to the apex of their respective sports always seem to grab our attention.
They're never the best team, or the most talented, but they're always the ones who want it more.
Although the clock has struck midnight on several of sports' Cinderella stories, that doesn't take away from what they've done.
Here's the 30 best Cinderella stories in the history of sports. Enjoy!
Since 1984, the Arizona Cardinals had been the laughing stock of the National Football League. They had just one winning season from 1984 to 2007.
And when the 2008 season began they didn't look to be in any position to change that.
The Seattle Seahawks were heavily favored to win the division as always, and nobody would have dreamed that the pathetic Arizona Cardinals, led by 37 year old, past his prime Kurt Warner could have given Seattle a run for their money.
However, they did just that as they shocked the world in beginning the season at 7-3 as Seattle struggled out of the gate.
Nobody could believe that the Cardinals- whose defense was thought to be nothing short of pathetic- were able to get off to this remarkable start.
Many thought the clock had struck midnight for this team as they finished out the season on a 2-4 clip.
But it tuned out it was just frozen on 11:59.
The Cardinals entered the playoffs as the consensus pick for worst team in the playoffs, and many believed they only got in because of their extremely weak division. Many expected them to be bounced from the playoffs on wild card weekend by the young Atlanta Falcons.
However, they were able to slip by Atlanta with a 30-24 win.
The next week they traveled to Carolina where they rolled over the HEAVILY favored Panthers who had dominated the NFC's regular season.
It was at this point that people finally began to take them seriously.
The next week in the NFC Championship game they came back home to face the red hot Philadelphia Eagles who had just taken out the top-seeded New York Giants.
Picks were a mixed bag for this game, but many people expected the Eagles to pull through.
Apparently Kurt Warner was not one of those people as he picked apart the Eagles defense in a 32-25 victory sending Arizona to their first ever Super Bowl.
Nobody could believe it. Arizona in the Super Bowl? It was never supposed to happen.
Unfortunately the Cardinals were not able to defeat the Steelers in the Super Bowl, but they put up one hell of a fight.
They came less than two minutes, and one all-time great Santonio Holmes catch away from hanging a banner in Arizona.
There was a whole lot of things magical about the 2006 Boise State Broncos.
For starters, their unlikely undefeated run in the regular season made them just the second team to appear in a BCS bowl game despite not actually being in the BCS.
However, the Bronco's real Cindarella run lasted all of 60 minutes.
The 2007 Fiesta Bowl is the lone moment that got Boise State onto this list.
Going into that game the Oklahoma Sooners were heavily favored led by superstar running back Adrian Peterson. Boise State wasn't given a chance.
However, the improbable upset looked like it was ready to go down, as the Broncos led by 11 points going into the fourth quarter.
But then Boise blew the game. Oklahoma scored 25 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to take a seven point lead. Everybody in attendance knew it, everybody in the press box knew, everybody watching at home knew it- The Boise State Broncos had lost this game.
And anybody who had hope that they would come back quickly lost it when they faced a fourth-and-17 from midfield with just seven seconds left on the clock.
Fourth-and-seventeen. 50 yards to the endzone. Seven seconds on the clock. Even Cinderella couldn't dream of a play so big.
Most teams would have chucked a Hail Mary and hoped for a miracle. But Boise State wasn't most teams. They called a play that hadn't been seen in years, and a play it would take a near miracle to complete for 50 yards.
They call the hook-and-lateral. And it worked! They tied the game and sent it to overtime, where we found that the Broncos' had more tricks up their sleeves.
After an Oklahoma score in overtime, Boise brought the ball to Oklahoma's six-yard line and faced a fourth-and-two.
Most teams would have thrown a buttonhook, or pitched it to the halfback, or thrown a crossing pattern. But no team would have the cajones to call a halfback pass in a do-or-die situation with the Fiesta Bowl on the line. No team but Boise State.
The Broncos had done it again, they found paydirt on the halfback pass. So all they had to do was kick the extra point and continue on with the game, right?
The Bronco's made quite possibly the most badass call in sports history when they decided to go for two. So that was it, a two point conversion, make it you win, don't make it you lose.
What trick play could Boise State possibly have left? They used the hook-and-lateral, the halfback pass, what else could they call?
How 'bout a play that hadn't been seen in over 40 years? The statue of liberty play.
Boise State quarterback Jared Zabransky faked the pass and handed it to the teams only All-American, Ian Johnson who sprinted in for the game winning two-point conversion.
That was it, Boise did it. They won the game in the most improbable way possible.
However, this story wasn't done.
As soon as Johnson won the game he sprinted over to the sidelines where he would propose to his cheerleader girlfriend.
It was almost like a movie. This was just flat out unbelievable.
If you don't know this story by now I really suggest you rent the movie Hoosiers.
Absolutely amazing movie for and absolutely amazing story.
Back in 1988, the Kansas Jayhawks set a record: most losses by a team to win the NCAA Championship.
They went into the NCAA tourney with no business hanging around with the big dogs.
They entered the tournament as an unranked six seed. They ended it as National Champions.
Kansas won it's last three games against the only three teams that had handed them home losses that season- Kansas State, Duke, and Oklahoma.
Led by tournament most outstanding player Danny Manning, they went on to be known as "Danny and the Miracles."
Back in 2007, the Colorado Rockies were an afterthought in the National League as always.
They were far from a sexy pick for the playoffs, in fact your baseball IQ would have been in question if you had picked them for the playoffs going into that season.
Even at the beginning of the season's final month, they looked in no position to make the playoffs.
With just 30 games left in the season they trailed the San Diego Padres by seven games for the division and trailed the Phillies by five and a half games for the wild card.
However, what they accomplished in September would have shocked Cinderella herself.
They went 20-8 in September and won 14 of their last 15 games, en route to a one-game playoff with the San Diego Padres which sent them to October baseball.
Then in the playoffs they continued their Cinderella run to the apex of baseball as they swept the other team in each of their first two playoff series'.
By the time they got into the World Series they were arguably the hottest team in the history of baseball winning 21 of their last 22 games.
Although they did ultimately get defeated the Red Sox in the Fall Classic, it doesn't take away from what they did.
In September 2007 the Rockies forever changed their franchise with one Cinderella run. They were no longer the just losers playing in the power-friendly ballpark.
John Starks is the first player to appear on this list for his own individual Cinderella run.
Starks' is the NBA's Kurt Warner.
He has arguably the NBA's top rags-to-riches story, it's a shame that more people don't know about it.
If you look up the word overachiever in the dictionary, a picture of Starks is sure to be nearby. The man was never supposed to succeed. Not in high school. Not in college. And certainly not in the pros.
It all began for John Starks in his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he attended Tulsa Central High School.
Coming out of high school, no Division I schools wanted Starks. He just wasn't good enough. He bagged groceries (yes, just like Kurt Warner) while playing for several Community Colleges.
However, his heart and determination finally forced Division I team Oklahoma State to accept Starks.
After college he went undrafted into the NBA, which didn't come as much of a surprise.
It was clear that Starks just wasn't good enough to be a NBA player. He wasn't talented enough to make it in the NBA.
Most players would have just given up there.
Edit: All players would have given up there.
Re-edit: All players but John Starks.
Starks played in the independent leagues, refusing to let his dream of being a NBA player go.
He played and played and played and played and played until he finally forced his way onto the Golden State Warriors.
After one season in Golden State, Starks was unhappy with his playing time, so he packed his bags for New York where he was a longshot to make the Knicks roster.
During a practice before NBA rosters were trimmed down to league maximum size, Starks was on the brink of being cut. It was then that he tried the unthinkable, he tried to dunk on Patrick Ewing.
Ewing would have none of that.
He turned Starks back and in the process of meeting Ewing's huge frame Starks injured himself.
This would put the nail in the coffin for Starks' being cut, right?
When Starks' injury didn't heal by December the Knicks were forced to keep him on the roster due to an NBA rule that said you can't cut an injured player.
The Knicks likely weren't happy about it, but they were forced to let John Starks be a Knick.
When he returned from injury Starks wasn't about to let his opportunity go by.
He impressed the Knicks with his huge heart and determination, and worked harder than anybody in practice.
Impressed with his work ethic, the Knicks gave him more minutes.
And he didn't let them go unnoticed.
We all know the story after that, Starks became a fan favorite, an all-time great Knick, and one of the most emotional players in NBA history.
Starks' story is almost like a fairy tail, yet 95 percent of basketball fans have never heard it. It's truly a shame.
Before the 1995 season, the Northwestern Wildcats were considered an embarrassment of a college football program.
Their last Big Ten Championship was 59 years earlier in 1936.
In fact going into the 1995 season the Wildcats were expected to continue their run as the Big East doormat.
However, something changed that season.
The Wildcats got tired of losing.
They shocked the world with three HUGE upset wins that season as they bested Notre Dame, Michigan, and Penn State.
They became the media darlings as everybody ate up their Cinderella season.
Northwestern achieved a ranking of No. 3 in the nation and advanced to the Rose Bowl where they would take on USC.
Although they did fall to USC in that game, the "Cardiac Cats" of 1995 will not be soon forgotten.
It's hard to tell these days, but Mike Tyson was once the most feared boxer on the planet.
He had never lost a match in his career and he just flat out dominated in the ring, knocking out several opponents in the first round.
He was the biggest name to hit the boxing circuit since Muhammad Ali, and many believed he had the potential to be even better than him.
However, on Febuary 11, 1990 we saw the end of Mike Tyson as we knew him.
On that fateful day he faced no-name boxer James "Buster" Douglas in what was supposed to be a tune-up for an eventual Tyson-Holyfield title fight.
Nobody took Douglas seriously.
Not Tyson. Not Holyfield. Not the fans watching at home. Nobody.
And for good reason. Douglas was far from accomplished as a boxer and compared to Tyson he was a joke.
You could tell throughout the fight that Tyson wasn't expecting the fight of his life. He didn't seem trained or ready as he just expected to roll over Douglas.
Douglas, however, was facing a tough time in his life. Just 23 days before the fight his mother had kicked the bucket.
And he really wanted to win this one for her.
I don't know if there's anybody who would have beaten Douglas that night. He was fighting with a chip on his shoulder.
Buster never really accomplished anything noteworthy before the fight, and he never did after either, but one thing is clear- Buster Douglas is a name that has, and always will, echo through time.
His Cinderella story may have only been one night long, but his impact on the boxing landscape is forever set in stone.
Coming into the 2008 NCAA Tournament, knowing who the Davidson Wildcats were made you a minority in the college basketball world.
They were not well known at all in the world of college basketball.
Coming out of the Southern Conference, they made the tournament as a 10 seed, through an automatic bid after taking the Southern Conference.
In the tournament's opening round they shocked the world when they defeated the Gonzaga Bulldogs, led by scoring machine Stephen Curry.
In the second round Curry led his squad to another shocking upset as they took down number two Georgetown 74-70.
On the heels of Stephen Curry once again, Davidson blew out number three Wisconsin to advance to the Elite Eight.
In the elite eight they would take on eventual champion Kansas, where they came within two points of the Final Four in a 59-57 loss.
Although, they didn't advance to the final four, Davidson's remarkable run to the elite eight forever put their name on the map, and made Stephen Curry an NBA lottery pick where he has already enjoyed early success.
Back in 2001, the Patriots were expected to be a good but not great team.
This was all of course because of the right arm of franchise quarterback Drew Bledsoe.
However, the Patriots hopes went down the drain in week two when Bledsoe went down with a season-ending injury and he was relieved by sixth round pick Tom Brady.
Or did they?
I'll never forget the way everyone wrote off the Patriots after Drew Bledsoe's injury.
How was some sixth round pick supposed to replace one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL?
Little did we know, Bledsoe's injury was the beginning of the Patriots dynasty.
Tom Brady went on to lead New England to an 11-3 record over the seasons last 14 games, en route to the second seed in the AFC.
The world was shocked.
Who the hell was Tom Brady?
Despite Brady and the Patriots' regular season success, you would have been crazy to call them Super Bowl contenders with Tom Brady at quarterback.
In their first playoff game, the Patriots stunned the Oakland Raiders thanks to the most controversial call in NFL history and arguably the greatest kick in NFL history.
For those two reasons people felt Brady got lucky. He was still no good.
Fast forward a few weeks, the Pats have already knocked off the top seeded Steelers and are on their way to the Super Bowl to face off against "The Greatest Show On Turf."
The Rams were heavily favored against the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI, and for good reason, they had been the best team that regular season.
Despite that, the teams were tied with under 90 seconds left in the game. Everybody expected this game to be headed to overtime.
However, Tom Brady had other plans. He led the Patriots on a last-minute drive and put his team in position for the game-winning field goal which Adam Vinatieri drilled.
Hey, I guess that Tom Brady guy wasn't too bad after all.
In 2003, the Detroit Tigers had what some call the worst season in baseball history. They finished at a dreadful 44-119.
In the two seasons that followed they were hardly better winning 72 and 71 games respectively.
So it was safe to say that they didn't have very high expectations going into he 2006 season.
Most people would have considered it a miracle if they finished even at 81-81.
When they finished the 2006 season at 95-67 it exceeded everybody's wildest dreams.
There was a total of negative one people who expected them to finish above .500 going into that season.
The fact that they made the playoffs was remarkable enough for most people, but they didn't stop there.
Detroit breezed through the playoffs and went all the way to the World Series.
Although they did lose to the Cardinals in the Fall Classic their appearance in it was one of the greatest turnarounds in the history of sports.
The 2003 Florida Marlins were not supposed to make the playoffs.
They were not supposed to win the NLCS.
And they were most certainly not supposed to win the World Series.
But they did.
They barely snuck into the playoffs with a win on the season's final day against the New York Mets.
They ever so slightly slid past the Cubs in the NLCS thanks in large part to Steve Bartman.
And they just managed to squeak by the Yankees in the World Series.
They didn't have the most talented team, but they just barely got by all the time.
That became the theme of their season.
And it was the key to their Cinderella run in which they defeated teams that were clearly better than them every step of the way.
People love to talk about the great things that Josh Hamilton has done, but rarely do people ever give Rick Ankiel his due.
Yes, he took Performance Enhancing Drugs.
No, that doesn't take away from his remarkable achievement.
Rick Ankiel's story begins as a pitching phenom back in 2000. He comes with nearly as much hype as Stephen Strasburg and Kerry Wood came with.
He enjoys success towards the latter portions of the 2000 season as the injury-riddled Cardinals ride him to the post-season as their second starter.
That's where it all fell apart.
He absolutely choked in the playoffs displaying the worst control of a baseball ever seen at the Major League level.
He was never able to re-gain confidence, and was sent down to the minors in the hope of getting his stuff back.
Midway through his four year stint in the minors, Ankiel realizes that he'll never be a Major League pitcher again.
So, time to give up, right? Wrong.
Ankiel did the unthinkable- midway through his career of being nothing but a pitcher, the once top prospect switched his position to center field.
And he made it back to the Majors!
Not only that, but he became one of the league's premier defensive outfielders while putting up above-average power numbers at the plate.
I know, he took steroids. But believe it or not, it takes more than steroids to be a MLB hitter. The fact that any pitcher could transition to a completely different position, and manage to hit Major League pitching is remarkable.
Some guys spend their whole lives training to become as good as Ankiel did in a matter of four years.
Going into the 2010 NCAA Tournament the Butler Bulldogs were hardly relevant as a basketball program.
They had enjoyed decent success over the last few seasons, but nothing to write home about.
Then, the 2010 NCAA Tourney got underway, and the world was never the same.
Butler went in as a five seed, but weren't expected to go any farther than the Sweet Sixteen, and were a first round pick to be upset by many as they took on UTEP.
They ended up blowing out UTEP, winning a game 57-55 that they were clearly outplayed in against 13 seeded Murray State, then they shocked the world when they defeated number one seeded Syracuse in the sweet sixteen.
With that victory they advanced to their first Elite Eight in school history where they would shock the world once again with a victory over Kansas State.
Then they became the hometown heroes in the Final Four where it seemed nearly everybody was a newly minted Butler fan.
They squeaked by Michigan State there and went on to the championship game where they would take on the clearly superior Duke squad.
They did eventually lose that game, but they lost it by the skin of their teeth.
Either way, Butler's shocking run through the 2010 NCAA tournament is one that will not be soon forgotten.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays were an absolute embarrassment of an organization going into 2008.
Going into their 10th season as a franchise they had finished higher than last in the AL East just once, (it was a fourth place finish) and they had won 70 games in a season just once (they won exactly 70.)
It was looking like they'd never turn it around, and going into the 2008 season, where the Red Sox and Yankees both looked ready to continue their reign of dominance, it certainly didn't look good for Tampa.
They had won just 66 games in the previous season, and didn't look ready to turn it around.
However, something happened to the Devil Rays before that season. They dropped the Devil in their name, making them just the Tampa Bay Rays. And apparently that's exactly what they needed.
The Rays shocked the entire world when they staged one of the greatest comeback seasons in baseball history in going 97-65.
NOBODY saw it coming as they took the AL East over what most people believed were the two best teams in baseball- The Yankees and Red Sox.
Their Cinderella run lasted all the way until the World Series where the Phillies took four out of five games from them.
The 2008 Tampa Bay Rays were one of the most shocking success stories in the history of sports.
After finishing a combine 9-23 in the two previous seasons, the 1999 Rams didn't look like they were ready to have a decent season, let alone a historic one.
Especially when starting quarterback Trent Green went down in the pre-season and some guy named Kurt Warner had to take over.
However, it turned out this Warner guy was better than anyone could have imagined.
He anchored what became one of the greatest offenses in NFL history, and was dubbed "The Greatest Show On Turf."
They shocked the world and finished the season at 13-3, which was good enough for home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
St. Louis continued it's winning ways in the post-season on their way to the Super Bowl where they would take on the Tennessee Titans.
They defeated the Titans in the Super Bowl, but how they did it really put an exclamation point on their season.
With the clock running down and time for only one more play left, the Titans trailed the Rams by seven points.
Titans' QB Steve McNair hit Kevin Dyson on a slant pattern at the three on what looked like a forgone conclusion to be a touchdown.
However, Rams' linebacker Mike Jones stopped Dyson just inches from the goal line. They won the Super Bowl by less than one yard.
Tell me that's not a fairy tale.
The North Carolina State Wolfpack went into the 1983 season with high expectations. But an early injury to Dereck Whittenburg changed that.
They finished the regular season with an un-inspiring 17-10 record, and had to win the ACC Tournament just to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
They won the ACC thanks to upset victories over UNC and Virginia.
They entered the tourney as a six seed, but needed two overtimes to get by Pepperdine in the first round.
In the second round they took out the sixth-ranked team in the country in UNLV, and in the semis they barely got by fourth-ranked Virginia 63-62, next they beat Georgia in the Final Four, on their way to the Finals where they would face the heavily favored Houston Cougars led by Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler.
They were able to defeat Houston thanks to a last-second put-back by Lorenzo Charles put them up two.
The Wolfpack are forever remembered for their Cinderella run which launched the career of Jimmy Valvano.
The story of the 1938 Chicago Blackhawks is an oldie but a goody.
At a time when the NHL only had eight teams- six of which made the playoffs- the Blackhawks were able to sneak in with a dreadful 14-25-9 record.
They also scored the least goals in the league and gave up the second most.
In other words, they sucked.
Yet they just snuck into the playoffs where they were sure to be ousted in the first round anyway. Or were they?
Out of seemingly nowhere, Chicago staged a turnaround for the ages as they went 7-3 in the playoffs en route to a shocking Stanley Cup victory.
By far the greatest Cinderella story in the history of hockey.
The case for the 1968 Jets on this list is an interesting one. They were the clear best team in the AFL that season so the fact that they won the league was no surprise.
However, the game they won after that would forever throw the Earth's rotation off course. It was both one of the most shocking and important moments in sports history.
Back in 1968, the NFL was believed to be head and shoulders better than the AFL. So when the two leagues agreed to play a championship game each season, it was considered a joke.
There's no way any AFL team could compete with the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Colts of the world.
This point was supported by the fact that the Packers had cleaned house in each of the first two AFL-NFL games.
So when Jets' quarterback Joe Namath guaranteed a victory prior to the game it was almost funny.
Until he led his Jets over the heavily favored Colts in the game.
I didn't see anyone laughing then.
Kurt Warner, the man who anchored two of the teams on this list, was under-estimated his entire life.
Despite a great high school career, he sat at third on the Northern Iowa depth chart until he was a senior. In his only year as a starting college quarterback he was named his conference offensive player of the year.
This, however, was not enough to propel him into the NFL as he went un-drafted in 1994.
At that point he didn't know where to turn, but he did know he wanted to be an NFL quarterback, and he refused to give up the dream.
He bagged groceries at a super market for just $5.50 an hour, while honing his skills in hopes of one day getting an NFL tryout.
In 1995 he decided to sign with the Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena Football League. He was named to the First-Team All-Arena team in 1996 and '97, and he lead the Barnstormers to Arena Bowl appearances both times.
Before the 1997 season began, Warner got a tryout with the Chicago Bears, but an elbow injury prevented him from attending.
In 1998, Warner's four years of hard work finally paid off as he was signed by the St. Louis Rams.
And we all know what happened after that.
Trent Green goes down, Warner comes in, turns out to be Moses, wins NFL and Super Bowl MVP in his first season, and the rest is all history.
The 2007 New York Giants were considered a team that would be lucky to make the playoffs after being beaten in each of their first two games.
Even in week three they nearly suffered a loss at the hands of the Washington Redskins.
In fact, it was mid-way through that season that most Giants fans were calling for Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin's heads after an embarrassing loss to the Minnesota Vikings, which included Manning throwing four picks.
Coughlin was expected to be axed at the end of the season, and most thought that Eli Manning would soon follow suit.
They finished the season at 10-6 and qualified for the playoffs as a team that nobody expected to get out of the first round.
On wild card weekend the entire Fox Sports crew had them losing to the Buccaneers. It didn't happen.
The following week, the Giants were expected to be blown out by the NFC's top seeded Dallas Cowboys. Once again the entire Fox Sports crew picked the Cowboys. It didn't happen.
Then, they were forced to travel to Lambeau Field in January to face the Packers. Nobody thought they stood a chance against the clearly better, and more cold weather friendly Green Bay Packers.
However, to the surprise of everybody with a beating heart the Giants way outplayed the Packers led by Plaxico Burress' absolute ownage of the NFC's best cover corner at the time- Al Harris.
Despite outplaying Green Bay the Giants found themselves tied with them at the end of the fourth quarter in large part to the fact that Lawrence Tynes missed two chip shots that could have won the game.
In overtime, the Packers won the coin toss. There was no way they could lose. Brett Favre was automatic in these situations.
Well that was until Corey Webster picked off Brett Favre in what put the Giants in position for a 47 yard field goal.
47 yards? At Lambeau Field in January, with a kicker who already failed twice to win you the game on much closer kicks? Good luck with that.
However, Tynes made the longest kick ever recorded by a Lambeau visitor in the playoffs to win the game.
This brought the G-Men to the Super Bowl where they most certainly wouldn't stand a chance against the un-defeated Patriots.
The Pats were unstoppable and hosted arguably the greatest offense in NFL history.
Fast forward to the fourth quarter of that game. New York trails 7-3 on their first drive of the quarter.
They drive 80 yards on seven plays for the touchdown to... David Tyree?
That's right, David Tyree. He went from four catches in the entire 2007 regular season, to a Super Bowl touchdown. Keep that name in mind.
After a New England score put them up 14-10 with 2:42 left in the game, this one seemed all but over.
The Giants needed a miracle drive from Eli Manning. And they got it.
Facing a third-and-five from their own 44-yard line with just 1:15 remaining, Eli Manning faced defensive pressure. It seemed like almost a foregone conclusion that he would be wrapped up for the sack and the Patriots would complete their undefeated season.
Nearly the entire Patriots D-Line got a hand on him, but he somehow managed to escape and roll out of the pocket where he would literally just chuck a ball up in the air- nearly without looking- hoping it would be caught.
And guess who was there? David Tyree.
He jumped for the overthrown ball and pinned it to his helmet, as he came down with it. What better way to cap off a Cinderella story than with a man who caught all of four passes that season being the hero.
After that, it was obvious the Giants would score. They had all the momentum in the world after Tyree's catch and there was no way anybody could stop them.
And they did. The Giants pulled off the upset of the decade as they beat the Patriots.
My favorite part of this story- David Tyree would never catch another pass in his NFL career.
Talk about story book...
Throughout sports history there have been many riches to rags stories.
JaMarcus Russel. Todd Marinovich. Pete Rose.
However, there has never been a riches-to rags-to riches story quite like the one of Josh Hamilton.
Hamilton was selected with the first overall pick in the 1999 MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and was expected to be leading the majors in all three triple crown categories in no time.
He tore it up in his first two seasons as a minor leaguer, looking well on his way to the show. He was the unquestioned top prospect in all of baseball. However, Josh soon suffered from a chain of injuries that didn't allow him to get on the diamond.
With all this free time on his hands, Hamilton fell in with the wrong crowd. He began to get addicted to drugs and alcohol, resulting in an indefinite suspension from Major League Baseball, that would go on to last for over two years.
Hamilton was bad. He would take nearly anything he could smoke, drink, snort, or inject into his body.
He seemed like another sad story of a blue chip athlete throwing his talent away.
His lowest point came in October 2005, when he was found 110 percent wasted, after a crack binge, on his grandmothers front porch.
It was then he realized he needed to change.
Behind the support of his grandmother, Josh turned his life around, and began training in hopes of being a Major League Baseball player again.
He received news in June 2006 that he was eligable to be reinstated by Major League Baseball. Hamilton didn't re-join a team right away as he still had to fight his own demons and get in shape, but he would return by the 2007 season.
He was taken by the Cincinnati Reds in the Rule 5 Draft.
He went on to play 90 games in the 2007 MLB season to tremendous success with a .292 batting average and 19 home runs.
After the season he was traded to the Texas Rangers in exchange for pitching prospect Edison Volquez.
It was there that he would truly turn this feel good story into a feel great story.
He got off to an amazing start which included him competing for the triple crown and being named to both the All-Star teams and the Home Run Derby roster.
This All-Star game took place at Yankee Stadium, as did the Home Run Derby.
Hamilton put on the greatest show in Home Run Derby history as he rocketed balls nearly out of Yankee Stadium completely on his way to a 28 dinger performance in the first round.
Although he would technically go on to lose the Derby to Justin Morneau, he really won.
It takes a lot to get the Yankee Stadium crown on their feet, and he did just that. For a period of time during that contest it was not A-Rod, or Jeter, or Albert Pujols who stood atop the baseball world. It was Josh Hamilton.
He represented everything American's stand for, and it was awesome that he was able to do what he did.
The story of Josh Hamilton remains one of the greatest Cinderella stories in sports history.
Going into 2006, the New Orleans Saints were arguably the worst franchise in all of sports.
They had been nicknamed the New Orleans 'Aints, and with a 3-13 season in 2005 you could see why.
To add insult to injury they were just two years removed from one of the worst storms in the history of America (Hurricane Katrina).
They hadn't even played their home games at the Louisiana Superdome the previous two seasons, as it was used to store bodies, and was almost completely demolished.
The Saints had extremely low expectations going into the 2006 season, and people just hoped that they would be able to be back in the Superdome again. Nobody could have dreamed of what ended up happening.
After a completely shocking 2-0 start (yes, they were that bad) the Saints traveled back to the Superdome where they would play their first home game in over two years.
They blew out the Falcons 23-3 that game behind one of the loudest and most inspiring crowds the world of sports had ever seen.
Nobody was beating the Saints that day. Not the '67 Packers. Not the '85 Bears. And most certainly not the '06 Falcons.
The Saints let this momentum carry them through a 10-6 season in which they went all the way to the NFC Championship game- the first in franchise history.
The success of the 2006 Saints was one of the most shocking and feel-good turnarounds in sports history.
The Miracle Mets. The Amazin's.
When your success inspires two nicknames just by how shocked people are with it, you know you went into that season with low expectations.
And that's exactly what the '69 Mets did.
The Mets were in their eighth year of existence, but had won more than 70 games just once in their first eight years.
They were the New Orleans Saints of baseball at that point.
However, the Amazin's shocked the world when they won 100 games that season behind one of the worst offenses of a team to ever advance to the Fall Classic.
Their pitching is what carried them.
Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman led the way for this lights out pitching staff that carried the Mets to the World Series.
The Mets' World Series run back in 1969 remains one of the top Cinderella stories in sports history, and always will.
The Villanova Wildcats walked into the 1985 NCAA Men's Basketball tournament as an eight seed in the Southeast bracket.
And they left it National Champions.
What else do you need to know?
Lance Armstrong was a very good cyclist as a youngster. He was billed as the next big thing.
And he was, it just took longer than anyone could have guessed.
Because before Lance Armstrong's career ever got off the ground, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
His doctor stated that he less than a 40 percent chance of surviving. The chances of him ever getting on a bike again were slim to none.
But Armstrong beat all the odds on his way back to the cycling tour just two years later in 1998.
Just a year later in 1999, Armstrong won his first Tour de France. It was a miracle, a Cinderella story, an unbelievable comeback by a man who refused to give up.
And then he did it again the following year. And again the next year. And again, and again, and again until he finally had won seven straight Tour de France's.
It was unreal.
A man who wasn't even supposed to be alive won the Super Bowl of cycling seven times in a row.
That's a true Cinderella story.
From super rags to riches.
Oher was the product of a crackhead mom from the ghetto who had 12 children that she cleary couldn't take care of.
He received little care as a child and repeated both the first and second grades. He swapped foster homes several times and was even homeless for a bit as he attended eleven different school in his first nine years as a student.
Oher played football as a freshman at a Memphis public high school, and stayed with Tony Henderson temporarily. Henderson was applying his son to Briarcrest Christian High School, and figured he might as well apply "Big Mike" as well.
Oher got into the school mainly because the football coach was impressed with his size. One thing was for sure- His grades weren't high enough.
After being kicked out of Henderson's house soon after getting into Briarcrest, the ghetto Oher was homeless in a preppy neighborhood, attending a preppy school.
Noticing this, two fantastic people- Leigh Anne and Shaun Tuohy- a couple with two children at Briarcrest allowed Michael to live at their house despite not knowing much about him. As time went on they learned more about him and eventually adopted him.
When the Tuohy's realize the football potential Oher has they begin to teach him more and more about the game. Eventually he becomes an All-State player, and is ranked the #5 O-Line recruit in the country.
With the help of a tutor hired by the Tuohy's, Oher brings his GPA all the way up from 0.6 to 2.52.
He just barely gets his grades high enough to get into a Division I school, and he chooses Ole Miss.
After a great college career, Oher becomes a first round NFL draft pick. He has since had success as an O-Lineman for the Baltimore Ravens.
Oher was the subject of the award winning movie, The Blindside.
The 2006 George Mason Patriots. The little engine that could.
George Mason's 2006 run is considered by just about every college basketball fan to be the greatest Cinderella run in NCAA tournament history.
They entered the tournament as an 11 seed.
They staged two upset victories in the tourney's first two rounds against college basketball powerhouses Michigan State and UNC.
It was the first time that George Mason had ever advanced past the first round in the NCAA tournament, and probably the last too.
In the sweet sixteen they shocked the world once again as they took out Wichita State. Nobody could believe it. George Mason in the Elite Eight? What a joke.
The clock was sure to strike midnight on this Cinderella run as they took on number one seeded UConn.
George Mason's best players would have been lucky to come of the bench for Connecticut. There was no way they'd beat them.
George Mason trailed by 12 late in the first half and nine early in the second. It was all over. UConn was just too good.
They had Mason beat in athleticism, talent, size, and history; but there was one department where the Patriots held the edge- Heart.
They stormed back and sent the game to overtime where they would eventually win it.
Arguably the greatest upset in the history of college basketball. George Mason over UConn, to go to the Final Four.
It was unfathomable.
George Mason in the Final Four? Who?
The Patriots would eventually fall to eventual champion Florida in the Final Four, but what they accomplished was something that March Madness had never seen before and likely will never see again.
It was just plain amazing.
The 2008 Fresno State Bulldogs weren't loaded with MLB prospects. In fact, only five of their players were selected in the MLB draft, and only one was selected inside the top 200 picks.
They finished their regular season at 37-27, and made the regional pretty much only because they won the WAC tournament. They were a four seed in the regional which is equivalent to a 13, 14, 15, or 16 seed in the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament.
In other words, the Bulldogs were lucky to even be in the dance.
Not to mention Fresno State had never won a championship in any major sport.
Either way, Fresno traveled to Long Beach where they shocked the 49ers in the regional. They pulled off an equally surprising upset when they defeated Arizona State in the Super Regional to become the first number four seed to ever advance to the College World Series.
The Bulldogs shocked the entire world when they pulled one of the greatest Cinderella runs in sports history as they won the College World Series.
Six times during the NCAA Tournament the Bulldogs faced elimination with a loss, and they won all six. They won 10 tournament games against teams ranked in the top 20.
ESPN compared their run to a team in the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament and it went like this:
Their run was equivalent to a 13 seed beating a four seed in the first round, then beating a five seed in the second round, next beating a number one seed in the sweet sixteen, and then beating a second seed in the Elite Eight, another top seed in the Final Four, and another two seed in the final.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's a pretty damn special run.
Not much argument here, the story of the 1980 USA Men's Ice Hockey Team is one that will forever live in infamy.
Dubbed the "Miracle On Ice," the 1980 team forever changed the Olympic Hockey landscape with this victory.
A group of teenagers and guys in their early 20s (most of which never even went on to play pro hockey) beat out a team made up of the greatest hockey players in the world.
Let me put this in English for you guys- It would be almost like if LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Dwight Howard moved to Russia, and the USA filled their team with very good, but not great High School and College basketball players, and beat them.
Anything else you need to know?