The 15 Biggest One-Hit Wonders in Sports
The term one-hit-wonder may come from the music industry, but nowhere else is it as obvious as in the world of professional sports.
Sports fans are well accustomed to a relatively unknown player coming out of nowhere and making a great play, or putting in an explosive game or even full season, then disappearing into the ether, never to be heard from again.
Obviously everyone has their personal favourites, but this slideshow compiles some of the best, most disappointing and funniest one-hit wonders of all time.
15. Paul Abbott
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Paul Abbott is the very picture of a man who benefited from his team playing at a high level.
Abbott was a member of the Seattle Mariners in 2001 during their excellent season where they became West Division champions.
Abbott put in a 17-4 season, which he never again came close to matching during his 14-year career. His next best season was a paltry 9-6.
In 2002, the year after his best season he went 1-3, and put up similar stats for the rest of his career.
14. James 'Buster' Douglas
Buster Douglas puts the 'hit' in one-hit-wonder.
In 1990, Douglas was scheduled to fight the most dominating boxer of the time, 'Iron' Mike Tyson, for the World Heavyweight Championship.
He was such an underdog that only one betting-house would put odds on the fight. What were the odds? An impressive 35-1 in Tyson's favour. Douglas shocked the world by winning the championship that night.
He lost the title eight months later in his first and only defence, and instead of trying to re-enter contention, he lived off his wealth and reached a weight of 400 pounds. Seriously.
13. Pete Schourek
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Pitcher Pete Schourek had a losing record until he blew up, in an amazing season in 1995.
In the 1995 season with the Cincinnati Reds, Schourek posted a 18-7 record and was the runner-up for the Cy Young Award.
Plagued by injury, Schourek never managed to reach this level again, and retired with a disappointing 66-77 record.
Reds fans will always wonder about what may have been...
12. Tyus Edney
It is about as rare as it is sad when someone peaks in their rookie season, but that is just what Tyrus Edney did.
In his first season with the Sacramento Kings, Edney averaged 10.8 points and 6.1 assists. In his second season he was averaging a mere 6.9 points and 3.2 assists.
This continued to drop, and he spent a year in Boston and a year in Indiana, playing 52 and 24 games respectively.
He went on to play in Europe, a sad end to what seemed at one point, a bright career.
11. Mike Bielecki
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One of professional baseball's greatest disappointments, Mike Bielecki was integral in the Chicago Cubs winning their division.
In 1989, Mike Bielecki won a career-high 18 games with the Cubs, then went on to play in only one more season in which he would win more than 10 games.
Disappointment, your name is Bielecki.
10. Wayne Babych
Right winger Wayne Babych was drafted third in 1978, retired at age 28, and has the second largest scoring differential in NHL history. He is like the Buzz Aldrin of NHL one-hit-wonders.
At age 22, Babych shone for the 1980-1981 season, putting in a career high 54 goals. His next best season was only 27 goals, leaving a huge 27-goal differential between his best season and next best.
Remember when hockey players used to get into real fights? Enjoy the video!
9. Troy Hudson
Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Troy Hudson was given the nickname "Laker Killer" in the 2003 Western Conference Finals. Turns out this was preemptive.
He had a massive showing in the playoffs against the Lakers, Hudson was averaging 23.5 points, after this he then went on to play only 187 games over the following five seasons, ending his career averaging only 9 points. If you look up disappointment in the dictionary, the definition is Troy Hudson.
Watch not only Troy Hudson create some great offense, and old-school Kevin Garnett dunk, pure gold.
8. Brady Anderson
Brady Anderson still holds several Orioles single-season records, and in 2004 he was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame, he also deserves a spot in the One-Hit Wonder HOF.
In 1996 Anderson hit a respectable 50 home runs, in 1997 and 1998 he managed to hit 18 home runs apiece. Not exactly awe-inspiring.
Brady was plagued by injury and it is sad thinking about what could have been!
7. Timmy Smith
Yet another rookie who did something amazing, yet failed to repeat it ever again.
Smith, a rookie, wrote himself into the history books when during Super Bowl XXII he ran 204 yards and scored two touchdowns, giving him the record for most rushing yards in Super Bowl history.
Following this amazing feat, Smith only played 12 games in the next season, and ended his career after a week with the Dallas Cowboys.
6. Carlos Newton
MMA star Carlos Newton did something genuinely amazing, but could never live up to it. Newton is the very definition of one-hit-wonder.
At UFC 31 not only did Newton attain one of the few bulldog choke victories in UFC, he ended the welterweight title reign of Pat Miletich.
His run as champion was short-lived, as the belt was taken off him at UFC 34 in his only title defence. He now boasts a 4-9 record, and hasn't fought in any promotion for over a year.
5. Greg Cook
Bengals quarterback Greg Cook is probably the most heartbreaking story on this list, as his one-hit wonder status wasn't really his fault.
Playing in 1969, with limited medical technology, Cook had an undiagnosed torn rotator cuff. Despite this he still passed for 1,854 yards, and still holds some rookie records.
Unfortunately, his rotator cuff began to deteriorate and he was forced to retire officially in 1973.
It is speculated that if he had been healthy, Cook may have been one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, rather than just a one-hit-wonder.
4. Jimmy Glass
The Carlisle United goalkeeper will always be remembered by fans for keeping Carlisle in the national league.
The game against Plymouth Argyle was stuck on 1-1, until Glass left the penalty area and scored a last minute goal, sealing the win and keeping the team in the league.
Not many players can claim responsibility for keeping their team in a league, even if he did very little of note before or after!
3. Scott Bjugstad
Statistically, Scott Bjugstad has the worst drop-off between seasons in NHL history.
In the 1985-86 season with the North Stars, he benefited from being surrounded by talented players and scored 43 goals.
He went on to play 317 games in the NHL and retired with a career total of 76 goals, never scoring more than 11 goals in any subsequent seasons.
Bjugstad played for the Penguins and Kings as well, and even played in the US national hockey team in the 1984 Winter Olympics.
2. Austin Croshere
Croshere is one of those guys who peaked at the right time, got a fat contract out of it and never played as well again. The NBA is full of this, but Croshere is particularly special.
He was integral in the Pacers' first NBA Finals appearance, and was rewarded with a seven-year, $51 million contract.
Three seasons later, he played only 49 games in the season. Eventually, Larry Bird would extend the olive branch to Croshere, inviting him to participate in the Pacers training camp, later that season he was waived.
Croshere went on to play for the Mavericks, Warriors, Bucks and Spurs.
1. Stephen Bradbury
Stephen Bradbury is an Australian legend and one of the biggest one-hit-wonders of all time.
Bradbury became the first-ever Australian to win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics, during the 1,000m speed skating event in 2002.
Bradbury was coming last, until a last corner pile-up took out the rest of his opponents and he skated past to win.
After this career highlight, he promptly retired, and now appears in television ads in Australia.