Another guy to add to the list would be Dave Winfield.
Serious question: Is Bo Jackson the greatest athlete ever seen?
I think I'd vote yes.
"You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
-- Christy Matthewson
"Show me a good loser and I'll show you an idiot."
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I can't believe someone hacked Doug's account and started posting in this thread. Doug said he was done with this thread and I of course took him at his word. How are we not talking about Doug's account obviously being hacked?
And Homer Bailey ... sorry, but the fact that Billy Hamilton was a star three-sport athlete in high school DOES matter when determining whether he's a "great athlete." I like how you just tried to discount the fact that he was one of the top football players in the entire country and was also an elite basketball player. Oh yeah, this on top of being one of the top 50 baseball prospects in the world.
Nah, nothing impressive there. Certainly not a great athlete. Move along, nothing to see here. [Sarcasm off.]
However, best that I've seen? Yes. I think I'd have to say Bo Jackson is the best overall athlete that I've ever seen. He was definitely the best RB in the NFL during his brief prime (a Bengal linebacker named Walker ended his career with a tackle in the '90 playoffs) and was also an All-Star baseball player on top of that. Flat-out amazing.
Deion is up there. Yes, that's right ... Prime Time is up there.
Bo Jackson super athlete, Rickey Henderson super athlete, Dave Winfield super athlete. Those are the first 3 baseball players that come to my mind when I think of super athletes. Does Hamilton fit that category maybe time will tell, but I know he has a better chance of being considered one than 90% of all baseball players. Doesn't mean he will be a good player. In my opinion very few "greatest players of all time" were super athletes. Just those that worked harder and had more desire than everyone else. Amazing how the brain can override the bodies limitations.
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Daryl Strawberry and Eric Davis also come to mind...
"On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."
You've all done so well defining Athlete but forgot about super> thanks Merriam Webster:
a : of high grade or quality
b —used as a generalized term of approval <a super cook>
: very large or powerful <a super atomic bomb>
: exhibiting the characteristics of its type to an extreme or excessive degree
Billy Hamilton Qualifies on 2 of the 3 above, maybe, at least one, certainly.
And we all agree he's an athlete....
Therefore, and without a doubt he is a "Super Athlete" by definition.
Attended 1976 World Series in my Mother's Womb. Attended 1990 World Series Game 2 as a 13 year old. Want to take my son to a a World Series Game in Cincinnati in my lifetime.
What a thread. How would Billy fair in the decathlon....doesn't that define the Worlds Best Athlete come Olympic-time?
I don't even know what events the decathlon is composed of, but how would Billy do?
Doug refuses to call him a super athlete because he lacks the physical body strength that many super athletes have (by his definition). This is not about defining Hamilton as a super athlete or not. That may be how several people are reading the arguments posted here, but that's not the point. The point is that he does not have the physical strength or size to hit the ball far, throw it far, etc. These kind of skills are very important in baseball. He DOES have the ability to run very quickly. It's a valuable skill, no question, but he doesn't possess the type of athleticism that's going to allow him to hit a ball like Josh Hamilton does. That's just a fact.
This is why it's just silly to start talking about his high school football stats. It's not going to help him hit a baseball far.
Billy Hamilton is freakishly fast. He's not a freak in the mold of LeBron James, someone who is very fast, jumps high, and has tremendous strength.
No one is calling Hamilton un-athletic. He just lacks some of the characteristics of of athleticism that many of the best baseball players have, and that is physical strength (aka power).
This discussion should have never been about athleticism anyway, rather baseball tools.
Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball - Jacques Barzun