Being one of the best athletes in the world is hard, you have to fight against everyone else to stand out from the crowd. There are some who are not only elite at one sport but have mastered at least two. These are the best two-sport athletes of all-time.
MLB legend Dave Winfield had his pick of sports coming out of college. He was just born to be a star and had offers from the Jazz in the ABA, the Hawks in the NBA, and the Vikings in the NFL. He chose to turn down all of those opportunities to become a baseball star, and he can’t have many regrets. Winfield became a legend in MLB, making over 30,000 hits, 12 All-Star appearances, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
There aren’t many athletes who can claim to have a gold medal from the Olympics and a pro golf career. Babe Zaharias was a leading sportswoman of the 20th century who won gold at the 1932 Olympics for both the 80m dash and javelin. When she retired from the track she turned her attention to another sport, golf, and was fundamental in creating the LPGA. She was so good that she was invited to play in several men’s pro events during her career.
This baseball star had to make a tough choice when he finished college. Did he want to play professional baseball or basketball? He was fortunate to be naturally talented at both and at college he led his team to the Final Four in 1988. Lofton played point guard, and if he didn’t make it in MLB, he would have been in the NBA. Baseball called to him though, and he went on to have a great career, becoming a six-time All-Star and four-time Golden Glove winner.
Few can say they have competed at both the Summer and Winter Olympics, but Lolo Jones can. She started out with a track career as a sprinter and represented the USA in the 100-m hurdles, missing out on a medal by one place. That must have hurt, and she turned her back on running to try the bobsled, helping the USA team at the 2014 Winter Games. She was part of a three-woman bobsled crew that finished in 11th place in the 2014 Sochi Games.
While many two-sport athletes give one up after college, Bo Jackson wanted to see if he could be pro at both. He left college and decided he would do both so was a professional football player and a pro baseball star for several years. The schedule caught up to him and injuries ended his playing days, but he still had many memorable seasons. Jackson was an All-Star in MLB and a Pro Bowl player in the NFL.
These stars were not ready to give up on playing more than one sport. They loved multiple games, so why shouldn’t they play them? They proved that natural talent goes a long way and few could rival them as overall athletes.