Wednesday Sep 28

The 35 Winningest Athletes of All Time

Some say winning isn't everything.  And that's probably true; after all, there is that next big contract to consider.  But for these 35, winning wasn't just everything, for much of their careers it was the only thing.
  1. Bill Russell--2 college championships with the University of San Fran (which included a 55-game win streak at one point), an Olympic gold medal, and 11 NBA championships in 13 years.  Just insane.
  2. Michael Phelps--22 Olympic medals including 18 golds, 26 world championship golds, 39 world records held, and 1 marijuana charge beaten.
  3. Rocky Marciano--Only heavyweight to retire undefeated at 49-0.  Not bad for a white guy from Brockton, MA.
  4. Jack Nicklaus--18 majors including 4 US Open wins, and 6 green jackets. with 73 PGA Tour wins overall.
  5. Tiger Woods--14 majors, 78 PGA tour wins, and 39 European tour wins.
  6. Yogi Berra- 10 World Series rings as a player and another 3 as a coach.
  7. Henri Richard--Nicknamed "The Pocket-Rocket" (I kid you not), Richard won 11 Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens in his 20-year NHL career..
  8. Joe Dimaggio--9-time World Series champion and 1 Marylin Monroe.
  9. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar-6-time NBA champion, 3-time college champ with UCLA (over which they went 88-2), and captain of a Power Memorial High School basketball team that won 71 straight games and 3 New York City Catholic championships.
  10. Roger Federer--17 Grand Slams and 77 career titles.
  11. Pele--Only soccer player to be apart of 3 World Cup-winning teams.  Pele also led his original club team, Santos, to 10 championships in the Campeonato Paulinista league.  And let us not forget his 1977 North American Soccer League championship with the New York Cosmos.
  12. Michael Jordan--6 championships in 8 years, 2 gold medals, and 1 NCAA championship with the Tarheels.
  13. Pete Sampras--64 career titles including 14 Slams.
  14. Alexander Karelin--Though most remembered here in America for his stunning defeat at the hands of Rulon Gardner, "Alexander The Great" went undefeated in international Greco-Roman wrestling competition for thirteen years, the last six of which he didn't even give up a single point.
  15. Otto Graham-- Took the Cleveland Browns to the championship game in every one of the ten years he played, winning seven and going 105-17-4 over that span. He also won a championship playing professional hoops with the Rochester Royals.
  16. Martina Navratilova-- 167 singles and 177 doubles career titles (both records for men or women) Her singles career includes 9 Wimbledons and 4 US Opens.
  17. Lance Armstrong--He might be doper, but he's the winningest doper there ever was.
  18. Mickey Mantle--7 World Series rings in 12 years and a 1956 Triple Crown.
  19. Larissa Latynina--The Soviet gymnast has held the all-time Olympic medal record for nearly a half century with 18, including nine golds.
  20. Carl Lewis--9 Olympic golds and 8 world championship golds.  Side note: Lewis was drafted by both the NBA and NFL, though never played a game for either.
  21. Kelly Slater--The most decorated surfer of all time has won a record 11 ASP World Championships, his titles spanning an incredible eighteen years from age 20 to 38.
  22. Edwin Moses-- Won an astounding 122 consecutive races (107 finals), 2 Olympic golds, and 2 World Championship golds.
  23. Robert Horry--7-time NBA champion with 3 different teams.
  24. John Havlicek-- 8-time NBA champion and a NCAA title.
  25. Cael Sanderson-- Wrested to an incredible record of 159-0 with 4 consecutive NCAA titles for Iowa St before capturing gold in Athens 2004.
  26. Bill Dickey-- 8-time World Series Champ.
  27. Magic Johnson--5-time NBA champion, 1 gold medal, and enough money to makes AIDS his bitch.
  28. Bart Starr--5-time Super Bowl champion
  29. Joe Montana--4-time Super Bowl champion and an NCAA national title at Notre Dame.
  30. Lou Gehrig--6-time World Series champion and the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.
  31. Kobe Bryant--5-NBA championships (one more than Shaq) and 2 gold medals.
  32. Shaquille O'Neal--- 4-time NBA champion, 6 crappy albums and 11 crappy movies (see: Kazaam)   And he beat up Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya.
  33. Babe Ruth--7 World Series trophies with both the Sox and Yankees.
  34. Derek Jeter--5-time World Series champion.
  35. Terry Bradshaw--4-Super Bowl rings and 5 ill-advised country albums.

Honorable Mentions: Mark Spitz, Paula Newby-Frasier, Bjorn Daehlie, Nikolai Andrianov, Sam Jones, Tom Brady, Sean White, Bjorn Borg, Tom Heinsohn, Bob Cousy, Jimmy Conners, Ivan Lendi, Ben Hogan, Paavo Nurvi, Ole Einar Bjorndalen, Lidiya Skoblikova, Sam Snead, Walter Hagan, Lynn Swann, Andre Agassi, Bode Miller, Tony Hawk, Chris Evert, Larry Bird, Tim Duncan, Mariano Rivera, Rafael Nadal, Edoardo Mangiarotti, Steffi Graff.

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Comments  

 
+3 # 2011-06-17 00:16
Ever heard of Wayne Gretzky?
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0 # JJ 2013-01-05 17:59
Or MARTIN BRODEUR
-656 Career Wins (and counting)
-113 Career Playoff Wins
-3 Stanley Cups
-2 Olympic Gold Medals
-1 World Cup of Hockey Championship

SCOTT NIEDERMAYER
(to win every major North American and international championship)
-4 Stanley Cups (1 Conn Smythe Trophy)
-2 Olympic Gold Medals
-1 IIHF World Championship
-1 World Cup of Hockey Championship
-1 World Jr Championship (IIHF U20)
-1 Memorial Cup (& MVP of the tournament)

VLADISLAV TRETIAK
-3 Olympic Gold Medals
-10 World Championships
-1 Canada Cup (replaced by the World Cup of Hockey)

VIACHESLAV FETISOV
-2 Stanley Cups
-2 Olympic Gold Medals
-7 World Championships
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-5 # hockey blows dick 2013-09-13 13:27
no one cares cause hockey sucks Sasquatch penis
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0 # jordan 2015-07-05 14:15
yep New York Rangers my favorite player of all time in hockey I love the rangers
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0 # Jake Blues 2016-02-14 22:49
The list is incomplete without Cael Sanderson. Arguably he should top the entire list.
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-10 # 2011-06-17 02:03
Uhhm. Where's LeBron at?! ;)
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+2 # 2011-06-18 11:50
cael sanderson is #24 he should be #3 at least
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+4 # 2011-06-21 00:19
What About.....

Muhammad Ali?
Wayne Gretzky?
Jerry Rice?
Babe Zaharias?
Gordie Howe?
Arnold Palmer?
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+2 # 2011-06-21 09:46
Remember this is winningest athletes, not greatest athletes. Arnold Palmer won 7 majors, which 11 other golfers have done. Babe won 10 golf majors at a time when there was little competition; 5 other women have won 10 or more majors since. She might be worth an honorable mention with the 2 gold medals. Gordie and Gretzky are arguably the two greatest hockey players of all time, but they have 4 stanley cups apiece; several players have won 9, 10, and even 11. Ali went 69-5, a great record, but not enough to differentiate him from Foreman, who went 76-5, joe louis (66-3), Holmes (69-6) or pacquiao (53-3). Ali was great, but as for winningest, theres nothing to really set him apart for the other greats of history.
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+1 # 2011-06-28 10:24
jimmy johnson definitely deserves to be on the list with 5 nextel cup championships under his belt
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+5 # 2011-08-09 20:02
NASCAR drivers aren't athletes.
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0 # jordan 2015-07-05 14:14
nascar drivers are athletes it takes a badass to drive a car 185mph around a track and drive smooth as F*** and im not even a nascar fan
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+1 # Bobby 2015-05-25 14:21
Jimmy doesn't even lead NASCAR... 7&7 Petty and Dale Sr
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0 # twoman 2012-05-10 20:09
Only two women and one gets dissed. What about Cheryl Miller and/or for that matter, her brother, Reggie???

I find it presumptuous to even try to do something like this - 35 folks is just too limited.
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+1 # Pogany 2012-05-11 07:39
Oh that's right, how could I forget about Reggie Miller and all of his ZERO nba championships. Cheryl was a great player, but winning a couple of NCAA titles and then nothing professionally hardly qualifies as one of the winningest athletes.
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+1 # John 2012-05-16 22:40
uuhh .. Pete Rose.. just no other athlete has participated in more wins .. his 1900+ wins is more than any other athlete, but I guess he's not one of the 'winningest athletes' ? pffff
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0 # chandler 2013-10-20 18:43
Quoting John:
uuhh .. Pete Rose.. just no other athlete has participated in more wins .. his 1900+ wins is more than any other athlete, but I guess he's not one of the 'winningest athletes' ? pffff

I could not agree any more!!!!
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0 # Jonnyboy 2012-06-15 09:50
Another bullshit list. No Ed Moses? Can't get more 'winningest' than 122 straight winsover 9 years......
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+1 # Pogany 2012-06-21 09:58
Alright, guess I deserve that one. Pretty bad oversight on my part. Appreciate the constructive criticism...
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+1 # mp 2012-06-24 23:28
I ran across this list after reading about a guy trying to say Surfer, Kelly Slater, is the greatest athlete ever. Well this list is more black and white in winningest.

When I think of greatest athletes, Jim Thorpe, Babe Zaharias, they both transcended multiple sports and won. One commenter mention Zahrias did not have much competition, insignificant, she took on the best in her time and beat them.

This list makes sense to a point, but this is a subjective subject in my opinion. I have bookmarked it and will be back, with that said. I would like to say Paula Newby Fraser, eight time World Triathlon Champion should be considered. Florence Joyner's 100 and 200 meter records have stood the test of time, going on 24 years on top of the books. There is many Women deserving of a ranking, maybe a separate list?

Good job though, keep it fluid would be my input, but that is just me.
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0 # mp 2012-06-25 00:11
Quoting mp:
I ran across this list after reading about a guy trying to say Surfer, Kelly Slater, is the greatest athlete ever.


Slater has 11 titles now.
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0 # Pogany 2012-06-25 12:23
Very much intended to be a fluid list; always looking to improve and welcome the input. Much appreciate the Fraser call, I would definitely not have thought of her.
Yea, Thorpe and Didrikson are certainly all time athletes, but might not quite be the winningest (conversely I don't imagine anyone would ever say that robert horry is an all time athlete, but hard to overlook seven rings). You should check out my greatest muli-sport athletes list on the homepage though, where they rightfully (in my humble opinion) occupy two of the top three spots. :)
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0 # mp 2012-06-24 23:52
To clarify, I understand Florence Joyner would not qualify under the strict term of winningest.
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0 # mp 2012-06-25 23:02
I really enjoy stats like these. Especially when they are not household names and just got busy training and kicking booty.

I would take a look at French cyclist Jeannie Longo, frigging outrageous on a bike for many years, racing still and in her fifties against the best in Women's Cycling. Probably not make the 2012 French Olympic team. Thirteen time World Champion across three classes, road, time trial, and track.

I mean gee, she finally does not make the Olympic team and she is only 53, lol. Regardless what an epic career;
http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/06/news/jeannie-longos-path-to-london-olympics-complicated-after-she-fails-to-make-podium-at-french-itt-championships_225056


Also maybe take a look at this list:
http://www.toptenz.net/the-top-10-female-olympians.php
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0 # mp 2012-06-25 23:03
Oh yeah, Horry is a head-scratcher but he fits in by definition, lol. I mean this whole list could be split into team sports versus individual wins, but it is all good.

You put a lot of effort into this and I am pretty sure just for the fun of it, :). Thanks for the work.
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+1 # My Mom 2012-10-02 07:36
TWO WORDS: Pete Rose (part of 1972 wins)
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-1 # jon 2012-12-16 14:24
Travis Pastrana?
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0 # David W 2013-05-13 08:50
Ryan Giggs
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0 # H 2013-08-05 12:06
:-x :sigh: Quoting David W:
Ryan Giggs
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0 # David W 2013-05-13 08:50
Ryan Giggs
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0 # jc 2013-08-01 22:04
Fantastic job with thus list. I appriciate the fact you included so many Olympic figures. Personally though, I would have liked to have seen Al Oorter, Pavo Nurmi, or The man who bitch slapped the Nazi's- Jesse Owens.
Great job with this!
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+2 # bachirbz 2013-12-20 13:01
johnny weissmuller never lost a race in his entire carreer : 28 world recors , 52 championship tittles , 6 olympic medals , thats a real winner
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0 # MVC 2014-02-12 14:13
alot of these american names would be erased, if you actually did your research better. Tons of athletes internationally who has won way more, and broken tons of records.. You guys need to get over yourselves, and recognize that the world exist. you really don't posses the necessary tools for making suck an inaccurate list like this.
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+1 # MVC 2014-02-12 14:14
alot of these american names would be erased, if you actually did your research better. Tons of athletes internationally who has won way more, and broken tons of records.. You guys need to get over yourselves, and recognize that the world exist. you really don't posses the necessary tools for making such an inaccurate list like this.
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0 # P. N. Quinn 2014-07-01 10:21
Bart Starr did not win 5 Super Bowls. He won 5 NFL Championships.
Any list that has Robert Horry over Magic Johnson doesn't pass the idiot test.
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0 # Dave Again 2014-11-14 16:57
Look up the name Herb Elliot for undefeated.
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0 # Dave 2015-01-05 03:10
Arm-wrestler Allen Fisher has 26 world championships at time of writing this.
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+1 # Jeremy 2015-03-26 11:38
What about Michelle Kwan????????
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0 # Eddie 2015-05-24 03:50
Great list, and I liked your humor (like how Magic "made AIDS his bitch ). I also liked your explanations to commentators such as why Wayne Gretzky isn't there (4 Cups is far cry from Richard's 11). Now if we are updating to 2015, I'd put Tim Duncan in the main list as he's won 5 NBA titles. And if I could include more soccer players, I'd include Landon Donovan with his 6 MLS titles including 1 in his last season. Xavi Hernandez of FC Barcelona has 23 championships in all sorts of competition (could retire with 2 more) plus 1 World Cup and 2 European Championships for Spain.

In fact, I was wondering why you limited list to 35 instead of made it 50 or more athletes. Like, how could athletes like Steffi Graff (1988 Golden Slam), Sam Jones ( 10 titles with Celtics), Mark Spitz (dominated 1972 Olympics), Rafa Nadal and other tennis legends, and Mariano Rivera (5 rings like Jeter) only be "honorable mentions"? Anyhow, great research and thanks!
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0 # Will 2015-06-08 00:55
Pete Rose has the most wins of anyone in sports period. 1,972
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0 # sumant 2015-08-12 15:09
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar

No sportsperson ever lived in such pressure with such dignity.

100 centuries.. Look him up on Google
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0 # SMH 2015-09-09 00:11
Serena Williams???
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0 # SMH 2015-09-09 00:11
Serena Williams???
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0 # mike 2015-09-23 11:35
JIMMY JOHNSON, DALE SR, RICHARD PETTY,?
7 CHAMPIONSHIPS....
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0 # Jeff 2015-10-11 14:45
Where is Dan Gable???

64-0 in high school, 3x champ (freshman not allowed to wrestle)
181-1 in college between 1967 and 1970, 2x ncaa champ (freshman not allowed to wrestle) 3x midlands champ (plus the two years after college of tournament eligibility) 3x freestyle national champion and 2x gorrarian award winner (most pins in least time at ncaa tournament)
97-5 in national and international freestyle competition between 1967 and 1973, pan-am champ and world champion in 1971, did not surrender a single point in 1972 Olympic games with injured left knee and seven stitches in head, 1-0 in 1973 defeating 3x world champion and Olympic gold Pavel Pinigan, never surrender a takedown to a Soviet Union opponent.
355-21-5 as a coach for Iowa from 1976-1997, 25 consecutive big ten championships, 15x national champion with 9 consecutive between 1978 and 1986. Coached 106 big ten champs, 152 all-Americans, 45 national champs, 12 Olympians (4 gold 1 silver 3 bronze).
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0 # Jeff 2015-10-11 14:54
And that doesn't include Iowa'state success when he returned from hip surgery as an assistant coach and the fact that a majority of the best college teams in the country have a head coach that either wrestled for him or were part of his coaching staff (majority being 90% give or take a few)
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0 # Kyle 2015-10-24 01:34
For boxing why isn't sugar Ray Robinson on there. 173 wins 108KO 19 losses
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0 # nae 2016-02-03 21:37
mwssi is supose to be first he has 28 titles won.
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0 # nae 2016-02-03 21:38
messi*
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0 # Webcam cattivo 2016-02-06 14:58
Webcam cattivo
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0 # Glenwood 2016-03-26 01:26
Nate Newton
3X Super Bowl Champ
2X Marijuana Conviction (388 total lbs)
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