The 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–28 Olympic medals including 23 golds make Phelps the most decorated Olympian of all time.
  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–15 majors, and tied for the most PGA tour wins of all time with 109.
  6. Yogi Berra– 10 World Series rings as a player and another 3 as a coach.
  7. Henri Richard–Nicknamed “The Pocket-Rocket,” 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–20 Grand Slams and 103 career titles.
  11. Pele–Only soccer player to be a part 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. Tom Brady6 Super Bowls, 3 league MVPs, 16 division titles and a quarterback high 245 regular + postseason victories.
  14. Serena Williams– Winner of 23 major singles titles, most of any man or woman in the Open Era.
  15. Pete Sampras–64 career titles including 14 Slams.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Lance Armstrong–He might be doper, but he’s the winningest doper there ever was.
  20. Mickey Mantle–7 World Series rings in 12 years and a 1956 Triple Crown.
  21. Larissa Latynina–The Soviet gymnast has held the all-time Olympic medal record for nearly a half century with 18, including nine golds.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Edwin MosesWon an astounding 122 consecutive races (107 finals), 2 Olympic golds, and 2 World Championship golds.
  25. Robert Horry–7-time NBA champion with 3 different teams.
  26. John Havlicek— 8-time NBA champion and a NCAA title.
  27. Cael SandersonWrested to an incredible record of 159-0 with 4 consecutive NCAA titles for Iowa St before capturing gold in Athens 2004.
  28. Bill Dickey— 8-time World Series Champ.
  29. Magic Johnson–5-time NBA champion, 1 gold medal, and enough money to makes AIDS his bitch.
  30. Bart Starr–5-time Super Bowl champion
  31. Joe Montana–4-time Super Bowl champion and an NCAA national title at Notre Dame.
  32. Lou Gehrig–6-time World Series champion and the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.
  33. Kobe Bryant–5-NBA championships (one more than Shaq) and 2 gold medals.
  34. 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.
  35. Babe Ruth–7 World Series trophies with both the Sox and Yankees.

Honorable Mentions: Derek Jeter, Mark Spitz, Terry Bradshaw, Paula Newby-Frasier, Bjorn Daehlie, John Brzenk, Nikolai Andrianov, Sam Jones, Sean White, Bjorn Borg, Heather McKay, 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.

6 Comments

  1. Jeremy Mcgrath should be at the top of this list. The man is the most winningest winner of all time. With 72 in door wins not to mention 12 supercross/Motocross
    – 7 Supercross Championships – 1993-1996; 1998; 1999; 2000
    – 2 125 Western Region Supercross Championships – 1991; 1992
    – 1 250 Outdoor National Championship – 1995
    – 2 FIM World Championships
    * OVERALL CAREER WINS -101
    – 2008 – Silver Medal – Moto X Racing
    – 2006 – Bronze – Step Up
    – 2005 – Bronze – Step Up
    – 2005 – Silver – Supermoto
    – 2004 – Gold – Step Up
    * OVERALL X GAMES MEDALS – 5
    * AMA MOTORCYCLE HALL OF FAME – 2003
    * BMX HALL OF FAME – 2010 on top of all that add 89 AMA wins.250cc AMA Supercross wins: 72
    125cc Western Region SX wins: 13
    250cc AMA National Motocross wins: 15
    125cc AMA National Motocross wins: 2 and that’s all I can think of off 5he 5op of my head

  2. john brzenk the greatest arm wreslter that ever lived

    A1 Russian Open:

    2015 – R-2nd Place
    2014 – R-3rd Place[17]
    AAA Stand-Up National Titles:

    1984 – R200 lbs
    1985 – R185 lbs
    1986 – R220 lbs
    1990 – R220 lbs
    Arnold Classic Titles:

    2006 – R199+
    2007 – R199+
    AWI World Titles:

    1986 – Pro Super Heavyweight
    1987 – Pro Light Heavyweight
    1988 – Pro Light Heavyweight
    1995 – Pro Light Heavyweight
    2001 – Pro Super Heavyweight
    Carling O’Keefe International Titles:

    1989 – R 200 lbs, R 231+ lbs
    Forsa Tropical International Titles:

    1998 – R198 lbs, R243+ lbs, L198 lbs
    GNC Pro Performance Title:

    2002 – R198 lbs
    GOLDEN BEAR Titles: SUPERMATCH (Absolut Champion)

    R1994
    Pro tournament

    R90+ kg: 1990, 1994, 1998
    R90 kg: 1990
    Harley Pull Titles:

    2000 – R220 lbs + Harley Winner
    2001 – R220 lbs
    2002 – R198 lbs, L198 lbs
    2009 – R225 lbs, L225 lbs + Harley Winner
    Main Event Titles:

    1998 – R220 lbs
    Mike Gould Classic Titles:

    2006 – R220 lbs, L220 lbs
    2010 – R220 lbs
    Mohegan Sun PAC World Titles:

    2005 – R198 lbs, L198 lbs
    2006 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs
    2007 – R198 lbs, L198 lbs
    Over the Top World Title:

    1986 – Winner of Truckers Division in Heavyweight class
    Reno Reunion Titles:

    1999 – R200 lbs, R230 lbs, R231+ lbs, L200 lbs
    2000 – R198 lbs, R242 lbs, R243+ lbs, L198 lbs, L242 lbs
    2001 – R198 lbs, R242 lbs, R243+ lbs, L198 lbs
    2002 – R198 lbs, R242 lbs, R243+ lbs, L198 lbs, L242 lbs
    2003 – R233+ lbs
    2006 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs
    2006 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs
    ROTN Titles:

    2007 – R215 lbs, L215 lbs
    2008 – R242 lbs, L242 lbs
    2009 – R199+ lbs
    Sands International Wrist Wrestling/Armwrestling Titles:

    1988 – R190 lbs
    1989 – R190 lbs, R215 lbs
    Sherkston Beaches International Titles:

    1987 – R200 lbs, R201+ lbs
    SuperStar Showdown Titles:

    2004 – R199+ lbs
    2005 – R198 lbs
    Ultimate Armwrestling (Las Vegas) Titles:

    2004 – R242 lbs
    2005 – R198 lbs, L198 lbs
    2006 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs
    Ultimate Armwrestling League Titles:

    2011 – R200 lbs (Current Champion)
    USAA National Pro-Am Titles:

    1996 – R200 lbs, R201+ lbs
    1997 – R198 lbs, R242 lbs, R243+ lbs, L198 lbs
    1998 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs
    1999 – R198 lbs, R242 lbs, R243+ lbs, L198 lbs, L242 lbs
    2000 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs, L242 lbs, L243+ lbs
    2001 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs, L242 lbs, L243+ lbs
    2002 – R198 lbs, R242 lbs, R243+ lbs, L198 lbs, L242 lbs
    2003 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs
    2004 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs, L242 lbs
    2005 – R242 lbs
    2006 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs
    2007 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs
    2009 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs, L242 lbs, L243+ lbs
    2010 – R242 lbs, R243+ lbs
    USAF Unified National Title:

    2005 – R220 lbs
    WAF World Championship Titles:

    1999 – L100 kg, Supermatch Winner
    WAL Titles

    2015 – R: Heavyweight Champion
    World Wristwrestling Championship (Petaluma) Titles:

    Heavyweight Division

    R: 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1998, 2001
    Light Heavyweight Division

    R: 1998, 2001
    L: 1998, 2001
    Middleweight Division

    R – 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1998, 2001
    L – 1996, 1998, 2001
    Lightweight Division

    R – 1984
    WPAA World Title:

    1985 – Middleweight
    Yukon Jack National/World Titles:

    Heavyweight Division

    R: 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993,
    Middleweight Division

    R: 1995, 1996.
    Zloty Tur/Nemiroff World Cup Titles:

    Open Cat.

    R: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
    Cat. 95 kg

    R: 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
    L: 2007, 2009

  3. Disappointed not to see Heather McKay here. Greatest squash player of all time. Only lost two matches in her entire 16 year career. Won every single Squash Open she participated in. If that doesn’t count as winning-est I don’t know what does. She puts almost everyone else listed here to shame.

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