Favorite athletes

“In golf it had to have been Jack Nicklaus. He was my idol and I wanted to be able to play golf like him. Another one of my favorites was Bill Freehan, catcher for the tigers when they won in 1968” (JB)
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“You know, I can’t distinguish between two people. I liked them, I mean I loved them both, and they were Joe Namath, quarterback of the Jets and Dr. Julius Irving. I don’t know, I guess I was drawn to these two individuals because they were everything that I was not—or at least I felt this way as a teenager, I guess it’s some of those insecurities that you have at that time. Dr. J, so self confident and self assured, played the game with such grace and magnificence; I mean he was just a joy to watch. Then at interviews, just so well spoken, diplomatic and Joe Namath also just exuded style with his white football shoes which no one else wore and that slingshot quick release of his. Also, the whole party animal thing, you know he was really gregarious and handsome and well liked and stuff like that. So, those were my two favorites, they were at the top of their game and just the way they were on and off the field” (ZM).
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“Of course, the one and only Michael Jordan. He was one fire. My favorite sport was basketball and he did things that basketball players like me work and dream of doing. He was an inspiration. When people argue about who is a better player, Lebron James or Jordan? I just can’t even believe it is a comparison. Lebron is good but Jordan was great. He was untouchable. He was and will always be a sport hero” (DE)
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“Al Kaline, right fielder for the Detroit Tigers in the 50’s through early 70’s. A Hall of Fame baseball player with over 3000 hits. (Ok 3007) I mimicked his batting stance.  All the kids in the neighborhood played pickup baseball at least 5-6 hours a day during the summer. The Tigers were the local (and favorite) team. He was their best hitter and had a great arm from the outfield” (EJ)
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“Babe Ruth, but what kid didn’t admire Babe Ruth? He was the best of his time to simply put it” (HB)
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“Jackie Robinson, just the things he had to go through to become successful were motivation to me.  In my particular field there aren’t too many men of color, so I can relate to what he was going through and I think if he could overcome these obstacles I can overcome my issues” (QC)
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“No question – Barry Bonds.  It doesn’t matter that he took steroids (lots of players took steroids), or that he was an ass as a person, he was unequivocally the greatest hitter who ever played baseball.  Just watch the film and look at the stats and you can see this is true” (DK)
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“As a kid I was a fan of certain teams, and I had favorite players — but maybe the only athlete I actually admired was Bjorn Borg — I admired his calm demeanor in the heat of a match and the respect he showed both to his opponents and to the game.  He was a class act” (SF)