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Old 03-07-2018, 05:00 PM
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Default How well-known are these all-time great sports figures?

There was an interesting post in the "Charleston vs. Clemente" thread that got me thinking. I am a huge history nerd, not just sports history, but history in general. I am curious to see some thoughts on what percentage of the general population posters on here believe are familiar with various old timey athletes. Most of the names I have included are baseball players, but I have thrown in a couple other names, since they have iconic cards in their respective sport.

I have included my personal thoughts for what percentage of the general population is familiar with a particular athlete, but I fully admit that some of my opinions could be way off. I am interested in other people's opinions. A few of the people I listed are still alive, so I realize that may skew the percentage a bit compared to someone who has been dead for 50-75 years.

Babe Ruth 99%
Muhammad Ali 99%
Jackie Robinson 99%
Pele 99%
Lou Gehrig 95%
Mickey Mantle 95%
Joe Frazier 80%
Roberto Clemente 80%
Joe DiMaggio 75%
Ty Cobb 75%
Shoeless Joe Jackson 60%
Wilt Chamberlain 50%
Bill Russell 50%
Jack Dempsey 30%
Joe Louis 30%
Rocky Marciano 30%
Jim Thorpe 30%
Jack Johnson 25%
A.J. Foyt 25%
Richard Petty 25%
Honus Wagner 15%
Satchel Paige 15%
George Mikan 10%
Rogers Hornsby 3%
Christy Mathewson 3%
Walter Johnson 3%
Bobby Jones 2%
Bronko Nagurski 2%
Josh Gibson 2%
Georges Vezina 1%

Last edited by Bored5000; 03-07-2018 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:08 PM
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Interesting concept. At first blush, my gut tells me, with the exception of Ali, the boxers and Pele are probably too high in your percentages. And I think that Honus Wagner might have a higher awareness just based on "The Card."

Vezina is low, but probably known to anyone who knows hockey, so I imagine it might be a bit higher.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:12 PM
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Too high on Frazier. Too low on Johnson and Mathewson. Too high on Pele. Jordan would also be right at the top.
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Last edited by Peter_Spaeth; 03-07-2018 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_Spaeth View Post
Too high on Frazier. Too low on Johnson and Mathewson. Too high on Pele. Jordan would also be right at the top.
The reason I left off Jordan is because it just seems so obvious that he is virtually 100 percent since his career was modern and he is still alive. I did throw in a couple other basketball players. i didn't want to make the list too large, however.

I think the biggest test is who is still famous decades after they have been dead or completely out of the public eye.

Last edited by Bored5000; 03-07-2018 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:17 PM
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Is your definition of "the general population" closer to 300 million people or 7.5 billion people?
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darwinbulldog View Post
Is your definition of "the general population" closer to 300 million people or 7.5 billion people?
I was thinking United States, so 300 million.

Last edited by Bored5000; 03-07-2018 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:21 PM
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I would assume the general population you are referring to are citizens of the US. If it was North American (USA, Canada and Mexico, I would assume it would cause a sizable shift in the percentages). Also some age minimum should be indicated...18 years and older, etc.

edited to indicate slow typing on my behalf...

Brian

Last edited by brianp-beme; 03-07-2018 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:24 PM
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Pele is 20% max.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:30 PM
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how do you determine "is familiar with"? Do you show them a picture and ask who it is? Do you give them a name and ask what they are known for? I think the percents can be varied by a great deal depending on how you set up the survey.

I think Pele is too high either way.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:34 PM
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As the saying goes, never underestimate the stupidity of the American people.
When you are out and about, try casually asking random people (at the checkout counter, in McDonald's, etc.) about some of the people on your list, especially (aside from the names that would obviously be lesser known) players like Roberto Clemente, Rocky Marciano, Pele and others. I'm thinking familiarity with many of those guys will be significantly lower than you imagine. Older people, of course, will look at you like you're stupid, but the relatively younger ones?? I'm sure you'll get a lot of blank stares (but the moment you say 'Rocky,' most people will immediately say, "He's a boxer, right?").
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