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  #1  
Old 03-07-2018, 04:00 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 04:21 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-07-2018, 04:08 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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  #3  
Old 03-07-2018, 04:12 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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  #4  
Old 03-07-2018, 04:14 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 04:21 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-07-2018, 04:17 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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  #6  
Old 03-07-2018, 04:19 PM
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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 04:23 PM.
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  #7  
Old 03-07-2018, 04:21 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 04:23 PM.
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  #8  
Old 03-07-2018, 04:24 PM
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Pele is 20% max.
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  #9  
Old 03-07-2018, 04:30 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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  #10  
Old 03-07-2018, 04:34 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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  #11  
Old 03-07-2018, 04:42 PM
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I don't know about the percentages, but I was familiar with all of them, which I don't think is any great feat. Probably most sports fans who also collect sports cards can say the same.

Best wishes,

Larry
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  #12  
Old 03-07-2018, 04:51 PM
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Im embarrassed to say that i dont even know who George Mikan is. I do know Vezina only because of our fellow Net54 member with his card as an avatar. Im too lazy to even look him up right now. Haha!

Aside from Ruth and Cobb (and maybe Wagner / Cy Young), I doubt my wife could name one other pre-war baseball player. Shed maybe know five names on your entire list. Ill ask her tonight to verify/refute my intuition. Might quickly get the percentages significantly lower if shes representative of the general female population. She would know Mantle and a few others just because her dad liked them growing up (shes 36). Yogi Berra (not listed) would probably also be higher than the prototypical HOfer because of his yogi-isms.
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  #13  
Old 03-07-2018, 04:58 PM
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My guess would be Ali and Ruth would be around 90% and all others wouldn't be half of your estimate.
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  #14  
Old 03-07-2018, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camlov2 View Post
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.
You are probably overthinking this. I was just looking for some general thoughts.

Either way, I guess I was really wrong on Pele. That's cool, though. I knew my thoughts would be off on some of the people listed. Like I wrote earlier, a post in the Charleston and Clemente thread got me to pondering who is well known today and who isn't.

I appreciate all the responses.

Last edited by Bored5000; 03-07-2018 at 05:55 PM.
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  #15  
Old 03-07-2018, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by h2oya311 View Post
Im embarrassed to say that i dont even know who George Mikan is. I do know Vezina only because of our fellow Net54 member with his card as an avatar. Im too lazy to even look him up right now. Haha!

Aside from Ruth and Cobb (and maybe Wagner / Cy Young), I doubt my wife could name one other pre-war baseball player. Shed maybe know five names on your entire list. Ill ask her tonight to verify/refute my intuition. Might quickly get the percentages significantly lower if shes representative of the general female population. She would know Mantle and a few others just because her dad liked them growing up (shes 36). Yogi Berra (not listed) would probably also be higher than the prototypical HOfer because of his yogi-isms.
George Mikan's card from the 1948 Bowman set is one of the iconic basketball cards in the hobby. A PSA 10 sold for $403,000 a few years ago.

Bill Russell has often said that Mikan was his hero growing up.

https://www.psacard.com/cardfacts/ba...mikan-69/3629/
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  #16  
Old 03-07-2018, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bored5000 View Post
George Mikan's card from the 1948 Bowman set is one of the iconic basketball cards in the hobby. A PSA 10 sold for $403,000 a few years ago.

Bill Russell has often said that Mikan was his hero growing up.

https://www.psacard.com/cardfacts/ba...mikan-69/3629/
He surpassed him, and then some, pretty quickly.
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  #17  
Old 03-07-2018, 06:18 PM
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GRETZKY!

Cal Ripken

I dont think most people even know current stars.
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  #18  
Old 03-07-2018, 06:25 PM
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I am a high school teacher. Kids will ask me to listen to their music. I NEVER recognize the artists. They always ask me the same question: "How can you not know who this is?"

So, I am never surprised when people don't recognize the athletes that I know so well, because I don't know the young stars that are so important to them.
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  #19  
Old 03-07-2018, 06:32 PM
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Id say George Foreman is more recognizable than many on this list...certainly Smokin Joe seems especially elevated.
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  #20  
Old 03-07-2018, 06:45 PM
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I think all the top athletes are way overstated. Even if you limit your sample group to adult English speaking people it is still overstated. Many people could care less about sports and a non-trivial amount of the people in the U.S. are illiterate (14.5% based on 2003 data).
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:48 PM
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Cool thread. I think your numbers are crazy crazy high. Hell, probably 50% of the population can't name the Vice President. Here are my guesses.

Babe Ruth 99%
Muhammad Ali 99%
Jackie Robinson 90%
Pele 20%
Lou Gehrig 20% (disease obviously raises name recognition)
Mickey Mantle 40%
Joe Frazier 10%
Roberto Clemente 10% (died too early)
Joe DiMaggio 25% (Marilyn; Simon & Garfunkel song)
Ty Cobb 5%
Shoeless Joe Jackson 5% (mostly because of beloved/hated Field of Dreams)
Wilt Chamberlain 10% (reports of 10,000 helped!)
Bill Russell 5%
Jack Dempsey less than 1%
Joe Louis 5%
Rocky Marciano 5%
Jim Thorpe 1%
Jack Johnson 1%
A.J. Foyt 1%
Richard Petty 20%
Honus Wagner 5%
Satchel Paige 5%
George Mikan less than 1%
Rogers Hornsby less than 1%
Christy Mathewson less than 1%
Walter Johnson less than 1%
Bobby Jones less than 1%
Bronko Nagurski less than 1%
Josh Gibson less than 1%
Georges Vezina about .001%

Last edited by Snapolit1; 03-07-2018 at 06:56 PM.
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  #22  
Old 03-07-2018, 06:50 PM
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Pete who? Oh, Pele... What's Pele's last name?
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  #23  
Old 03-07-2018, 06:51 PM
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I doubt 75% of major league baseball players have any idea who a lot of these baseball players are.

Seems like every year there is a news story where some young player admits to a reporter he doesn't know who Jackie Robinson was.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapolit1 View Post
Cool thread. I think your numbers are crazy crazy high. Hell, probably 50% of the population can't name the Vice President. Here are my guesses.

Babe Ruth 99%
Muhammad Ali 99%
Jackie Robinson 90%
Pele 20%
Lou Gehrig 20% (disease obviously raises name recognition)
Mickey Mantle 40%
Joe Frazier 10%
Roberto Clemente 10% (died too early)
Joe DiMaggio 25% (Marilyn; Simon & Garfunkel song)
Ty Cobb 5%
Shoeless Joe Jackson 5% (mostly because of beloved/hated Field of Dreams)
Wilt Chamberlain 10% (reports of 10,000 helped!)
Bill Russell 5%
Jack Dempsey less than 1%
Joe Louis 5%
Rocky Marciano 5%
Jim Thorpe 1%
Jack Johnson 1%
A.J. Foyt 1%
Richard Petty 20%
Honus Wagner 5%
Satchel Paige 5%
George Mikan less than 1%
Rogers Hornsby less than 1%
Christy Mathewson less than 1%
Walter Johnson less than 1%
Bobby Jones less than 1%
Bronko Nagurski less than 1%
Josh Gibson less than 1%
Georges Vezina about .001%
The Vezina percentage is beyond ridiculous....

The trophy awarded to the NHL goaltender "adjudged to be the best at his position" each season - and every season since 1926-27 - is named in his honour, hence, even casual hockey fans have at least heard and know the name.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:58 PM
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OK, didn't know that about Vezina. Good point. A major award is named after him. Didn't know that.

By the way, how many people out of 100 in the US do you reckon are serious hockey fans? I can name large racial and ethnic groups that, as a general proposition, have overwhelmingly have very little if any interest in hockey.

I think we are all biased in that we overestimate the general interest in things we are interested in.

Last edited by Snapolit1; 03-07-2018 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:04 PM
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Glad you specified that you're limiting the name recognition to the US. I'm a Canadian who has worked as a sportswriter in Beijing for the past seven years, so I can offer a different perspective. A couple of years ago my paper (circulation 675,000) ran a contest in which readers named their "all time favorite" sports hero. The No. 1 response, by a considerable margin, was Ali ... followed by NBA stars Yao Ming and Michael Jordan. Pele was fourth and David Beckham was fifth.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Writehooks View Post
Glad you specified that you're limiting the name recognition to the US. I'm a Canadian who has worked as a sportswriter in Beijing for the past seven years, so I can offer a different perspective. A couple of years ago my paper (circulation 675,000) ran a contest in which readers named their "all time favorite" sports hero. The No. 1 response, by a considerable margin, was Ali ... followed by NBA stars Yao Ming and Michael Jordan. Pele was fourth and David Beckham was fifth.
Sure Tiger Woods is still up there very high, despite his career doldrums.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:10 PM
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It could be a single person out of that 100... and it would blow away that absurd and hyperbolic number you posted. You said it yourself... "I didn't know".... and apparently, you don't.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:12 PM
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I apparently am one of the few Americans who have never heard of him. Plead guilty.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:18 PM
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You are missing a very big name - Jesse Owens!!!
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bored5000 View Post
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%
My wife did not know Pele, Frazier, Clemente, Chamberlain, Russell, Marciano, Thorpe, Foyt, Wagner, Mikan, Hornsby, Mathewson, Johnson, Jones, Nagurski, Gibson, or Vezina. I am surprised she knew some of the ones she did, even getting the sport correct. She could care less about sports for the most part. She did say Jumpin' Joe was Mr. Coffee, though.
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  #32  
Old 03-07-2018, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
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I apparently am one of the few Americans who have never heard of him. Plead guilty.
Considering he did play a century ago, and you obviously are clueless about hockey... your ignorance is forgiven.

Now, regarding the amount of Americans "I reckon" that are "serious hockey fans"... why don't you tell me how many Americans you think have heard of Wayne Gretzky? Or better yet.... how many people in the world? I can guarantee he's known by more people than literaly every athlete on your list.
.... and hockey yet... Go figure.

Last edited by Huysmans; 03-07-2018 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
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You are missing a very big name - Jesse Owens!!!
Agreed! His name is legendary. I think many people have heard of him.
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  #34  
Old 03-07-2018, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huysmans View Post
Considering he did play a century ago, and you obviously are clueless about hockey... your ignorance is forgiven.

Now, regarding the amount of Americans "I reckon" that are "serious hockey fans"... why don't you tell me how many Americans you think have heard of Wayne Gretzky? Or better yet.... how many people in the world? I can guarantee he's known by more people than literaly every athlete on your list.
.... and hockey yet? Go figure.
Just for fun I am going to ask people I see over the next few days if they know who Wayne Gretzky is. Hockey is a sport I never hear get brought up. I just asked my wife and she didn't have a clue who he is.

Please don't think I am in any way putting down your sport. It amazes me how many people don't know who Wanderlei Silva is. He is one of my heroes and for a 10 year period was the scariest MMA fighter on the planet. Win lose or draw extreme violence was a given in his fights.

I just think as fans of a sport we overestimate how popular many of its players are with everyday people. I know I could only name 3 hockey players who have ever played.

Last edited by bnorth; 03-07-2018 at 08:49 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-07-2018, 09:17 PM
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Was sitting here with my mom (75 this year) and asked her if she knew these names. Now sports was very predominate in our household growing up. And she has heard me blather about my card collection, so here are her answers. I figure I'll ask my wife as well and see what her answer will be.

Babe Ruth 99% - yes
Muhammad Ali 99% - yes
Jackie Robinson 99% - yes
Pele 99% - yes
Lou Gehrig 95% - yes
Mickey Mantle 95% - yes
Joe Frazier 80% - yes
Roberto Clemente 80% - yes
Joe DiMaggio 75% - yes
Ty Cobb 75% - yes
Shoeless Joe Jackson 60% - yes
Wilt Chamberlain 50% - yes
Bill Russell 50% - yes
Jack Dempsey 30% - yes
Joe Louis 30% - yes
Rocky Marciano 30% - yes
Jim Thorpe 30% - yes
Jack Johnson 25% - no
A.J. Foyt 25% - yes
Richard Petty 25% - yes
Honus Wagner 15% - yes
Satchel Paige 15% - yes
George Mikan 10% - no
Rogers Hornsby 3% - yes
Christy Mathewson 3% - yes
Walter Johnson 3% - yes
Bobby Jones 2% - n
Bronko Nagurski 2% - no
Josh Gibson 2% - no
Georges Vezina 1% - no
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Old 03-07-2018, 09:48 PM
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I cut the following list down to only people that have played baseball. The list has the original percentages. I didn't change any of those.

What former major league player is missing from this list that most MLB players have heard of? At least most or all baseball fans know this name? It aint rocket science....

Babe Ruth 99%
Jackie Robinson 99%
Lou Gehrig 95%
Mickey Mantle 95%
Roberto Clemente 80%
Joe DiMaggio 75%
Ty Cobb 75%
Shoeless Joe Jackson 60%
Jim Thorpe 30%
Honus Wagner 15%
Satchel Paige 15%
Rogers Hornsby 3%
Christy Mathewson 3%
Walter Johnson 3%
Josh Gibson 2%
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Last edited by Fred; 03-07-2018 at 09:59 PM. Reason: Removed Ali
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  #37  
Old 03-07-2018, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred View Post
I cut the following list down to only people that have played baseball. The list has the original percentages. I didn't change any of those.

What former major league player is missing from this list that most MLB players have heard of? At least most or all baseball fans know this name? It aint rocket science....

Babe Ruth 99%
Muhammad Ali 99%
Jackie Robinson 99%
Lou Gehrig 95%
Mickey Mantle 95%
Roberto Clemente 80%
Joe DiMaggio 75%
Ty Cobb 75%
Shoeless Joe Jackson 60%
Jim Thorpe 30%
Honus Wagner 15%
Satchel Paige 15%
Rogers Hornsby 3%
Christy Mathewson 3%
Walter Johnson 3%
Josh Gibson 2%
Cy Young. Also, you forgot to take out Ali.
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  #38  
Old 03-07-2018, 09:59 PM
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Dang, that was a bit too easy...
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  #39  
Old 03-07-2018, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred View Post
Dang, that was a bit too easy...
Young is a bit of a special case, though, because the award named for him is such a part of baseball to this day. Vezina's only real claim to fame among the public today is that there is an award named for him, and Vezina's award is still not as well known as the Cy Young award is to baseball.

I left Cy Young off the list because I think WaJo and Matty are better indicators of fame, since neither of them have a pitching award named for them that keeps their names in front of the public every year.

If there was no such thing as the Cy Young award, his notoriety would go down sharply among the modern population.

If there was no such thing as the Heisman Trophy, how many people would ever know John Heisman today? The answer to that is just about zero.

Last edited by Bored5000; 03-07-2018 at 11:14 PM.
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  #40  
Old 03-08-2018, 05:13 PM
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I'm embarrassed by some of my wife's responses to some of the athletes on the list:

Babe Ruth 99% - yes
Muhammad Ali 99% - sorta - she first thought he was a basketball player, then remembered he was a boxer (phew)
Jackie Robinson 99% - no thought he might have been a track star...she did know that he was black though. OMG
Pele 99% - yes
Lou Gehrig 95% - yes
Mickey Mantle 95% - yes
Joe Frazier 80% - no
Roberto Clemente 80% - yes
Joe DiMaggio 75% - yes
Ty Cobb 75% - yes
Shoeless Joe Jackson 60% - yes
Wilt Chamberlain 50% - no
Bill Russell 50% - no
Jack Dempsey 30% - no
Joe Louis 30% - no
Rocky Marciano 30% - no
Jim Thorpe 30% - no
Jack Johnson 25% - no - she hears that name and thinks of the singer/songwriter
A.J. Foyt 25% - no
Richard Petty 25% - no
Honus Wagner 15% - yes
Satchel Paige 15% - no
George Mikan 10% - no - nor did I
Rogers Hornsby 3% - no
Christy Mathewson 3% - no
Walter Johnson 3% - no
Bobby Jones 2% - no
Bronko Nagurski 2% - no
Josh Gibson 2% - no
Georges Vezina 1% - no

Clearly I have some influence on her baseball knowledge, but need to work on the guy that apparently 99% of Americans should know!!!
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  #41  
Old 03-08-2018, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huysmans View Post
The Vezina percentage is beyond ridiculous....

The trophy awarded to the NHL goaltender "adjudged to be the best at his position" each season - and every season since 1926-27 - is named in his honour, hence, even casual hockey fans have at least heard and know the name.
I told this story here once before, and it still blows my mind. My hockey team consists of guys from their 30's to deep into their 50's, and I'm one of the latter. We are relatively competitive, and while none of us "made it", we all can play.
Most of the guys know I collect, but nobody else does. I made a comment one day in the dressing room that I'm looking at an Art Ross card from 1910 (they wouldn't know what a C56 is). One guy on my team (in his 50's) said "Who's that? Never heard of him."
I said "There's a trophy named after him." Now, appreciate the Vezina and the Art Ross are trophies that have been around since the 20's and the 40's respectively, and as well known as the Cy Young to baseball fans. I was embarrassed for the guy, but there is no excuse for ignorance. And he watches more hockey than almost anyone I know.

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Originally Posted by bnorth View Post
... It amazes me how many people don't know who Wanderlei Silva is. ...
Oh yeah, his dad is the commissioner of the NBA...
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  #42  
Old 03-08-2018, 06:28 PM
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I think it would be hard to find a person who didn't know who Mike Tyson is and he's certainly an all time great.

Last edited by packs; 03-08-2018 at 06:28 PM.
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  #43  
Old 03-08-2018, 08:40 PM
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Just thought this would be fun to answer as honestly as I can as to who I knew of when I was 20 and who I know now that I am 40.

Babe Ruth 99% Y/Y
Muhammad Ali 99% Y/Y
Jackie Robinson 99% Y/Y
Pele 99% N/Y
Lou Gehrig 95% Y/Y
Mickey Mantle 95% Y/Y
Joe Frazier 80% Y/Y
Roberto Clemente 80% Y/Y
Joe DiMaggio 75% Y/Y
Ty Cobb 75% Y/Y
Shoeless Joe Jackson 60% Y/Y
Wilt Chamberlain 50% Y/Y (I remember him more from Conan the Destroyer)
Bill Russell 50% N/Y
Jack Dempsey 30% N/Y
Joe Louis 30% Y/Y (Again a movie reference Coming to America)
Rocky Marciano 30% Y/Y (See above)
Jim Thorpe 30% N/Y
Jack Johnson 25% N/Y
A.J. Foyt 25% Y/Y
Richard Petty 25% Y/Y
Honus Wagner 15% Y/Y
Satchel Paige 15% Y/Y
George Mikan 10% N/N
Rogers Hornsby 3% N/Y
Christy Mathewson 3% N/Y
Walter Johnson 3% N/Y
Bobby Jones 2% N/N
Bronko Nagurski 2% N/Y
Josh Gibson 2% N/Y
Georges Vezina 1% N/N
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  #44  
Old 03-08-2018, 08:49 PM
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The football fans I know don't have much sense of history. I have a photo of Halas and Nagurski and none have recognized either, but have at least heard of Halas once I explain the photo. Forget the general population, I would say only about 1% of football fans have any sense of anything that happened before the 1st Super Bowl.

Last edited by TanksAndSpartans; 03-08-2018 at 08:49 PM.
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  #45  
Old 03-08-2018, 09:02 PM
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I had my loved one take this quiz (she's pictured there in my avatar), and I copied what Derek posted of the responses his wife gave, then added her capitalized responses for comparision. She definitely did well in my main collecting pursuit (preWW2 baseball players), but obviously doesn't follow sports closely.

Babe Ruth 99% - yes / YES

Muhammad Ali 99% - sorta - she first thought he was a basketball player, then remembered he was a boxer (phew) / NO!

Jackie Robinson 99% - no thought he might have been a track star...she did know that he was black though. OMG / KINDA - she knows of him and that he broke the color barrier, but the name just didn't ring a bell tonight...she guessed female track star!

Pele 99% - yes / YES

Lou Gehrig 95% - yes / YES

Mickey Mantle 95% - yes / NO...she guessed soccer!

Joe Frazier 80% - no / NO

Roberto Clemente 80% - yes / NO

Joe DiMaggio 75% - yes / YES

Ty Cobb 75% - yes / YES

Shoeless Joe Jackson 60% - yes / NO...Say it ain't so, Joe!

Wilt Chamberlain 50% - no / NO

Bill Russell 50% - no / NO

Jack Dempsey 30% - no / NO

Joe Louis 30% - no / NO

Rocky Marciano 30% - no / NO

Jim Thorpe 30% - no / NO

Jack Johnson 25% - no - she hears that name and thinks of the singer/songwriter / NO - same response...he's a singer she likes (who evidently writes some knockout lyrical hooks!)

A.J. Foyt 25% - no / NO

Richard Petty 25% - no / NO

Honus Wagner 15% - yes / YES

Satchel Paige 15% - no / NO

George Mikan 10% - no - nor did I / NO...but I did

Rogers Hornsby 3% - no / NO

Christy Mathewson 3% - no / YES

Walter Johnson 3% - no / YES

Bobby Jones 2% - no / NO

Bronko Nagurski 2% - no / NO

Josh Gibson 2% - no / NO

Georges Vezina 1% - no / NO...and I have only known about him in last couple of years because of Net54 and the member with 'Vezina' in his member ID

Mike Tyson (added just for fun) - NO


Brian P - YES (thankfully)

Last edited by brianp-beme; 03-08-2018 at 09:10 PM. Reason: remembered to add Mike Tyson
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  #46  
Old 03-09-2018, 07:17 AM
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I did the same with my wife. Here are her responses.

Babe Ruth: Y
Muhammad Ali: Y
Jackie Robinson: Y
Pele: Y
Lou Gehrig: Y
Mickey Mantle: Y
Joe Frazier: N
Roberto Clemente: "only because I've heard you talk about him" [henceforth "obihytah"]
Joe DiMaggio: Y
Ty Cobb: Y
Shoeless Joe Jackson: Y
Wilt Chamberlain: Y
Bill Russell: N
Jack Dempsey: N
Joe Louis: N
Rocky Marciano: "Is he a boxer?"
Jim Thorpe: N
Jack Johnson: "Is he that singer that did the songs for Curious George?"
A.J. Foyt: Y [This one was a no for me though.]
Richard Petty: N
Honus Wagner: obihytah
Satchel Paige: obihytah
George Mikan: N
Rogers Hornsby: obihytah
Christy Mathewson: obihytah
Walter Johnson: obihytah
Bobby Jones: N
Bronko Nagurski: N
Josh Gibson: N [And this is my favorite player, and I've mentioned that multiple times, and I own a couple of Josh Gibson team baseball caps. Just not a distinctive enough name I guess.]
Georges Vezina: N
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  #47  
Old 03-09-2018, 07:50 AM
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I've been to probably about 75 basketball games in my life, and consider myself a casual fan since Dr. J led the Nets to a few championships at the old Nassau Coliseum. First time I ever heard of George Mikan was on this board when one of his cards sold for a huge number. I posted at the time that I had never heard of this dude and the responses ranges from incredulity to "you can't be serious!?"

Many of these people are known today for reasons completely unrelated to their sports accomplishments. No doubt my wife knows Joe DiMaggio from Mr. Coffee, not what he did for the Yankees. Shoeless Joe from Field of Dreams, etc.

Last edited by Snapolit1; 03-09-2018 at 07:52 AM.
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  #48  
Old 03-09-2018, 08:05 AM
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I don't even think Joe Jackson is really that well known at all. The general public might know about a world series being thrown but I'd be surprised if the average person could tell you what year it happened or what team threw it.
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Old 03-09-2018, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael B View Post
You are missing a very big name - Jesse Owens!!!
Agree! Especially in the USA!

I bet Usain Bolt would be right now globally...

And Carl Lewis would likely do well in the USA, I think
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Old 03-09-2018, 08:29 AM
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I love all the other responses from wives...I see a pattern here, and these are women who have baseball/sports fans for husbands! At least they recognized most of the high percentage athletes. Looks like you need to drop Joe Frazier down quite a few notches...

I wonder if the recognition of baseball players vs. other sports would be as prevalent for non-collectors and their significant others. Aside from Gretzky, MJ x2 (Jordan and Magic), Larry Bird, Tiger, OJ Simpson, and Bruce Jenner, I'd be surprised if my wife or any of her friends could name many of the top-10 names for each sport (other than baseball or famous football QBs) from the 80's or before. That includes guys like Jerry Rice, Jim Brown, Lawrence Taylor, Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Jesse Owens, Jim Thorpe, Carl Lewis, Mark Spitz (swimming), Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Sugar Ray Robinson, etc.
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HOF "Earliest" Collection (Ideal - Indiv): 244/342 (71.4%)
1914 T330-2 Piedmont Art Stamps......: 114/119 (95.8%)
1923 V100 Willard's Chocolate............: 177/180 (98.3%)
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