Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport People In Sports

Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport

18,238 views 35 items 2,245 votes 266 voters 8 followers 1rerank
Famous athletes who could have dominated a second sport tell the story of men and women with so much athletic ability that they shouldn't be limited to being the best at just one sport when they could easily find success in several sports. Many athletes have tried to become successful two-sport athletes and few have succeeded but dozens more have the potential.

This list isn't about the notable two-sport athletes like Deion Sanders, who won both the Super Bowl and a World Series, or Hershel Walker, who won the Heisman Trophy, appeared in the Winter Olympics in bobsled and competed in mixed martial arts, or Michael Jordan, who returned after retiring from the NBA to play in the MLB, or Bo Jackson, who enjoyed success playing professional football and baseball during his career. This list is about the athletes who despite having the talent to dominate two sports, stuck to one and became one of the best to ever play.

For many athletes, this choice between two sports was an early one. Tom Brady for instance was selected in the MLB Draft but declined to play football. His three Super Bowl rings and numerous NFL records show he made a wise choice. Kirk Gibson was one of the best wide receivers in NCAA Football but chose the MLB contract offer over the one from the NFL. He went on to win two World Series and is still active as a highly successful MLB manager. Wilt Chamberlain had the choice of track, basketball, volleyball, boxing and football in his early years. He picked basketball and for that is now a household name.

These big names and so many more from professional football, basketball, baseball, hockey and other sports could have easily dominated a second sport. For one reason or another they made the tough decision to focus on one primary sport and in many cases went on to become legends in that sport. It would be tough to think that they regret the decision but one they certainly look back upon and wonder "what if?"

List Criteria: Only two-sport athletes who could have been superstars in both sports

  • the list
  • 1 reranks
  • comments
  • </> embed
Rerank This List
View as a
loading your
  1. 1
    Up 90
    Down 36
    1976 More
    Dominated college football and basketball, including playing in the 1997 Sweet Sixteen, before ... more
  2. 2
    Up 77
    Down 40
    1936 More
    Before becoming a legend in the NBA, he was sought after by nearly every sport from track, ... more
  3. 3
    Up 62
    Down 29
    1936 More
    added by: MarioKidd
    College letterman in Football, Baseball, Lacrosse and Track
  4. 4
    Up 61
    Down 30
    1960 More
    Spent time in the minors for the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals before going on to ... more
  5. 5
    Up 70
    Down 41
    1975 More
    Earned all-state honors in high school football playing quarterback before joining the ...
  6. 6
    Up 37
    Down 15
    1984 More
    added by: Veggamattic
    Played football in high school before his historic NBA career
  7. 7
    Up 51
    Down 29
    1980 More
    added by: AdamKoalaSchoenberg
    Played basketball at Kent State before joining the Chargers
  8. 8
    Up 59
    Down 37
    1977 More
    In addition to spending time in professional wrestling, he once made the roster for the ...
  9. 9
    Up 34
    Down 16
    1974 More
    added by: bfmhf
    Could be playing soccer in the MLS
  10. 10
    Up 64
    Down 45
    1977 More
    Drafted into the MLB, gave that up and went on to earn three Super Bowl rings in the National ... more
  11. 11
    Up 30
    Down 20
    1951 More
    added by: KirkSaw
    Baseball HoFer was also a star basketball player at U of Minnesota. Coach Bill Musselman ... more
  12. 12
    Up 46
    Down 36
    1987 More
    Drafted twice into Major League Baseball but declined to play in the NFL
  13. 13
    Up 34
    Down 25
    1972 More
    added by: Gookin
  14. 14
    Up 41
    Down 35
    1975 More
    Succeeded in college basketball and was drafted into the WNBA while enjoying a long Olympic ... more
  15. 15
    Up 28
    Down 22
    1975 More
    added by: KirkSaw
    Boxing Legend Bert Sugar claimed that the heavyweight division is lacking because athletes who ... more
  16. 16
    Up 42
    Down 37
    1963 More
    Started a promising soccer career in his native Nigeria before coming to the United States to ... more
  17. 17
    Up 33
    Down 28
    1966 More
    Selected in the NHL Draft (two rounds before Brett Hull) but declined and went on to enjoy a ... more
  18. 18
    Up 13
    Down 7
    1959 More
    added by: Veggamattic
    Drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in baseball, played for the Celtics
  19. 19
    Up 13
    Down 9
    1966 More
    added by: Jhair84
    Could have played for the Vikings.
  20. 20
    Up 37
    Down 39
    1976 More
    Planned to compete in swimming in the Summer Olympics but after his pool was destroyed by a ... more
  21. 21
    Up 29
    Down 30
    1980 More
    added by: AdamKoalaSchoenberg
    Played college basketball at North Carolina
  22. 22
    Up 20
    Down 20
    1978 More
    added by: KirkSaw
    Boxing Legend Bert Sugar claimed that the heavyweight division is lacking because athletes who ... more
  23. 23
    Up 24
    Down 28
    1957 More
    Before he was a baseball legend he was earning All-American honors playing wide receiver in ... more
  24. 24
    Up 16
    Down 19
    1978 More
    added by: Kihan41
  25. 25
    Up 21
    Down 25
    1895 More
    The now-NFL legend for his leadership with the Chicago Bears once played pro baseball and was ... more
  26. 26
    Up 20
    Down 24
    1986 More
    Selected four times in the MLB Draft and even signed with the Kansas City Royals after he was ... more
  27. 27
    Up 24
    Down 29
    1976 More
    Enjoyed success playing NCAA Basketball at Syracuse before giving up the round ball for the ... more
  28. 28
    Up 23
    Down 28
    1985 More
    added by: AdamKoalaSchoenberg
    Plays in the NBA, but was an All-American football player at the University of Washington
  29. 29
    Up 9
    Down 13
    1971 More
    added by: PeteBoyle
    Before he was a WWE superstar, Henry was an Olympic weightlifter
  30. 30
    Up 3
    Down 6
    1921 More
    added by: willyboymcoy
    Went to Northwestern on a basketball scholarship before discovering football.  Played one ... more
  31. 31
    Up 21
    Down 30
    1977 More
    Dominated basketball in high school, went on to become a three-time Pro Bowl selection in the ... more
  32. 32
    Up 20
    Down 29
    1961 More
    Declined a fourth-round offer in the 1979 MLB draft to play NCAA Football and set the stage to ... more
  33. 33
    Up 17
    Down 29
    1945 More
    Selected in the 1967 NFL Draft and the 1967 NBA Draft and played several seasons in the NBA ... more
  34. 34
    Up 11
    Down 28
    1914 More
    Won the Heisman Trophy in college football, could have dominated professional track and field ... more
  35. 35
    Up 11
    Down 31
    1966 More
    Won a championship in junior lacrosse before embarking on a successful career in the NHL
  36. +Add New Item

Is this list missing something?

items 1 - 35 of 35

think you can do better?

rerank this list

got a blog or website?

embed this list

    more popular lists