Who are the greatest athletes that you've ever had the privilege to see play in person? I have been blessed to see Pele, Hank Aaron, and Michael Jordan play in person. I grew up in Atlanta and saw Hank Aaron play for the Braves a few times. I saw Pele when he played against the Atlanta Chiefs when he was with the New York Cosmos. And in high school I saw Jordan play against the Hawks on three different occasions. In my opinion I have seen two of the three greatest athletes of all time- Pele and Jordan (Ali being the third), or at least certainly two of three most influential athletes of all time. But that's only my humble opinion. Who are the greatest athletes that you guys have seen play in person?Ryne Sandberg, HOF second baseman who played his entire career for the Chicago Cubs. While I was at Camp Pendleton for two months of Marine Corps MOS training, I made a point of traveling down to San Diego on one of my weekends to watch the Cubs play the Padres.
I can't remember who pitched this game, but I can tell you that if Greg Maddux wasn't on the mound, he was certainly in the Cubs bullpen resting between starts.
I also watched the Padres play the Mets one year earlier in San Diego, so I'm sure I must have seen such players as Darryl Strawberry and the newly departed Gary Carter.
Add to the list Hall-of-Famers Roberto Alomar and Tony Gwynn, who played for the Padres during this time.
That Cubs/Padres game I watched in 1990 must then have featured two of the best fielding second basemen ever (certainly the top 2 in career Gold Gloves won) in Alomar and Sandberg.