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Team Sport GOAT's - who is the best?

Which of these choices is the GOAT in his sport by the widest margin?  

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Seems like these four are mentioned the most in their respective sports nowadays as the GOAT, but which one is the most obvious GOAT in their sport?

For me, the answer is Gretzky.  You could make good arguments for other players in the other three sports, but there really aren't any strong arguments for any other hockey players unless you want to cherry pick certain facts or stats. 

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I think Ruth and Gretzky dominated their respective eras more than anybody else did. Ruth was so far above everybody else they had it was ridiculous. Hard for me to say he’s the greatest player ever though, just the best against his competition. Guy never even saw a slider. 
 

I went with Jordan because he dominated the closest thing to modern day competition. Brady isn’t in the conversation imo  

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1 minute ago, Capella said:

I think Ruth and Gretzky dominated their respective eras more than anybody else did. Ruth was so far above everybody else they had it was ridiculous. Hard for me to say he’s the greatest player ever though, just the best against his competition. Guy never even saw a slider. 
 

let's not forget he had a 94-46 record as a pitcher, with a 2.27 ERA ... also held the record for consecutive scoreless innings in WS play (29) for some 70 years ...

and then he went on to swat Home Runs for chips n' giggles. 

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Of those choices, I'd have to say Gretzky, just barely ahead of Jordan.

There are only 106 players in NHL history who have recorded at least 936 points.  Gretzky alone has 936 more career points than second place on the all-time list (Jaromir Jagr).

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No matter where Jordan, Babe or Gretzky played, they would have dominated. Brady’s greatness is so tied into the SBs that I’m not sure he could have done anything even close if he had been drafted by almost any other team.

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22 minutes ago, Steve Tasker said:

Of those choices, I'd have to say Gretzky, just barely ahead of Jordan.

There are only 106 players in NHL history who have recorded at least 936 points.  Gretzky alone has 936 more career points than second place on the all-time list (Jaromir Jagr).

And, even if he never scored a goal, he'd still be the all time points leader. Oh, btw, he's the all time goals leader.

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19 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

No matter where Jordan, Babe or Gretzky played, they would have dominated. Brady’s greatness is so tied into the SBs that I’m not sure he could have done anything even close if he had been drafted by almost any other team.

It’s preposterous to even consider but no way Babe as he was dominates this era. You think he’d be a Mike Trout caliber player now? 

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Quote

Well put an asterisk next to Barry bonds
name sure, as soon as we put one next to Babe Ruth's
name: getting to break record before black people were
allowed to play. Excuse me, where is that asterisks? Why
don't people talk about that? I'd love to know how many
homers the babe would've hit had CC be throwing 92 mile
an hour sliders. Maybe, the fat boy would've put the cigar
down and quit pointing had José been allowed to swim 90
miles to throw him a junk ball. Don't worry if you don't
follow: 90 miles is the distance from Key West to Cuba,
José is a stereotypical name for a Latino ball player, and
a junk ball is an impossible pitch to hit yard any place
except for the new Yankee stadium, which is a joke.

 

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1 minute ago, dgreen said:

And, even if he never scored a goal, he'd still be the all time points leader. Oh, btw, he's the all time goals leader.

yeah, which is why it's unfathomable to see votes here for anyone else :shrug:

i mean, to me, Jordan is the G.O.A.T. in hoops ... but i can see how others are in the convo - i don't necessarily agree, but he's not as cut and dried as Gretzky.   not.  even.  close.  

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Patrick Mahomes is better than Brady. He may never win the number of Super Bowls, but he is the best I've ever seen. Heck, I'd put Peyton Manning above Brady.

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2 minutes ago, Capella said:

It’s preposterous to even consider but no way Babe as he was dominates this era. You think he’d be a Mike Trout caliber player now? 

If you plucked him out of 1925, no. If he was born in 1990 and trained as modern ball players do, yes I do think he would be a top slugger in baseball. No way of course to prove that. 

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33 minutes ago, Capella said:

Brady isn’t in the conversation imo  

Either decade of Brady's career would be in the conversation for the greatest quarterback of all time.  

Brady 2001 to 2010 - 111-32 record, 4 superbowl appearances including 3 superbowl wins, two superbowl MVP awards and two league MVPs.  Set the single season touchdown record and helped his wr1 set the single season receiving touchdown record in their first season together.   Second quarterback ever to pass Dan Marino's yardage record.  Only quarterback with a 16-0 season in NFL history - this was after he had already set the NFL consecutive wins streak at 21, 3 years earlier.  

Brady 2011 to 2019  -108-32 record, 5 superbowl appearances including 3 superbowl wins, two superbowl MVPs and a league MVP. Went to an NFL record 8 straight afc championship games. Led the biggest superbowl comeback in NFL history trailing Atlanta 28-3 late in the third quarter. 

Combined, he's currently second all time in career yards and touchdowns.  Trails only Drew Brees in either category by about 3000 yards and 7 touchdowns and will finish career first or second on both lists.  No other active quarterback is close.

Unlike other guys on this list who have dominated weaker competition, Brady accomplished this in the salary cap era, with wildly different teams.  From troy brown to randy moss to gronk and Hernandez to Edelman

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2 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

If you plucked him out of 1925, no. If he was born in 1990 and trained as modern ball players do, yes I do think he would be a top slugger in baseball. No way of course to prove that. 

It’s just impossible to know because he never had to face the pitchers they do now. Maybe he couldn’t hit a slider or a split. Maybe power throwing LOOGYs would chew him up. At least Gretzky and Jordan faced a modern game. 

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1 minute ago, bostonfred said:

Either decade of Brady's career would be in the conversation for the greatest quarterback of all time.  

Brady 2001 to 2010 - 111-32 record, 4 superbowl appearances including 3 superbowl wins, two superbowl MVP awards and two league MVPs.  Set the single season touchdown record and helped his wr1 set the single season receiving touchdown record in their first season together.   Second quarterback ever to pass Dan Marino's yardage record.  Only quarterback with a 16-0 season in NFL history - this was after he had already set the NFL consecutive wins streak at 21, 3 years earlier.  

Brady 2011 to 2019  -108-32 record, 5 superbowl appearances including 3 superbowl wins, two superbowl MVPs and a league MVP. Went to an NFL record 8 straight afc championship games. Led the biggest superbowl comeback in NFL history trailing Atlanta 28-3 late in the third quarter. 

Combined, he's currently second all time in career yards and touchdowns.  Trails only Drew Brees in either category by about 3000 yards and 7 touchdowns and will finish career first or second on both lists.  No other active quarterback is close.

Unlike other guys on this list who have dominated weaker competition, Brady accomplished this in the salary cap era, with wildly different teams.  From troy brown to randy moss to gronk and Hernandez to Edelman

I didn’t read any of this but he’s not in the conversation of Gretzky or Jordan. 

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Posted (edited)

Gretzky without a doubt. The gap between him and everyone else is so huge. Even if Mario Lemeiux hadn't gotten hurt/sick, he still would be well behind the Great One in the key statistical categories.

My favorite stat of Gretzky was in 1985-1986, when he had 163 assists, which were 22 more than the total points by the second leading scorer (Lemeiux with 141). 

Edited by zamboni

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2 minutes ago, Capella said:

It’s just impossible to know because he never had to face the pitchers they do now. Maybe he couldn’t hit a slider or a split. Maybe power throwing LOOGYs would chew him up. At least Gretzky and Jordan faced a modern game. 

Gretzky spent a large chunk of his career (the portion where he scored a ton of his goals and points) against some pretty horrific goalie-play compared to today's standards.

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1 minute ago, dgreen said:

Gretzky spent a large chunk of his career (the portion where he scored a ton of his goals and points) against some pretty horrific goalie-play compared to today's standards.

I’m sure. I think Jordan is the closest thing to modern play but even the guys he was up against in the 80s were 🗑 

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In 1920 Babe Ruth hit 54 home runs. This was more than any team (not counting the New York Yankees who he played for) other than the Philadelphia Phillies who hit 64 as a team that year.

Also a dominate pitcher.

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If we conducted polls for each sport, who wins each sport and how far away is #2?

Do you think the results would be different if we randomly polled sports fans vs randomly polling sports "experts"?

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2 minutes ago, dgreen said:

Gretzky spent a large chunk of his career (the portion where he scored a ton of his goals and points) against some pretty horrific goalie-play compared to today's standards.

Sorry, but that's pretty lazy analysis. Gretzky faced a lot of big-time HOF goalies in his time - the same ones his compatriots did. Sure, goalies are bigger and faster now, but so are the skaters. They've tried to open up play to increase goal scoring, and still no one will ever come close to his numbers.

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4 minutes ago, dgreen said:

Gretzky spent a large chunk of his career (the portion where he scored a ton of his goals and points) against some pretty horrific goalie-play compared to today's standards.

 

1 minute ago, Capella said:

I’m sure. 

horrible takes here.

Just ... wow

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Posted (edited)

I think Ruth should get consideration for the greatest margin between him and his compatriots of his time, but versus all time there are several players up there with him.

Edited by zamboni
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Gretzky pretty easily for what is presented in the poll.  The difference between him and second isn't remotely close.  Every other sport listed has some people you could bring into the conversation.

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For me i go 

1 Gretzky was so good that they had an enforcer whose only job was to beat people up if they touched him, and if you  want to split his stats with that guy, they would both be the best ever. 

2 Brady if you take out the championships and superbowl MVP's and consecutive AFC championship and all time superbowl comeback and career winning percentage and 16-0 season and 21 game win streak, you're left with a guy who broke single season records for touchdowns and yards and is currently jockeying with Brees for first all time in career yards and touchdowns.  

3 Jordan if we include his marketing and impact on sports culture he's number one, but as an athlete alone he wasn't that much better than other guys at their peaks 

4 Babe was dominant 100 years ago but the game was so different then that it's almost a different sport.  Could make a case for him being higher as a two way player - he really was amazing.  

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5 minutes ago, zamboni said:

I think Ruth should get consideration for the greatest margin between him and his compatriots of his time, but versus all time there are several players up there with him.

Ruth also has been finished for 90 years.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Foosball God said:

Gretzky pretty easily for what is presented in the poll.  The difference between him and second isn't remotely close.  Every other sport listed has some people you could bring into the conversation.

Yup.

Gretzky 2857 points

Jagr 1921

Messier 1887

Howe 1850

Gretzky has 49% (!) more points than Jagr, and as great as Jagr was himself, it took him about 30 years in the NHL to get where he is in the rankings.

Edited by zamboni

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@zamboni and @otb_lifer

My take isn't intended to be a knock against Gretzky. It's in response to Gretzky "facing a modern game".

And, yeah, there's some laziness to my take. It's partly based on highlight videos showing goalies wearing toothpicks for leg pads and the lack of the butterfly.

But it's also based on league-wide scoring being at an all-time peak during Gretzky's prime.

I have no doubt Gretzky playing today would regularly lead the league in scoring and he is the GOAT. 

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18 minutes ago, Capella said:

I didn’t read any of this but he’s not in the conversation of Gretzky or Jordan. 

Jordan is first all time in

Career points - no

Career mvps - no

Career titles - no

Career marketing impact - yes

 

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1 minute ago, dgreen said:

@zamboni and @otb_lifer

My take isn't intended to be a knock against Gretzky. It's in response to Gretzky "facing a modern game".

And, yeah, there's some laziness to my take. It's partly based on highlight videos showing goalies wearing toothpicks for leg pads and the lack of the butterfly.

But it's also based on league-wide scoring being at an all-time peak during Gretzky's prime.

I have no doubt Gretzky playing today would regularly lead the league in scoring and he is the GOAT. 

You're right that league-wide scoring was off the charts in the 1980s, but he was so head and shoulders above everyone else that it is mind-boggling. It's also hard to compare eras, but you can say that about any sport. 

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Babe Ruth was great pretty much anywhere on the field. I think he played every position except shortstop at least once, and was lethal anywhere in the lineup. He was apparently fueled by hot dogs, beer and women.

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3 minutes ago, dgreen said:

@zamboni and @otb_lifer

My take isn't intended to be a knock against Gretzky. It's in response to Gretzky "facing a modern game".

And, yeah, there's some laziness to my take. It's partly based on highlight videos showing goalies wearing toothpicks for leg pads and the lack of the butterfly.

But it's also based on league-wide scoring being at an all-time peak during Gretzky's prime.

I have no doubt Gretzky playing today would regularly lead the league in scoring and he is the GOAT. 

it had as much to do with the neutral zone trap and ZZzZzZzzZzZzz brand of hockey played in the years following the Great One as much as it did goalie chops ... and they wonder why they lag so far behind the other three majors -  i love hockey, i wish it were much more popular, but they do what they do.  

your point is taken, but watch some highlights ... dude's coulda been wearing tree trunks in net and still would've been punked.  

he was transcendent - just remarkable. 

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16 minutes ago, zamboni said:

Gretzky without a doubt. The gap between him and everyone else is so huge. Even if Mario Lemeiux hadn't gotten hurt/sick, he still would be well behind the Great One in the key statistical categories.

My favorite stat of Gretzky was in 1985-1986, when he had 163 assists, which were 22 more than the total points by the second leading scorer (Lemeiux with 141). 

Gretzky definitely deserves the vote.  Just to pick nits, that oilers team was probably a championship contender even without him. Fuhr, Coffey, messier, kurri, Anderson, among others.  That team is squarely among the best sports dynasties of all time. 

Of course that's true for all these guys.  Jordan isn't JORDAN without pippen and others. Babe might still be babe, but them Yankees were pretty awesome. Brady isn't the GOAT without BB and the team. 

I'll always put Howe next to Gretzky, but the argument is a lot weaker than for the other "#2s"

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Definitely between Gretzky and Ruth.

Jordan next. 

Brady distant 4th in this group.

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Football has proved to be a tough sport to have a clear GOAT. Brady would definitely get some votes, and maybe the most votes, but he's not the unquestioned GOAT in football. Nobody is.

People our age (I'm assuming most of us are from the Jordan era) pretty regularly say Jordan is the basketball GOAT. He probably has a decent lead in basketball. But, plenty of experts, and old-timers, will make some decent arguments for Wilt or Kareem or Russell. And, of course, youngsters swear LeBron is the GOAT and Jordan is merely #2 now. Point is, there are arguments to be made for other guys that aren't insane.

Ruth has always been mentioned as the GOAT in baseball. I'm not sure I've heard other arguments, but I've also never followed baseball closely enough to care to listen to those arguments. Who else gets votes? Mays?

Really only hear two arguments in hockey: Gretzky and Lemieux. But, the Lemieux crowd is fairly small compared to the Gretzky crowd. Gretzky has a significant lead there.

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Just now, -OZ- said:

Gretzky definitely deserves the vote.  Just to pick nits, that oilers team was probably a championship contender even without him.

not probably, they did win a Cup without him - 

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Richard Petty :drive:

He has almost twice as many career wins as the guy in 2nd place.

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I can easily make a case against MJ or Ruth being the best ever. Some people who aren’t me think Brady is a Pats creation.  I don’t know a single argument for someone other than Gretzky 

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1 minute ago, jon_mx said:

 

Barry Sanders.

oh hell no. 

i'll take at least 5 guys on defense alone over him. 

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2 minutes ago, cheese said:

I can easily make a case against MJ or Ruth being the best ever. Some people who aren’t me think Brady is a Pats creation.  I don’t know a single argument for someone other than Gretzky 

Well, he wasn't good coach. 

Or goalie, or enforcer...

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4 minutes ago, otb_lifer said:

oh hell no. 

i'll take at least 5 guys on defense alone over him. 

:boxing: 

 

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1 hour ago, otb_lifer said:

let's not forget he had a 94-46 record as a pitcher, with a 2.27 ERA ... also held the record for consecutive scoreless innings in WS play (29) for some 70 years ...

and then he went on to swat Home Runs for chips n' giggles. 

Plus, there's the adjective Ruthian for a reason.  Even if he never saw a slider, he saw plenty of spitballs.

1. Ruth

2. Gretzky/MJ

30. Brady

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4 minutes ago, -OZ- said:

:boxing: 

 

when ya gotta get pulled for Corey ####in Schlessinger on short yardage and GL you're not the greatest. 

most electrifying? ok. 

but not greatest. 

just stop.

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58 minutes ago, Capella said:

I didn’t read any of this but he’s not in the conversation of Gretzky or Jordan. 

Brady is not even the greatest football player ever.  Athletically, Bo Jackson has him beat AND excelled at two sports.

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3 minutes ago, Tom Servo said:

Brady is not even the greatest football player ever.  Athletically, Bo Jackson has him beat AND excelled at two sports.

Meh, being a better athlete doesn't mean he was the greatest football player.

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1 minute ago, Foosball God said:

Meh, being a better athlete doesn't mean he was the greatest football player.

That's fair.  The greater point is that the answer in football isn't that obvious and there's a lot of contenders for that title.

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