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Sticksboi05

Greatest Athlete in D.C. History (team sports)

Greatest D.C. team sports athlete ever   

41 members have voted

  1. 1. Who's the greatest in D.C. history?

    • Walter Johnson
      1
    • Sammy Baugh
      11
    • Darrell Green
      3
    • John Riggins
      0
    • Alex Ovechkin
      25
    • Wes Unseld
      1
    • Elvin Hayes
      0
    • Other
      0


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Posted (edited)

With the Capitals bringing home the first championship in 26 years, this debate has reignited. What are people's thoughts? This does not include individual athletes like Sugar Ray Leonard or Katie Lidecky, and it's not most "beloved" or "revered" or "popular". It's greatest.

 

Two columns written in the past week:

 

Kevin Blackistone, Washington Post –– Close the debate: Alex Ovechkin is Washington’s greatest team sport athlete ever

 

One more title Alexander Mikhailovich Ovechkin cemented last week: greatest professional team sport player in Washington history. Ever.

I reached the surety of making that declaration in a moment of clarity, and not in the rapturous vapors of euphoria wafting through the D.C. area in the wake of Ovechkin finally leading the Capitals to the Stanley Cup.

 

 

Thom Lovero, Washington Times –– LOVERRO: Ovechkin is great, but the GOAT? Slow down, people

 

Now that things have calmed down a bit in the aftermath of the Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup championship celebration, perhaps we can now clean up some of the mess that was left behind — some of the foolishness perpetuated in the local pom-pom waving media on an unsuspecting public already confused by fake news.

 

Look, Alex Ovechkin is great, but suddenly he’s the GOAT? The greatest athlete, all-time in the history of Washington sports?

Edited by Sticksboi05

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Posted (edited)

Ovechkin will go down as one of the greatest Hockey players EVER.

ONLY other person in that category of their respective sports is Baugh (*With all due respect to Walter Johnson) and that was ages ago when the comp wasn't that fierce for him.

Ovechkin already had a great case BEFORE THE CUP... Once he LED his team to the title, it was a wrap for me.

 

Thom Levero disagreeing probably proves my point even more.

Edited by CrypticVillain
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10 minutes ago, CrypticVillain said:


ONLY other person in that category of their respective sports is Baugh and that was ages ago when the comp wasn't that fierce for him.

 

That's not true, Walter Johnson is in the category of one of the greatest in his sport.  But, early 1900s so...irrelevant.

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6 minutes ago, Spaceman Spiff said:

 

That's not true, Walter Johnson is in the category of one of the greatest in his sport.  But, early 1900s so...irrelevant.

 

Johnson is the most dominant but to me, ignoring era is being purposefully dishonest. I will never give segregation-era players the same credit as those who played against full talent pools.

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2 minutes ago, Sticksboi05 said:

 

Johnson is the most dominant but to me, ignoring era is being purposefully dishonest. I will never give segregation-era players the same credit as those who played against full talent pools.

 

Agreed to a certain extent, but segregated baseball wasn't his decision.  Still was the premier pitcher of his day.  

 

I said irrelevant more as a jab to anyone who thinks DC sports starts after 1970 or so.  Johnson should certainly have a case.  

 

The answer is probably Ovechkin though.  

 

 

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40 minutes ago, Spaceman Spiff said:

 

That's not true, Walter Johnson is in the category of one of the greatest in his sport.  But, early 1900s so...irrelevant.

Is Walter Johnson mentioned among the greatest of greats though? Ovechkin is up there with Gretzky... That's not me saying it because I don't know much about hockey, but a lot of analysis, fans, opposing fans, etc says he's up there.


I'm not even gonna front and say I know anything about Walter Johnson outside the fact he played for the Senators, so I'll take your word for it.

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It's been Ovechkin for almost a decade now. I personally don't believe he needed to win a Cup but now that he's got one, there is zero doubt whatsoever.

 

Please don't say Sammy Baugh. Guy played when professional football wasn't really even a thing, there was like six teams back then.

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4 minutes ago, CrypticVillain said:

Is Walter Johnson mentioned among the greatest of greats though? Ovechkin is up there with Gretzky... That's not me saying it because I don't know much about hockey, but a lot of analysis, fans, opposing fans, etc says he's up there.


I'm not even gonna front and say I know anything about Walter Johnson outside the fact he played for the Senators, so I'll take your word for it.

 

Yep, sure is.  

 

Kinda bums me out that a Redskin can't make a serious claim to this title.

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It’s Ovechkin.  Not even close.  He is the greatest goal scorer of the generation and will come close to braking Gretzky’s individual records. 

 

Hes won won multiple mvps, all star awards president trophies and now has a cup and Conn Smythe. 

 

And most of all, he led the Caps to the curse crushing, dc sports relieving, hardest title ever. 

 

And mid has been partying non stop for over a week making Riggins drunken night seem like a Sunday brunch. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Spaceman Spiff said:

Kinda bums me out that a Redskin can't make a serious claim to this title.

Not one player and the only person in the entire Organization that you can put over Ovi is Gibbs. That's it.

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The question shouldn't be #1, because its without a doubt Ovie. The question is, who is #2? I guess Walter Johnson but, similar to Baugh, he played sooo long ago that its hard to really compare. Sports back then were so watered down. It isn't like domating nowadays.

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Just now, CrypticVillain said:

Not one player and the only person in the entire Organization that you can put over Ovi is Gibbs. That's it.

 

Yeah. 

 

I was going to say Dexter Manley might have been able to make a claim if it weren't for the booger sugar.  I think that's a career that would have ended up in Canton with multiple rings.  He should have been on the 91 team.  

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35 minutes ago, Spaceman Spiff said:

 

Agreed to a certain extent, but segregated baseball wasn't his decision.  Still was the premier pitcher of his day.  

 

 

Wasnt his decision, doesnt change the reality though. 

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10 minutes ago, CrypticVillain said:

I'm not even gonna front and say I know anything about Walter Johnson outside the fact he played for the Senators, so I'll take your word for it.

 

The only two players who have a higher WAR than he are Babe Ruth and Cy Young. The two after him are Barry Bonds and Willie Mays. He's on the shortlist for being an all time great. 

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9 minutes ago, Kurd Cudins said:

What's recency bias?

Ovie has been the DC goat for 5+ years now.

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2 minutes ago, Warhead36 said:

Ovie has been the DC goat for 5+ years now.

So that's what it is. Glad we cleared that up.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, justice98 said:

 

Wasnt his decision, doesnt change the reality though. 

 

I guess.  I mean, I don't feel like getting into the debate of anything baseball pre 1947 isn't as good because of racist owners.  MLB definitely lost out but to act like players accomplishments before Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby aren't as good isn't a great argument.  

 

I mean, I don't hear anyone discounting Gretzky's accomplishments because Russians weren't allowed into the NHL until 89 or whenever.  If sports segregation is going to play a part in this topic then you might be able to make the argument that Ovi is better than Gretsky because the competition is stiffer.  But no one's going to make that argument.

 

Edited by Spaceman Spiff
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Ovechkin for sure - because of what he has been able to do on the stat sheet and the impact he's had on the Capitals organization. He's most to thank for changing the sports landscape in the D.C. Area. I don't remember the Caps having much more than a cult following in the region, even during their Stanley Cup run in '98. Now they seem to have the attention and admiration of the region's sports fans, especially those of my generation and younger.

 

Baugh and Johnson are tied for 2nd in my book because while they played before the "modern era" - they were so overwhelmingly dominant and still hold records that may never be broken. Baugh was a prophet on the gridiron, showing people what football was going to be in the coming years. Were it not for meddlesome management (i.e. a backdoor firing of Ray Flaherty during his leave of absence to fight during WWII), he might have more championships to his name. Johnson was one of the few bright spots on wretched Senators teams and famously made Ty Cobb flinch the first time the Detroit faced Washington. 

 

Unseld and "E" share the third spot. Hayes was a prolific scorer during the Bullets "glory years" and Unseld was a beast in the paint. Real shame they couldn't stand each other - could've had more than one O'Brien Trophy in the case. 

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Posted (edited)

I feel like we need a "How to compare players in different eras?" thread...

Because I just feel like if I take a player like, let's say Jason Smith, and put him in the 50s, he would destroy the league.

 

I digress, but I'm just saying. lol

Edited by CrypticVillain
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Just now, CrypticVillain said:

I feel like we need a "How to compare players in different eras?" thread...

Because I just feel like if I talk a player like, let's say Jason Smith, and put him in the 50s, he would destroy the league.

 

I digress, but I'm just saying. lol

 

It's a topic worth debating, but it's kinda hard.  I think Oscar Robertson would get destroyed these days but it's hard to prove how.  

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Posted (edited)

Not only is Ovechkin the greatest, he is also the most electrifying. "Electrifying' is a term that needs to be considered when it comes to athletes.

Yes, Gretzky had better stats and more accomplishments, but would you rather see prime Gretzky or prime Jagr if you got one chance to do so? Jagr is probably the most electrifying hockey player I have ever seen. Would you rather Emmit Smith or prime Barry Sanders? Smith won 3 SBs and had better all around statistics, but Sanders would do stuff you wouldn't believe a human being could possibly do.

 

And Ovechkin was ALL of those things. He has the stats (eg. number of goals scored), the accomplishments (President Trophies, Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe), but he will be remembered most of all for the amazing stuff he could do on the ice (for me in particular, that hit he put on Jagr in the 2014 Olympics. Still my favorite OV highlight of all time). 

 

I'd put Darryl Green second in this area -- if we consider stats, accomplishments and overall wow factor of a particular player. 

Edited by Mournblade
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Baseball's the only sport I can think of where it's a little easier to compare players across eras. But yes, there was a lot of talent shut out of Major League Baseball until 1947. I still contend Walter Johnson would have been a Hall of Famer in an integrated league but he might not have been the legend he is today. He probably would have needed more than his famous fastball to get him through.

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7 minutes ago, thebluefood said:

Baseball's the only sport I can think of where it's a little easier to compare players across eras. But yes, there was a lot of talent shut out of Major League Baseball until 1947. I still contend Walter Johnson would have been a Hall of Famer in an integrated league but he might not have been the legend he is today. He probably would have needed more than his famous fastball to get him through.

 

Just doing some digging around, MLB players played against Negro Leaguers.  Unfortunately the stats don't exist but there are some cool anecdotes out there.

 

http://agatetype.typepad.com/agate_type/2012/12/walter-johnson-negro-leaguer.html

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