Unfortunately for their opponents, some guys were just born with an advantage. Here’s a baker’s dozen list of guys who had unreal God given abilities, and were just born to play.
Barry Bonds- Even before he joined Balco and got introduced to the ‘roids, Bonds was an absolute specimen designed to play baseball. He was the quintessential 5 tool player, with ideal height and athleticism to have success all over the diamond. It also didn’t hurt that he could identify the spin of the ball right out of the pitcher’s hand.
Ken Griffey, Jr- The Kid was essentially the second coming of Barry Bonds, with a couple extra inches of height and an even prettier swing. Jr. could do it all on the field, and it was all natural.
Albert Pujols- Prince Albert is an absolute beast of a man, and perfectly suited to be an all world first baseman. Most guys built like him can only hit for power; Pujols hits for power, average, runs the bases, and plays gold glove defense.
Allen Iverson- When a guy who is 6 feet tall has a 7-foot wingspan, big hands, electrifying quickness, and can jump almost 4 feet in the air, he was born to play basketball. The Answer may have been short, but his gifts made it almost impossible for him not to succeed on a basketball court.
Julius Erving- When one thinks of Dr. J, they should have the image of Lebron James with a huge afro. Erving had the speed, vertical leap, strength, and long arms to dominate similar to what James does now. Some say that Erving didn’t have the killer instinct either, so maybe he and James have more than just physical dominance in common.
Michael Jordan- Arguably the NBA’s GOAT stands an ideal 6’6” for an NBA guard, has long arms, huge hands, and freakish hops. MJ had a notorious work ethic and desire to win, but it sure helps to be blessed with such physical gifts.
Randy Moss- It helps to be taller, faster, and a higher jumper than all of the corners and safeties in the league. Moss was born to be an unguardable wide receiver, and he was for over a decade.
Calvin Johnson- Megatron is for all intents and purposes a tougher version of Randy Moss. Johnson isn’t as fast as Moss, but he jumps just as high, is just as strong in the air, and runs more than just go routes. There’s no limit to his potential ceiling.
Lawrence Taylor- LT had the ideal size and strength to be a fearsome linebacker or defensive end. What set him apart was an unmatched speed to go along with his other gifts. That combination of skills created the myth behind needing the stout left tackle, and started the career of Steve Young. As awesome as Joe Montana was, Lawrence Taylor was manhandling him from the blind side, so Bill Walsh had to turn to Steve Young, a lefty, who could see the rush coming the whole time.
Herschel Walker- Walker was built like a tank (6’1” and 225 lbs) but could run like a gazelle. At the combine he reportedly ran a 4.2 forty yard dash. Even the fleetest receivers and corners don’t run that fast, let alone a 225 lb monster. Scary enough, as of February 2010 (at the age of 48) Walker says he could still run a 4.35 second forty! If that combination of abilities can’t make a successful running back, I don’t know what can. Just to make everyone else feel inadequate, Walker dabbles in mixed martial arts despite being middle aged. He’s currently 2-0 with 2 knockouts in the heavyweight division of Strikeforce.
Usain Bolt- Most sprinters are not exceedingly tall, so at 6’4” Bolt is an anomaly. Two very important aspects of speed are stride length and stride frequency. With his dominating height, Bolt has much higher stride length than most of his opponents. It takes a little longer to get to top speed (so he probably wouldn’t win many 40 yard dashes), but once he gets there, he has a great advantage. Bolt is a man amongst boys on the track, but apparently he says his skills on the pitch are almost as dynamic.
Sergei Fedorov- This ridiculous athlete was 6’2” and 200 lbs, but was somehow faster and stronger than almost everyone he played against. This is evidenced by him being the only player ever to win Fastest Skater and Hardest Shot at All Star Weekend. Fedorov was skilled at center and at either wing position, but he could also amazingly play elite level defense. Fedorov was built to play and excel at hockey, and he still does, even at the age of 42.
Eric Lindros- 6’4” 245 lb behemoths are not supposed to have nimble feet, and hands as soft as centerman 5 inches and 60 lbs lighter. If Lindros was born in America he probably would have been a linebacker, but since he’s Canadian, his size/skill combination revolutionized the definition of the hockey power forward.