Born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr., Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was one of the NBA’s top scorers. Before he turned professional, he played for UCLA in college where he shattered the school’s single-game record by scoring 56 points in his first game. His scoring prowess was known even before he’d officially stepped inside the basketball court.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a major force in UCLA’s three-year reign of 88 wins. They only had 2 losses. This was taken on March 22, 1968, in Los Angeles, California when UCLA defeated Houston 101-69.
As the Heisman Trophy winner in his senior year, Alan Ameche was signed up by the Baltimore Colts the following year to start his professional football career. In spite of his overwhelming potential, he only played from 1955 to 1960, limited by an Achilles tendon injury.
Alan Ameche may have only played for a relatively short period in the NFL, but he could always look back to the day in this picture where he played and scored a touchdown during overtime play of the 1958 NFL Championship Game. The New York Giants’ defensive back, Jim Patton, is seen trying to stop Ameche who would continue to plow his way through. Sports historians would refer to this as “The Greatest Game Ever Played.”
Jim Brown’s eyes burn in this photograph as he perforates Philadelphia’s defense. It was taken on Nov. 29, 1964; just a year before he would retire from pro-football. When he called it quits, he had already shattered most of the NFL’s major rushing records.
Jim Brown was the AP NFL MVP three times. He averaged more than a hundred yards per game throughout his eight-year career. In 2002, he was hailed as the greatest pro-football player ever.
This is a photograph of Russian weightlifter, Vasily Alexeyev. He wasn’t as big as most super heavyweights, so when he was just starting up, his trainer would encourage him to add more weight in order to gain more strength. Vasily Alexeyev trained with a personal coach until 1968.
This photograph was shot in 1970. Remarkably, he was able to clean & jerk 500 pounds in official competition, the first man ever to do so in that year. He set a total of 80 world records and is considered to be the greatest weightlifter in history.
Roberto Clemente started his baseball career in Puerto Rico but was able to attract the attention of the Brooklyn Dodgers who offered him a contract to play with one of their Triple-A affiliates. Moving from his home country, he had to adjust to a different climate and adapt to a new language.
Clemente wouldn’t be stumped by these challenges. In fact, he would excel as a baseball player, even winning the MVP award in 1966. He is photographed tracing a pitch, in a game they won 2-1 versus the San Diego Padres. Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Pirate star’s career ended abruptly in a plane crash that same year.