The Top Ten Greatest Cleveland Athletes of All-Time

Who are the best ever for the Indians, Browns, and Cavaliers? Here’s one fan’s list.

10. Omar Vizquel

Omar Vizquel is considered one of the greatest defensive shortstops to ever play baseball. He played 11 seasons in Cleveland, helping the Indians win 6 Division Titles. They also reached the World Series twice in his career. He retired with 11 Gold Gloves, 2,877 hits, and 404 stolen bases. He is one of the most popular Indians of all-time, a sure-fire Indians Hall of Famer, and likely a future member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

9. Lou Groza

Groza played in 21 seasons for the Browns, helping the team to win eight league championships in that span. In 1992, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission named the Lou Groza Award after him. The award is given annually to the country’s best college placekicker. He is a member of the National Pro Football Hall of Fame.

8. Ozzie Newsome

Newsome is considered one of the greatest tight ends in professional football history. When he retired in 1990, he was the all-time leading NFL tight with 662 catches for 7,980 yards and 47 touchdowns. Newsome was named to three Pro Bowl teams and was All-Pro twice. He is a member of the National Football Hall of Fame.

7. Tris Speaker

Over his 22 year career, Speaker had 3,514 hits, 436 stolen bases, and a .345 batting average (6th best all-time). Speaker is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

6. LeBron James

He’s not very popular in Cleveland these days, but the statistics don’t lie. James led the Cavaliers to their first and only NBA Finals appearance and won the MVP twice as a Cavalier.

5. Larry Doby

Most know that Doby broke the American League color barrier (only 11 weeks after Jackie Robinson broke through). Doby was also a key component of the Indians’ 1948 World Series Champion team and a 9-time All-Star. Doby also managed, becoming the 2nd African-American in MLB history to do so. He is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

4. Lou Boudreau

Boudreau was player/manager for the Indians for 8 seasons, including their 1948 World Series Championship squad. Even more impressive, Boudreau was named AL MVP the same year. Boudreau was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1970.

3. Otto Graham

All Otto Graham did was win. In his 10 seasons as a Brown, the team reached the championship game all 10 times, winning 7 of them. Overall, the Browns won 85% of their games under Graham’s leadership.

2. Bob Feller

“Rapid Robert” won 266 games in his career and would have certainly added many more had he not served in World War II between 1942 and 1944. Feller is considered one of the best pitchers in baseball history.

1. Jim Brown

Brown is arguably the greatest running back in the history of American football. He led the Browns to Cleveland’s last championship in 1964, led the league in rushing in eight of his nine seasons, and averaged a whopping 5.2 yards per carry in his career.

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