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Bored5000
03-07-2018, 06:00 PM
There was an interesting post in the "Charleston vs. Clemente" thread that got me thinking. I am a huge history nerd, not just sports history, but history in general. I am curious to see some thoughts on what percentage of the general population posters on here believe are familiar with various old timey athletes. Most of the names I have included are baseball players, but I have thrown in a couple other names, since they have iconic cards in their respective sport.

I have included my personal thoughts for what percentage of the general population is familiar with a particular athlete, but I fully admit that some of my opinions could be way off. I am interested in other people's opinions. A few of the people I listed are still alive, so I realize that may skew the percentage a bit compared to someone who has been dead for 50-75 years.

Babe Ruth 99%
Muhammad Ali 99%
Jackie Robinson 99%
Pele 99%
Lou Gehrig 95%
Mickey Mantle 95%
Joe Frazier 80%
Roberto Clemente 80%
Joe DiMaggio 75%
Ty Cobb 75%
Shoeless Joe Jackson 60%
Wilt Chamberlain 50%
Bill Russell 50%
Jack Dempsey 30%
Joe Louis 30%
Rocky Marciano 30%
Jim Thorpe 30%
Jack Johnson 25%
A.J. Foyt 25%
Richard Petty 25%
Honus Wagner 15%
Satchel Paige 15%
George Mikan 10%
Rogers Hornsby 3%
Christy Mathewson 3%
Walter Johnson 3%
Bobby Jones 2%
Bronko Nagurski 2%
Josh Gibson 2%
Georges Vezina 1%

mechanicalman
03-07-2018, 06:08 PM
Interesting concept. At first blush, my gut tells me, with the exception of Ali, the boxers and Pele are probably too high in your percentages. And I think that Honus Wagner might have a higher awareness just based on "The Card."

Vezina is low, but probably known to anyone who knows hockey, so I imagine it might be a bit higher.

Peter_Spaeth
03-07-2018, 06:12 PM
Too high on Frazier. Too low on Johnson and Mathewson. Too high on Pele. Jordan would also be right at the top.

Bored5000
03-07-2018, 06:14 PM
Too high on Frazier. Too low on Johnson and Mathewson. Too high on Pele. Jordan would also be right at the top.

The reason I left off Jordan is because it just seems so obvious that he is virtually 100 percent since his career was modern and he is still alive. :) I did throw in a couple other basketball players. i didn't want to make the list too large, however.

I think the biggest test is who is still famous decades after they have been dead or completely out of the public eye.

darwinbulldog
03-07-2018, 06:17 PM
Is your definition of "the general population" closer to 300 million people or 7.5 billion people?

Bored5000
03-07-2018, 06:19 PM
Is your definition of "the general population" closer to 300 million people or 7.5 billion people?

I was thinking United States, so 300 million.

brianp-beme
03-07-2018, 06:21 PM
I would assume the general population you are referring to are citizens of the US. If it was North American (USA, Canada and Mexico, I would assume it would cause a sizable shift in the percentages). Also some age minimum should be indicated...18 years and older, etc.

edited to indicate slow typing on my behalf...

Brian

egbeachley
03-07-2018, 06:24 PM
Pele is 20% max.

camlov2
03-07-2018, 06:30 PM
how do you determine "is familiar with"? Do you show them a picture and ask who it is? Do you give them a name and ask what they are known for? I think the percents can be varied by a great deal depending on how you set up the survey.

I think Pele is too high either way.

JollyElm
03-07-2018, 06:34 PM
As the saying goes, never underestimate the stupidity of the American people.
When you are out and about, try casually asking random people (at the checkout counter, in McDonald's, etc.) about some of the people on your list, especially (aside from the names that would obviously be lesser known) players like Roberto Clemente, Rocky Marciano, Pele and others. I'm thinking familiarity with many of those guys will be significantly lower than you imagine. Older people, of course, will look at you like you're stupid, but the relatively younger ones?? I'm sure you'll get a lot of blank stares (but the moment you say 'Rocky,' most people will immediately say, "He's a boxer, right?").

ls7plus
03-07-2018, 06:42 PM
I don't know about the percentages, but I was familiar with all of them, which I don't think is any great feat. Probably most sports fans who also collect sports cards can say the same.

Best wishes,

Larry

h2oya311
03-07-2018, 06:51 PM
Iím embarrassed to say that i donít even know who George Mikan is. I do know Vezina only because of our fellow Net54 member with his card as an avatar. Iím too lazy to even look him up right now. Haha!

Aside from Ruth and Cobb (and maybe Wagner / Cy Young), I doubt my wife could name one other pre-war baseball player. Sheíd maybe know five names on your entire list. Iíll ask her tonight to verify/refute my intuition. Might quickly get the percentages significantly lower if sheís representative of the general female population. She would know Mantle and a few others just because her dad liked them growing up (sheís 36). Yogi Berra (not listed) would probably also be higher than the prototypical HOfer because of his yogi-isms.

bnorth
03-07-2018, 06:58 PM
My guess would be Ali and Ruth would be around 90% and all others wouldn't be half of your estimate.

Bored5000
03-07-2018, 07:54 PM
how do you determine "is familiar with"? Do you show them a picture and ask who it is? Do you give them a name and ask what they are known for? I think the percents can be varied by a great deal depending on how you set up the survey.

I think Pele is too high either way.

You are probably overthinking this. :) I was just looking for some general thoughts.

Either way, I guess I was really wrong on Pele. :) That's cool, though. I knew my thoughts would be off on some of the people listed. Like I wrote earlier, a post in the Charleston and Clemente thread got me to pondering who is well known today and who isn't.

I appreciate all the responses.

Bored5000
03-07-2018, 08:01 PM
Iím embarrassed to say that i donít even know who George Mikan is. I do know Vezina only because of our fellow Net54 member with his card as an avatar. Iím too lazy to even look him up right now. Haha!

Aside from Ruth and Cobb (and maybe Wagner / Cy Young), I doubt my wife could name one other pre-war baseball player. Sheíd maybe know five names on your entire list. Iíll ask her tonight to verify/refute my intuition. Might quickly get the percentages significantly lower if sheís representative of the general female population. She would know Mantle and a few others just because her dad liked them growing up (sheís 36). Yogi Berra (not listed) would probably also be higher than the prototypical HOfer because of his yogi-isms.

George Mikan's card from the 1948 Bowman set is one of the iconic basketball cards in the hobby. A PSA 10 sold for $403,000 a few years ago.

Bill Russell has often said that Mikan was his hero growing up. :)

https://www.psacard.com/cardfacts/basketball-cards/1948-bowman/george-mikan-69/3629/

Peter_Spaeth
03-07-2018, 08:07 PM
George Mikan's card from the 1948 Bowman set is one of the iconic basketball cards in the hobby. A PSA 10 sold for $403,000 a few years ago.

Bill Russell has often said that Mikan was his hero growing up. :)

https://www.psacard.com/cardfacts/basketball-cards/1948-bowman/george-mikan-69/3629/

He surpassed him, and then some, pretty quickly. :D

Rookiemonster
03-07-2018, 08:18 PM
GRETZKY!

Cal Ripken

I donít think most people even know current stars.

PowderedH2O
03-07-2018, 08:25 PM
I am a high school teacher. Kids will ask me to listen to their music. I NEVER recognize the artists. They always ask me the same question: "How can you not know who this is?"

So, I am never surprised when people don't recognize the athletes that I know so well, because I don't know the young stars that are so important to them.

familytoad
03-07-2018, 08:32 PM
Iíd say George Foreman is more recognizable than many on this list...certainly Smokiní Joe seems especially elevated.

oldjudge
03-07-2018, 08:45 PM
I think all the top athletes are way overstated. Even if you limit your sample group to adult English speaking people it is still overstated. Many people could care less about sports and a non-trivial amount of the people in the U.S. are illiterate (14.5% based on 2003 data).

Snapolit1
03-07-2018, 08:48 PM
Cool thread. I think your numbers are crazy crazy high. Hell, probably 50% of the population can't name the Vice President. Here are my guesses.

Babe Ruth 99%
Muhammad Ali 99%
Jackie Robinson 90%
Pele 20%
Lou Gehrig 20% (disease obviously raises name recognition)
Mickey Mantle 40%
Joe Frazier 10%
Roberto Clemente 10% (died too early)
Joe DiMaggio 25% (Marilyn; Simon & Garfunkel song)
Ty Cobb 5%
Shoeless Joe Jackson 5% (mostly because of beloved/hated Field of Dreams)
Wilt Chamberlain 10% (reports of 10,000 helped!)
Bill Russell 5%
Jack Dempsey less than 1%
Joe Louis 5%
Rocky Marciano 5%
Jim Thorpe 1%
Jack Johnson 1%
A.J. Foyt 1%
Richard Petty 20%
Honus Wagner 5%
Satchel Paige 5%
George Mikan less than 1%
Rogers Hornsby less than 1%
Christy Mathewson less than 1%
Walter Johnson less than 1%
Bobby Jones less than 1%
Bronko Nagurski less than 1%
Josh Gibson less than 1%
Georges Vezina about .001%

Fred
03-07-2018, 08:50 PM
Pete who? Oh, Pele... What's Pele's last name? :p

Snapolit1
03-07-2018, 08:51 PM
I doubt 75% of major league baseball players have any idea who a lot of these baseball players are.

Seems like every year there is a news story where some young player admits to a reporter he doesn't know who Jackie Robinson was.

Huysmans
03-07-2018, 09:50 PM
Cool thread. I think your numbers are crazy crazy high. Hell, probably 50% of the population can't name the Vice President. Here are my guesses.

Babe Ruth 99%
Muhammad Ali 99%
Jackie Robinson 90%
Pele 20%
Lou Gehrig 20% (disease obviously raises name recognition)
Mickey Mantle 40%
Joe Frazier 10%
Roberto Clemente 10% (died too early)
Joe DiMaggio 25% (Marilyn; Simon & Garfunkel song)
Ty Cobb 5%
Shoeless Joe Jackson 5% (mostly because of beloved/hated Field of Dreams)
Wilt Chamberlain 10% (reports of 10,000 helped!)
Bill Russell 5%
Jack Dempsey less than 1%
Joe Louis 5%
Rocky Marciano 5%
Jim Thorpe 1%
Jack Johnson 1%
A.J. Foyt 1%
Richard Petty 20%
Honus Wagner 5%
Satchel Paige 5%
George Mikan less than 1%
Rogers Hornsby less than 1%
Christy Mathewson less than 1%
Walter Johnson less than 1%
Bobby Jones less than 1%
Bronko Nagurski less than 1%
Josh Gibson less than 1%
Georges Vezina about .001%

The Vezina percentage is beyond ridiculous....

The trophy awarded to the NHL goaltender "adjudged to be the best at his position" each season - and every season since 1926-27 - is named in his honour, hence, even casual hockey fans have at least heard and know the name.

Snapolit1
03-07-2018, 09:58 PM
OK, didn't know that about Vezina. Good point. A major award is named after him. Didn't know that.

By the way, how many people out of 100 in the US do you reckon are serious hockey fans? I can name large racial and ethnic groups that, as a general proposition, have overwhelmingly have very little if any interest in hockey.

I think we are all biased in that we overestimate the general interest in things we are interested in.

Writehooks
03-07-2018, 10:04 PM
Glad you specified that you're limiting the name recognition to the US. I'm a Canadian who has worked as a sportswriter in Beijing for the past seven years, so I can offer a different perspective. A couple of years ago my paper (circulation 675,000) ran a contest in which readers named their "all time favorite" sports hero. The No. 1 response, by a considerable margin, was Ali ... followed by NBA stars Yao Ming and Michael Jordan. Pele was fourth and David Beckham was fifth.

Snapolit1
03-07-2018, 10:06 PM
Glad you specified that you're limiting the name recognition to the US. I'm a Canadian who has worked as a sportswriter in Beijing for the past seven years, so I can offer a different perspective. A couple of years ago my paper (circulation 675,000) ran a contest in which readers named their "all time favorite" sports hero. The No. 1 response, by a considerable margin, was Ali ... followed by NBA stars Yao Ming and Michael Jordan. Pele was fourth and David Beckham was fifth.

Sure Tiger Woods is still up there very high, despite his career doldrums.

Huysmans
03-07-2018, 10:10 PM
It could be a single person out of that 100... and it would blow away that absurd and hyperbolic number you posted. You said it yourself... "I didn't know".... and apparently, you don't.

Snapolit1
03-07-2018, 10:12 PM
I apparently am one of the few Americans who have never heard of him. Plead guilty.

Michael B
03-07-2018, 10:18 PM
You are missing a very big name - Jesse Owens!!!

edjs
03-07-2018, 10:23 PM
There was an interesting post in the "Charleston vs. Clemente" thread that got me thinking. I am a huge history nerd, not just sports history, but history in general. I am curious to see some thoughts on what percentage of the general population posters on here believe are familiar with various old timey athletes. Most of the names I have included are baseball players, but I have thrown in a couple other names, since they have iconic cards in their respective sport.

I have included my personal thoughts for what percentage of the general population is familiar with a particular athlete, but I fully admit that some of my opinions could be way off. I am interested in other people's opinions. A few of the people I listed are still alive, so I realize that may skew the percentage a bit compared to someone who has been dead for 50-75 years.

Babe Ruth 99%
Muhammad Ali 99%
Jackie Robinson 99%
Pele 99%
Lou Gehrig 95%
Mickey Mantle 95%
Joe Frazier 80%
Roberto Clemente 80%
Joe DiMaggio 75%
Ty Cobb 75%
Shoeless Joe Jackson 60%
Wilt Chamberlain 50%
Bill Russell 50%
Jack Dempsey 30%
Joe Louis 30%
Rocky Marciano 30%
Jim Thorpe 30%
Jack Johnson 25%
A.J. Foyt 25%
Richard Petty 25%
Honus Wagner 15%
Satchel Paige 15%
George Mikan 10%
Rogers Hornsby 3%
Christy Mathewson 3%
Walter Johnson 3%
Bobby Jones 2%
Bronko Nagurski 2%
Josh Gibson 2%
Georges Vezina 1%

My wife did not know Pele, Frazier, Clemente, Chamberlain, Russell, Marciano, Thorpe, Foyt, Wagner, Mikan, Hornsby, Mathewson, Johnson, Jones, Nagurski, Gibson, or Vezina. I am surprised she knew some of the ones she did, even getting the sport correct. She could care less about sports for the most part. She did say Jumpin' Joe was Mr. Coffee, though.

Huysmans
03-07-2018, 10:30 PM
I apparently am one of the few Americans who have never heard of him. Plead guilty.

Considering he did play a century ago, and you obviously are clueless about hockey... your ignorance is forgiven. :D

Now, regarding the amount of Americans "I reckon" that are "serious hockey fans"... why don't you tell me how many Americans you think have heard of Wayne Gretzky? Or better yet.... how many people in the world? I can guarantee he's known by more people than literaly every athlete on your list.
.... and hockey yet... Go figure.

Huysmans
03-07-2018, 10:32 PM
You are missing a very big name - Jesse Owens!!!

Agreed! His name is legendary. I think many people have heard of him.

bnorth
03-07-2018, 10:45 PM
Considering he did play a century ago, and you obviously are clueless about hockey... your ignorance is forgiven. :D

Now, regarding the amount of Americans "I reckon" that are "serious hockey fans"... why don't you tell me how many Americans you think have heard of Wayne Gretzky? Or better yet.... how many people in the world? I can guarantee he's known by more people than literaly every athlete on your list.
.... and hockey yet? Go figure.

Just for fun I am going to ask people I see over the next few days if they know who Wayne Gretzky is. Hockey is a sport I never hear get brought up. I just asked my wife and she didn't have a clue who he is.

Please don't think I am in any way putting down your sport. It amazes me how many people don't know who Wanderlei Silva is. He is one of my heroes and for a 10 year period was the scariest MMA fighter on the planet. Win lose or draw extreme violence was a given in his fights.

I just think as fans of a sport we overestimate how popular many of its players are with everyday people. I know I could only name 3 hockey players who have ever played.

DeanH3
03-07-2018, 11:17 PM
Was sitting here with my mom (75 this year) and asked her if she knew these names. Now sports was very predominate in our household growing up. And she has heard me blather about my card collection, so here are her answers. I figure I'll ask my wife as well and see what her answer will be.

Babe Ruth 99% - yes
Muhammad Ali 99% - yes
Jackie Robinson 99% - yes
Pele 99% - yes
Lou Gehrig 95% - yes
Mickey Mantle 95% - yes
Joe Frazier 80% - yes
Roberto Clemente 80% - yes
Joe DiMaggio 75% - yes
Ty Cobb 75% - yes
Shoeless Joe Jackson 60% - yes
Wilt Chamberlain 50% - yes
Bill Russell 50% - yes
Jack Dempsey 30% - yes
Joe Louis 30% - yes
Rocky Marciano 30% - yes
Jim Thorpe 30% - yes
Jack Johnson 25% - no
A.J. Foyt 25% - yes
Richard Petty 25% - yes
Honus Wagner 15% - yes
Satchel Paige 15% - yes
George Mikan 10% - no
Rogers Hornsby 3% - yes
Christy Mathewson 3% - yes
Walter Johnson 3% - yes
Bobby Jones 2% - n
Bronko Nagurski 2% - no
Josh Gibson 2% - no
Georges Vezina 1% - no

Fred
03-07-2018, 11:48 PM
I cut the following list down to only people that have played baseball. The list has the original percentages. I didn't change any of those.

What former major league player is missing from this list that most MLB players have heard of? At least most or all baseball fans know this name? It aint rocket science....

Babe Ruth 99%
Jackie Robinson 99%
Lou Gehrig 95%
Mickey Mantle 95%
Roberto Clemente 80%
Joe DiMaggio 75%
Ty Cobb 75%
Shoeless Joe Jackson 60%
Jim Thorpe 30%
Honus Wagner 15%
Satchel Paige 15%
Rogers Hornsby 3%
Christy Mathewson 3%
Walter Johnson 3%
Josh Gibson 2%

edjs
03-07-2018, 11:55 PM
I cut the following list down to only people that have played baseball. The list has the original percentages. I didn't change any of those.

What former major league player is missing from this list that most MLB players have heard of? At least most or all baseball fans know this name? It aint rocket science....

Babe Ruth 99%
Muhammad Ali 99%
Jackie Robinson 99%
Lou Gehrig 95%
Mickey Mantle 95%
Roberto Clemente 80%
Joe DiMaggio 75%
Ty Cobb 75%
Shoeless Joe Jackson 60%
Jim Thorpe 30%
Honus Wagner 15%
Satchel Paige 15%
Rogers Hornsby 3%
Christy Mathewson 3%
Walter Johnson 3%
Josh Gibson 2%

Cy Young. Also, you forgot to take out Ali. :D

Fred
03-07-2018, 11:59 PM
Dang, that was a bit too easy...

Bored5000
03-08-2018, 01:10 AM
Dang, that was a bit too easy...

Young is a bit of a special case, though, because the award named for him is such a part of baseball to this day. Vezina's only real claim to fame among the public today is that there is an award named for him, and Vezina's award is still not as well known as the Cy Young award is to baseball.

I left Cy Young off the list because I think WaJo and Matty are better indicators of fame, since neither of them have a pitching award named for them that keeps their names in front of the public every year.

If there was no such thing as the Cy Young award, his notoriety would go down sharply among the modern population.

If there was no such thing as the Heisman Trophy, how many people would ever know John Heisman today? The answer to that is just about zero.

h2oya311
03-08-2018, 07:13 PM
I'm embarrassed by some of my wife's responses to some of the athletes on the list:

Babe Ruth 99% - yes
Muhammad Ali 99% - sorta - she first thought he was a basketball player, then remembered he was a boxer (phew)
Jackie Robinson 99% - no thought he might have been a track star...she did know that he was black though. OMG
Pele 99% - yes
Lou Gehrig 95% - yes
Mickey Mantle 95% - yes
Joe Frazier 80% - no
Roberto Clemente 80% - yes
Joe DiMaggio 75% - yes
Ty Cobb 75% - yes
Shoeless Joe Jackson 60% - yes
Wilt Chamberlain 50% - no
Bill Russell 50% - no
Jack Dempsey 30% - no
Joe Louis 30% - no
Rocky Marciano 30% - no
Jim Thorpe 30% - no
Jack Johnson 25% - no - she hears that name and thinks of the singer/songwriter
A.J. Foyt 25% - no
Richard Petty 25% - no
Honus Wagner 15% - yes
Satchel Paige 15% - no
George Mikan 10% - no - nor did I
Rogers Hornsby 3% - no
Christy Mathewson 3% - no
Walter Johnson 3% - no
Bobby Jones 2% - no
Bronko Nagurski 2% - no
Josh Gibson 2% - no
Georges Vezina 1% - no

Clearly I have some influence on her baseball knowledge, but need to work on the guy that apparently 99% of Americans should know!!!

Stampsfan
03-08-2018, 07:32 PM
The Vezina percentage is beyond ridiculous....

The trophy awarded to the NHL goaltender "adjudged to be the best at his position" each season - and every season since 1926-27 - is named in his honour, hence, even casual hockey fans have at least heard and know the name.
I told this story here once before, and it still blows my mind. My hockey team consists of guys from their 30's to deep into their 50's, and I'm one of the latter. We are relatively competitive, and while none of us "made it", we all can play.
Most of the guys know I collect, but nobody else does. I made a comment one day in the dressing room that I'm looking at an Art Ross card from 1910 (they wouldn't know what a C56 is). One guy on my team (in his 50's) said "Who's that? Never heard of him."
I said "There's a trophy named after him." Now, appreciate the Vezina and the Art Ross are trophies that have been around since the 20's and the 40's respectively, and as well known as the Cy Young to baseball fans. I was embarrassed for the guy, but there is no excuse for ignorance. And he watches more hockey than almost anyone I know.

... It amazes me how many people don't know who Wanderlei Silva is. ...
Oh yeah, his dad is the commissioner of the NBA...

packs
03-08-2018, 08:28 PM
I think it would be hard to find a person who didn't know who Mike Tyson is and he's certainly an all time great.

Bill77
03-08-2018, 10:40 PM
Just thought this would be fun to answer as honestly as I can as to who I knew of when I was 20 and who I know now that I am 40.

Babe Ruth 99% Y/Y
Muhammad Ali 99% Y/Y
Jackie Robinson 99% Y/Y
Pele 99% N/Y
Lou Gehrig 95% Y/Y
Mickey Mantle 95% Y/Y
Joe Frazier 80% Y/Y
Roberto Clemente 80% Y/Y
Joe DiMaggio 75% Y/Y
Ty Cobb 75% Y/Y
Shoeless Joe Jackson 60% Y/Y
Wilt Chamberlain 50% Y/Y (I remember him more from Conan the Destroyer)
Bill Russell 50% N/Y
Jack Dempsey 30% N/Y
Joe Louis 30% Y/Y (Again a movie reference Coming to America)
Rocky Marciano 30% Y/Y (See above)
Jim Thorpe 30% N/Y
Jack Johnson 25% N/Y
A.J. Foyt 25% Y/Y
Richard Petty 25% Y/Y
Honus Wagner 15% Y/Y
Satchel Paige 15% Y/Y
George Mikan 10% N/N
Rogers Hornsby 3% N/Y
Christy Mathewson 3% N/Y
Walter Johnson 3% N/Y
Bobby Jones 2% N/N
Bronko Nagurski 2% N/Y
Josh Gibson 2% N/Y
Georges Vezina 1% N/N

TanksAndSpartans
03-08-2018, 10:49 PM
The football fans I know don't have much sense of history. I have a photo of Halas and Nagurski and none have recognized either, but have at least heard of Halas once I explain the photo. Forget the general population, I would say only about 1% of football fans have any sense of anything that happened before the 1st Super Bowl.

brianp-beme
03-08-2018, 11:02 PM
I had my loved one take this quiz (she's pictured there in my avatar), and I copied what Derek posted of the responses his wife gave, then added her capitalized responses for comparision. She definitely did well in my main collecting pursuit (preWW2 baseball players), but obviously doesn't follow sports closely.

Babe Ruth 99% - yes / YES

Muhammad Ali 99% - sorta - she first thought he was a basketball player, then remembered he was a boxer (phew) / NO!

Jackie Robinson 99% - no thought he might have been a track star...she did know that he was black though. OMG / KINDA - she knows of him and that he broke the color barrier, but the name just didn't ring a bell tonight...she guessed female track star!

Pele 99% - yes / YES

Lou Gehrig 95% - yes / YES

Mickey Mantle 95% - yes / NO...she guessed soccer!

Joe Frazier 80% - no / NO

Roberto Clemente 80% - yes / NO

Joe DiMaggio 75% - yes / YES

Ty Cobb 75% - yes / YES

Shoeless Joe Jackson 60% - yes / NO...Say it ain't so, Joe!

Wilt Chamberlain 50% - no / NO

Bill Russell 50% - no / NO

Jack Dempsey 30% - no / NO

Joe Louis 30% - no / NO

Rocky Marciano 30% - no / NO

Jim Thorpe 30% - no / NO

Jack Johnson 25% - no - she hears that name and thinks of the singer/songwriter / NO - same response...he's a singer she likes (who evidently writes some knockout lyrical hooks!)

A.J. Foyt 25% - no / NO

Richard Petty 25% - no / NO

Honus Wagner 15% - yes / YES

Satchel Paige 15% - no / NO

George Mikan 10% - no - nor did I / NO...but I did

Rogers Hornsby 3% - no / NO

Christy Mathewson 3% - no / YES

Walter Johnson 3% - no / YES

Bobby Jones 2% - no / NO

Bronko Nagurski 2% - no / NO

Josh Gibson 2% - no / NO

Georges Vezina 1% - no / NO...and I have only known about him in last couple of years because of Net54 and the member with 'Vezina' in his member ID

Mike Tyson (added just for fun) - NO


Brian P - YES (thankfully)

darwinbulldog
03-09-2018, 09:17 AM
I did the same with my wife. Here are her responses.

Babe Ruth: Y
Muhammad Ali: Y
Jackie Robinson: Y
Pele: Y
Lou Gehrig: Y
Mickey Mantle: Y
Joe Frazier: N
Roberto Clemente: "only because I've heard you talk about him" [henceforth "obihytah"]
Joe DiMaggio: Y
Ty Cobb: Y
Shoeless Joe Jackson: Y
Wilt Chamberlain: Y
Bill Russell: N
Jack Dempsey: N
Joe Louis: N
Rocky Marciano: "Is he a boxer?"
Jim Thorpe: N
Jack Johnson: "Is he that singer that did the songs for Curious George?"
A.J. Foyt: Y [This one was a no for me though.]
Richard Petty: N
Honus Wagner: obihytah
Satchel Paige: obihytah
George Mikan: N
Rogers Hornsby: obihytah
Christy Mathewson: obihytah
Walter Johnson: obihytah
Bobby Jones: N
Bronko Nagurski: N
Josh Gibson: N [And this is my favorite player, and I've mentioned that multiple times, and I own a couple of Josh Gibson team baseball caps. Just not a distinctive enough name I guess.]
Georges Vezina: N

Snapolit1
03-09-2018, 09:50 AM
I've been to probably about 75 basketball games in my life, and consider myself a casual fan since Dr. J led the Nets to a few championships at the old Nassau Coliseum. First time I ever heard of George Mikan was on this board when one of his cards sold for a huge number. I posted at the time that I had never heard of this dude and the responses ranges from incredulity to "you can't be serious!?"

Many of these people are known today for reasons completely unrelated to their sports accomplishments. No doubt my wife knows Joe DiMaggio from Mr. Coffee, not what he did for the Yankees. Shoeless Joe from Field of Dreams, etc.

packs
03-09-2018, 10:05 AM
I don't even think Joe Jackson is really that well known at all. The general public might know about a world series being thrown but I'd be surprised if the average person could tell you what year it happened or what team threw it.

aljurgela
03-09-2018, 10:08 AM
You are missing a very big name - Jesse Owens!!!

Agree! Especially in the USA!

I bet Usain Bolt would be right now globally...

And Carl Lewis would likely do well in the USA, I think

h2oya311
03-09-2018, 10:29 AM
I love all the other responses from wives...I see a pattern here, and these are women who have baseball/sports fans for husbands! At least they recognized most of the high percentage athletes. Looks like you need to drop Joe Frazier down quite a few notches...

I wonder if the recognition of baseball players vs. other sports would be as prevalent for non-collectors and their significant others. Aside from Gretzky, MJ x2 (Jordan and Magic), Larry Bird, Tiger, OJ Simpson, and Bruce Jenner, I'd be surprised if my wife or any of her friends could name many of the top-10 names for each sport (other than baseball or famous football QBs) from the 80's or before. That includes guys like Jerry Rice, Jim Brown, Lawrence Taylor, Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Jesse Owens, Jim Thorpe, Carl Lewis, Mark Spitz (swimming), Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Sugar Ray Robinson, etc.

aljurgela
03-09-2018, 10:42 AM
OK... just thought that I would do the same with my wife... for a different point of view (like the Chinese newspaper perspective) as she is Mexican and in her 40's and lived in the USA for less than 10 years.

I asked another question... who are 5 most important athletes of all time (no pre-established criteria)... Here are the responses:

Ali
Pele
Diego Maradona
Jackie Robinson
Babe Ruth

A bit interesting for me that there were 2 baseball players, although Jackie is probably more important for the social impact. I kindof expected 2 soccer players (and these two specifically) and Ali.

She thought that pretty much all of the good baseball players played for the Yankees.

Her knowledge of Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige are probably due to my collecting focus as well, I would not assume that most wives know these guys!

Also my wife asked if we can open a "support group" for the wives of collectors!

Here are the results on the broader list:

Babe Ruth Yes
Muhammad Ali Yes
Jackie Robinson Yes
Pele Yes
Lou Gehrig No
Mickey Mantle Yes - player for the Red Sox
Joe Frazier No
Roberto Clemente Yes - player for Yankees
Joe DiMaggio Yes - player for the Yankees
Ty Cobb Yes - Player for the Yankees
Shoeless Joe Jackson No
Wilt Chamberlain - No
Bill Russell - No (heard the name)
Jack Dempsey - No
Joe Louis - No
Rocky Marciano - Yes
Jim Thorpe - No
Jack Johnson - No
A.J. Foyt - No
Richard Petty - No
Honus Wagner - Yes - not sure who he played for
Satchel Paige - Yes
George Mikan - No
Rogers Hornsby - No
Christy Mathewson - No
Walter Johnson - Yes - pitcher - not sure of team
Bobby Jones - No
Bronko Nagurski - No
Josh Gibson - Yes
Georges Vezina - No

darwinbulldog
03-09-2018, 11:05 AM
I love that she had Mantle with the Red Sox.

Bored5000
03-09-2018, 11:16 AM
Many of these people are known today for reasons completely unrelated to their sports accomplishments. No doubt my wife knows Joe DiMaggio from Mr. Coffee, not what he did for the Yankees. Shoeless Joe from Field of Dreams, etc.

I know that DiMaggio's name recognition is bolstered today among living fans by the Mr. Coffee ads. I also wonder how many people today know him for being married to Marilyn Monroe.

aljurgela
03-09-2018, 11:35 AM
I love that she had Mantle with the Red Sox.

me too!

but hated that she placed pretty much everybody else on the Yankees

packs
03-09-2018, 11:38 AM
I know that DiMaggio's name recognition is bolstered today among living fans by the Mr. Coffee ads. I also wonder how many people today know him for being married to Marilyn Monroe.

I would say almost no one. If you know who DiMaggio is I would think your point of reference is the Yankees or baseball or one of the songs he's featured in (Joltin' Joe/ Mrs. Robinson). I would think Monroe as your only point of reference is pretty rare.

conor912
03-09-2018, 11:41 AM
My guess would be Ali and Ruth would be around 90% and all others wouldn't be half of your estimate.

I agree....if that, in fact. I would bet that less than 25% of current Americans know who Lou Gehrig was....and many of those would reply something like "you mean the disease?"

Michael B
03-09-2018, 12:59 PM
I know that DiMaggio's name recognition is bolstered today among living fans by the Mr. Coffee ads. I also wonder how many people today know him for being married to Marilyn Monroe.

He was also the face on ads for a bank in New York City in the 1980's. I recall seeing it, but was from out of town so the bank name does not come to mind.

oldjudge
03-09-2018, 01:25 PM
These 99% recognition figures are crazy. I think the likely number for Ruth and Robinson nationwide are under 90%. There are over 1% of the people in this country who wouldn't recognize their own name.

brianp-beme
03-09-2018, 02:02 PM
These 99% recognition figures are crazy. I think the likely number for Ruth and Robinson nationwide are under 90%. There are over 1% of the people in this country who wouldn't recognize their own name.

I would only recognize my name if it were printed in reverse on a name badge pinned to my shirt and I was looking in a mirror.

nairB (I tried checking with a mirror, and I still don't have a clue know who I am)

darwinbulldog
03-09-2018, 02:14 PM
These 99% recognition figures are crazy. I think the likely number for Ruth and Robinson nationwide are under 90%. There are over 1% of the people in this country who wouldn't recognize their own name.

I'm sure that is true. Probably 90% of Americans know who Donald Trump is, but surely it's less than 99%. For starters, I have both a son (2) and a grandmother (89) who don't know who he is.

oldjudge
03-09-2018, 02:27 PM
I'm sure that is true. Probably 90% of Americans know who Donald Trump is, but surely it's less than 99%. For starters, I have both a son (2) and a grandmother (89) who don't know who he is.

Count them as lucky

darwinbulldog
03-09-2018, 02:31 PM
Count them as lucky

<iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/ENxCy9sECLIEU" width="480" height="271" frameBorder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="https://giphy.com/gifs/ENxCy9sECLIEU">via GIPHY</a></p>

Huysmans
03-09-2018, 03:00 PM
Count them as lucky

A political joke!!!! Pure hilarity!!!!! Are you a professional comedian?? You must be! How did you come up with that amazingly insightful and oh so intelligent quip all on your own???

kailes2872
03-09-2018, 03:58 PM
Just took my wife through the same exercise. She has been victim to me + 2 sons and lots and lots of ballgames on television over the years plus our collecting gene. She said I wouldn't know 90% of these names if it wasn't for you. I was actually surprised how many yes's she had

Babe Ruth 99% Y
Muhammad Ali 99% Y
Jackie Robinson 99% Y
Pele 99% Y
Lou Gehrig 95% Y
Mickey Mantle 95% Y
Joe Frazier 80% N
Roberto Clemente 80% Y
Joe DiMaggio 75% Y
Ty Cobb 75% Y
Shoeless Joe Jackson 60% N
Wilt Chamberlain 50% Y
Bill Russell 50% N
Jack Dempsey 30% Y (this one was a big surprise - she said that she recognized the name)
Joe Louis 30% Y
Rocky Marciano 30% N
Jim Thorpe 30% Y
Jack Johnson 25% N
A.J. Foyt 25% Y
Richard Petty 25% Y
Honus Wagner 15% Y
Satchel Paige 15% Y
George Mikan 10% N
Rogers Hornsby 3% N
Christy Mathewson 3% N
Walter Johnson 3% N
Bobby Jones 2% N
Bronko Nagurski 2% N
Josh Gibson 2% N
Georges Vezina 1% N

bigfanNY
03-09-2018, 04:36 PM
Hockey esp older hockey stars going to be very small percentage. Gordie Howe would be a good one in midwest Mr Hockey is pretty well known in Hockey Town. But rest of US? Miken again Mr. Basketball in land of 1000 lakes greatest laker is well known but outside Minnesota?

Butch7999
03-09-2018, 05:26 PM
Funny timing on this -- the NHLPA just did a survey of current players to find their opinions of the best among their ranks
and the best of all-time in various categories. As fans of hockey, as well as baseball and football (and former
beer-league players in the first two sports, in our much younger days), we engaged in some cordial argument
as to how disappointing or surprising (or not) was the players' knowledge or ignorance of their forerunners and
their game's history. This is the game to which they've devoted their lives, you'd expect them to know better, said one,
but almost all of these guys are under 30, they don't sit around reading about the game's history, countered another,
and a quarter of the players are Russian or European, you can't expect them to know NHL history, added the third.
Anyway, except for the obvious (and, ironically, correct) selection of Orr as best-ever defenceman, every other other guy
among the Top 5 on the All-Time lists (including the also correct choice of Gretzky as best forward, and excepting Dryden
among goalers) played well into the 1990s. Not even icons like Howe, Richard, Hull, or Esposito get a perceptible nod
among the list of forwards, for example, or Plante or Bower among goalers, let alone any guys at all from the pre-expansion era.
Clearly the NHL and the hockey media do a shamefully horrendous job (no surprise at all) of keeping the game's history
(even its relatively recent history) alive.
The few other hockey fans here can observe and argue: http://www.NHLPA.com/player-poll/2017-18

So as we were gathered at one guy's home for another session of dice baseball, and between innings
discussing the NHL Poll and this Net54 thread, we decided to ask the resident Missus how many names she recognized
on Stampsfan Bob's list -- recognition biased by the fact that she knew in advance that this was a list of athletes,
not famous people from any field of endeavour, but recognition affirmed by whether she could name their sport.
It should be noted all parties involved are, um, let's just say well past 60, that the Missus was not a sports fan
of any real stripe until she was married, but that she's had to watch sports with her husband, in person and on TV,
and listen to him rattle on about baseball, hockey, football, and his sports memorabilia for over thirty years.
And now, the results of that trial:
Yes, and the sport they played, to every name on the list except for Bill Russell, AJ Foyt, George Mikan, and Bobby Jones.
Yes, but unsure of the sport ("football?") for Josh Gibson.
Based on posts subsequent to the OP and a few additions of our own, she was also asked about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,
Lew Alcindor, Larry Bird, Usain Bolt, Jim Brown, Juius Erving, George Foreman, George Halas, John Heisman,
Gordie Howe, Bruce Jenner, Michael Jordan, Carl Lewis, Diego Maradona, Jack Nicklaus, Bobby Orr, Jesse Owens,
Arnold Palmer, Jerry Rice, Cal Ripken, Sugar Ray Robinson, Ronda Rousey, Wanderlei Silva, Mark Spitz, Lawrence Taylor,
Mike Tyson, Tiger Woods, and Cy Young.
She nailed every one of 'em except for Silva (none of us had ever before heard the name either) and Halas,
except that she didn't know Jenner's sport ("diving? swimming?"), and didn't recognize Heisman's or Maradona's names
but immediately guessed their sport (we couldn'a told ya what Heisman was famous for besides the trophy, either,
although we coulda told ya all about Pop Warner and Knute Rockne). She was also able to provide a vague thumbnail history
of the Black Sox scandal, although she thought it was from the early 1930s.

Conclusion from this corner: she is every bit as smart as her hubby always says, she actually does listen to him
contrary to what he always says, and aside from that, pretty much no one under 40 knows or cares the least little damn thing
about anyone or anything whatsoever that happened more than a few months ago, dadgummit, by cracky.

Michael B
03-09-2018, 05:31 PM
A political joke!!!! Pure hilarity!!!!! Are you a professional comedian?? You must be! How did you come up with that amazingly insightful and oh so intelligent quip all on your own???

Be careful. Political comments are a no-no on the board. I am sure Leon will chime in on this. My thought is as to both comments, not just yours.

the 'stache
03-10-2018, 07:38 AM
The football fans I know don't have much sense of history. I have a photo of Halas and Nagurski and none have recognized either, but have at least heard of Halas once I explain the photo. Forget the general population, I would say only about 1% of football fans have any sense of anything that happened before the 1st Super Bowl.

John, I'd have to disagree with the bolded portion of your quote. All my guy friends, save for one, are football fans, and I think most all of them at least know some of the more famous names of the pre-Super Bowl era.

I pulled up a list of the greatest players of the pre-Super Bowl era (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/936241-the-nfls-10-best-players-from-each-decade) I found on Bleacher Report, listed by decade, and I know a majority of them. The ones I've bolded, I've at least heard of.

The 1920s

1. Red Grange
2. Jim Thorpe
3. Ernie Nevers
4. Paddy Driscoll
5. George Trafton
6. Mike Michalske
7. Cal Hubbard
8. Pete Henry
9. Joe Guyon
10. Link Lyman

The 1930s

1. Don Hutson
2. Bronko Nagurski
3. Mel Hein
4. Dutch Clark
5. Clarke Hinkle
6. Arnie Herber
7. Johnny "Blood" McNally
8. Dan Fortmann
9. Joe Stydahar
10. Cliff Battles

The 1940s

1. Sammy Baugh
2. Steve Van Buren
3. Sid Luckman
4. Bulldog Turner
5. Bill Dudley
6. George McAfee
7. Tony Canadeo
8. Charley Trippi
9. Marion Motley
10. Bob Waterfield

The 1950s
4 OF 10
1. Otto Graham
2. Dick "Night Train" Lane
3. Chuck Bednarik
4. Gino Marchetti
5. Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch
6. Johnny Unitas
7. Jim Brown
8. Emlen Tunnell
9. Sam Huff
10. Norm Van Brocklin


The 1960s

1. Jim Brown
2. Johnny Unitas
3. Dick Butkus
4. David "Deacon" Jones
5. Gale Sayers
6. Bart Starr
7. Forrest Gregg
8. Ray Nitschke
9. Bob Lilly
10. Merlin Olsen

JustinD
03-10-2018, 12:45 PM
Have to admit I am one of those who only knows Vezina from an avatar also.

I knew everyone else fairly well, but I am also leaning toward the majority of folks having no idea. I would think many have heard of Babe Ruth, however if I just showed a photo and asked who it was, I would think the correct answer may be less than half of respondents on a really good day.

I think the Mikan thing may just be not as much interest in early NBA, much like my Vezina knowledge. My 17 year-old son has a 52' Mikan Wheaties card and a framed auto in his card display and can bet he could list off at least 5 minutes of facts and stats for him to anyone who asked.

It's just what folks deem important to themselves. I would assume my vintage sports knowledge is fairly down the list of importance to most people. I can't identify a soul if I pick up checkout magazine of rumors, however my wife can tell you every last one and their dating history. :rolleyes:

DeanH3
03-10-2018, 07:48 PM
Here are my wife's answers. Sports except for 49er football, was not very prevalent growing up in her household.

Babe Ruth 99% - yes
Muhammad Ali 99% - yes
Jackie Robinson 99% - yes
Pele 99% - yes
Lou Gehrig 95% - yes
Mickey Mantle 95% - yes
Joe Frazier 80% - yes
Roberto Clemente 80% - yes
Joe DiMaggio 75% - yes
Ty Cobb 75% - yes
Shoeless Joe Jackson 60% - yes
Wilt Chamberlain 50% - yes
Bill Russell 50% - no
Jack Dempsey 30% - no
Joe Louis 30% - yes
Rocky Marciano 30% - yes
Jim Thorpe 30% - yes
Jack Johnson 25% - no
A.J. Foyt 25% - no
Richard Petty 25% - no
Honus Wagner 15% - yes
Satchel Paige 15% - yes
George Mikan 10% - no
Rogers Hornsby 3% - no
Christy Mathewson 3% - yes
Walter Johnson 3% - no
Bobby Jones 2% - no
Bronko Nagurski 2% - no
Josh Gibson 2% - no
Georges Vezina 1% - no

Beansballcardblog
03-10-2018, 10:25 PM
Iím going to run through this with my fiancť tomorrow. She told me that she doesnít think she will do well, but I disagree. She does like sports and listens to the things I talk about. I believe sheís far past the average person.

h2oya311
03-10-2018, 11:25 PM
John, I'd have to disagree with the bolded portion of your quote. All my guy friends, save for one, are football fans, and I think most all of them at least know some of the more famous names of the pre-Super Bowl era.

I pulled up a list of the greatest players of the pre-Super Bowl era (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/936241-the-nfls-10-best-players-from-each-decade) I found on Bleacher Report, listed by decade, and I know a majority of them. The ones I've bolded, I've at least heard of.

The 1920s

1. Red Grange
2. Jim Thorpe
3. Ernie Nevers
4. Paddy Driscoll
5. George Trafton
6. Mike Michalske
7. Cal Hubbard
8. Pete Henry
....

Ironically, Cal Hubbard is in the baseball HOF as an umpire.

PowderedH2O
03-11-2018, 10:22 PM
My 43 year old wife knew every name until Jack Johnson. Then missed only the last five. She even knew Pele, Richard Petty, and Jack Dempsey. She's a keeper.

SMPEP
03-12-2018, 06:19 PM
Does my wife get credit for asking "Bobby Jones - do you mean the golfer or the UNC basketball player?"

JollyElm
03-12-2018, 06:39 PM
I read the list to my girlfriend and she missed Babe Ruth...but later said, "Oh you meant George, right? Of course I know who that is." :)

PowderedH2O
03-12-2018, 09:40 PM
Does my wife get credit for asking "Bobby Jones - do you mean the golfer or the UNC basketball player?"

Brother, you found a gem in that one!

Does anyone remember the movie Diner where the bride-to-be had to pass a trivia test on Baltimore Colts history in order for the wedding to take place?

Topnotchsy
03-13-2018, 08:36 AM
I believe that here are way, way overestimating how similar the rest of the country is to them.

There are religious (and other) groups in this country that donít get any sort of media. There are large groups that donít speak English. A decent percentage (as mentioned) are illiterate.

The info from wives points in that direction and these are people living together with (for th most part of you are on these boards) huge sports fans.

MVSNYC
03-13-2018, 01:49 PM
These 99% recognition figures are crazy. I think the likely number for Ruth and Robinson nationwide are under 90%.

This.

I agree, I think some of these numbers are way too high. 99% is 297,000,000 people out of 300,000,000 knowing these names...sorry, but even our beloved Ruth & Robinson wouldn't achieve that percentage.