Here are some famous Texas sport people that you should know. These athletes have made a name for themselves in their respected sports and have brought recognition to the state of Texas.
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Mildred Ella “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias was an American athlete who excelled in golf, basketball, baseball, and track and field. She is considered one of the greatest athletes of all time.
Babe Zaharias was born Mildred Ella Didriksen in Port Arthur, Texas, on June 26, 1911. She was the daughter of Norwegian immigrants and one of six children. When Babe was 7 years old, she contracted a disease that left her with a permanent limp. Despite this physical limitation, Babe excelled in sports as a young girl and participated in nearly every activity available to her.
In high school, Babe played basketball and softball and was named an All-American in both sports. After graduation, she enrolled at Ward-Belmont College (now Belmont University) in Nashville, Tennessee, where she continued her basketball career. In 1930, Babe transferred to George Washington University in Washington D.C., where she studied physical education. A few months after graduating from college, Babe married George Zaharias, a professional wrestler
Babe Zaharias was born in Port Arthur, Texas in 1911. She began playing golf at a young age and quickly gained notoriety as one of the best players in the country. In 1930, she won the Women’s Amateur title and turned professional soon after.
Zaharias became one of the most successful athletes of her time. She won 82 golf tournaments, including 10 major championships. In 1950, she co-founded the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and helped to grow the sport of women’s golf.
In addition to her success on the golf course, Zaharias was also an accomplished track and field athlete. She won two gold medals in the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, setting a world record in the javelin throw.
Babe Zaharias was an incredible athlete who achieved success in both golf and track and field. She was a pioneer for women’s sports and helped to grow the game of golf.
Babe Zaharias, one of the greatest female athletes of all time, turned to professional golf after she retired from track and field in 1955. She quickly became one of the most successful professionals in women’s golf, winning 10 tournaments in 1956. She retired from competitive golf in 1966 but remained active as a promotional figure for the sport. She died of cancer in 1967.
Nolan Ryan was born on January 31, 1947, in Refugio, Texas. He is a former Major League Baseball pitcher and the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Texas Rangers. He is currently the owner of the Ryan-Sanders Baseball group, which includes the Round Rock Express and Corpus Christi Hooks minor league baseball teams. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.
Nolan Ryan was born on January 31, 1947, in Refugio, Texas. He was the youngest of six children. His father, Louis Ryan, was a math teacher and former minor league ballplayer. His mother, Martha Lee Hancock Ryan, was a homemaker. Nolan grew up on his family’s farm and played baseball with his siblings and friends. He attended Alvin High School in Alvin, Texas. Nolan was a star pitcher for the high school team. He also played quarterback on the football team and guard on the basketball team. After graduation, Nolan received offers to play professional baseball and football. However, he decided to attend college first.
Nolan Ryan was born in Refugio, Texas on January 31, 1947. He was raised on his family’s farm and played baseball and football in high school. Ryan was drafted by the New York Mets in the 12th round of the 1965 Major League Baseball draft. He made his Major League debut with the Mets in 1968.
After four years with the Mets, Ryan was traded to the California Angels in 1972. He quickly became one of the best pitchers in baseball, leading the league in strikeouts five times and ERA three times. He also threw a no-hitter for the Angels in 1974. In 1979, Ryan signed a free agent contract with the Houston Astros. He remained with the Astros until his retirement from baseball in 1993.
During his 27-year career, Nolan Ryan won 324 games, struck out 5,714 batters, and pitched seven no-hitters (a major league record). He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.
After his final pitch in 1993, Nolan Ryan became an executive with the Texas Rangers. In 2008, he became CEO and team president of the Houston Astros.
Roger Clemens, nicknamed “Rocket”, is a former professional baseball pitcher who played 24 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for four teams. Clemens was one of the most dominant pitchers in major league history, tallying 354 wins, a 3.12 earned run average (ERA), and 4,672 strikeouts, the third-most all time. An 11-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion, he won seven Cy Young Awards during his career, the most of any pitcher in history. Clemens was known for his fierce competitive nature and tenacious work ethic, as well as his ejections, skirmishes, and brushbacks with both opponents and umpires.
Roger Clemens was born in Dayton, Ohio, on August 4, 1962, the youngest of Bobby and Bess Clemens’s four children. When he was six months old, his family moved to Spring, Texas – a Houston suburb – where he and his siblings grew up. Although best known as a baseball player, Clemens was also an excellent football and basketball player in high school. He even turned down a professional contract to play basketball with the Harlem Globetrotters.
Clemens’s first experience with organized baseball came at the age of seven, when he played for his father’s alcohol abuse prevention youth team. The following year, he joined Spring’s Dixie Youth Baseball League. He quickly made a name for himself as one of the league’s top pitchers. By the time he was 12 years old, he was already throwing batting practice to the Houston Astros.
Roger Clemens was born in Dayton, Ohio, on August 4, 1962. Clemens’ father, Harry “Buddy” Clemens, was a steelworker and his mother, Bess Clemens, a homemaker. When Roger was 24 months old, the family moved to Massachusetts where they settled in the town of Springfield. It was there that Clemens began playing organized baseball and developed a love for the game that would last a lifetime.
Clemens’ professional career began in 1984 when he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the first round of the Major League Baseball (MLB) draft. He made his major league debut with the Red Sox in 1986 and quickly established himself as one of the game’s best pitchers. After winning back-to-back Cy Young Awards (given to the best pitcher in each league) in 1986 and 1987, he helped lead the Red Sox to victory in the World Series in 2004.
During his 24-year career, Clemens played for four different teams: the Red Sox (1986-1996), Toronto Blue Jays (1997-1998), New York Yankees (1999-2003), and Houston Astros (2004-2006). He finished his career with a record of 354 wins and 184 losses, 3,162 strikeouts (15th all time), and a 3.12 earned run average (ERA). He is one of only eight pitchers in MLB history to win 300 or more games and strike out 3,000 or more batters.
In addition to his seven Cy Young Awards (a record he shares with Pitcher Randy Johnson), Clemens is a twelve-time All Star and two-time World Series champion. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019.
In 2007, Clemens was mentioned as a possible candidate for the Republican Presidential Nomination. In May 2007, he told a caller on ESPN Radio’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd that he would consider running for public office, if he thought he could make a difference. When asked what office he would seek, Clemens said “That’s above my pay grade right now…I’m not closing any doors.” In December 2007, speculation again rose when it was reported that Roger Clemens had spoken with Karl Rove about the possibility of running for Senate in 2010. On June 9, 2008, Clemens told Fox News that he would not seek any kind of political office in the near future.
In February 2009, Clemens was hired as special assistant to Astros general manager Ed Wade. In this capacity, Clemens works with young pitchers in the Astros’ farm system and makes occasional appearances on behalf of the Astros at public functions.
Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963), also known by his initials MJ, is an American former professional basketball player, businessman, and principal owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played 15 seasons in the NBA, winning six championships with the Chicago Bulls. His biography on the official NBA website states: “By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.” Jordan was one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation and was considered instrumental in popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s.
Michael Jeffrey Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York, on February 17, 1963. His parents, James and Deloris, moved the family to Wilmington, North Carolina, when Michael was a toddler. They later had two more sons: Ronnie and Larry. Jordan excelled at basketball at an early age and went on to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a scholarship. He helped lead the Tar Heels to the NCAA championship as a freshman in 1982. The following year he was selected by the Chicago Bulls as the third overall pick in the NBA draft.
Jordan played 15 seasons in the NBA, winning six championships with the Chicago Bulls. His biography on the NBA website states: “By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.” Jordan was one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation and was considered instrumental in popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s.
Jordan left college after his junior year to join the NBA, and was drafted by the Chicago Bulls. He quickly emerged as a league star and entertained crowds with his prolific scoring. His leaping ability, demonstrated by performing slam dunks from the free throw line in Slam Dunk Contests, earned him nicknames such as “Air Jordan” and “His Airness”. He also gained a reputation for being one of the best defensive players in basketball. In 1991, he won his first NBA championship with the Bulls, and followed that achievement with titles in 1992 and 1993, securing a “three-peat”. Although Jordan abruptly retired from basketball before the beginning of the 1993–94 NBA season to pursue a career in baseball, he rejoined the Bulls in 1995 and led them to three additional championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998, as well as a then-record 72 regular-season wins in the 1995–96 NBA season. Jordan retired for a second time following these wins, but returned for two more NBA seasons from 2001 to 2003 as a member of the Washington Wizards.
Before his professional career, Jordan attended Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, where he highlighted his athletic career by playing basketball, baseball, and football. He received multiple colleges scholarships offers for football and basketball before deciding to pursue his passion for basketball. As a freshman at UNC he averaged 13.4 ppg on 53.4% shooting. UNC went on to win NCAA Championship that year. After successful freshman and sophomore campaigns at UNC where he averaged 19 ppg on 54% shooting as a sophomore; Jordan decided to declare himself eligible for 1984 NBA Draft but returned to UNC for his junior year when he wasn’t selected within first 14 picks of draft by any team. In his junior year he averaged 20 ppg on 52% shooting as UNC went 27–6 but lost early in NCAA tournament Private investigator Sam Smith stated that oneNBA executive said that had Jordan not returned to play another college season Wizard’s owner Abe Pollin would have drafted him as Numen’s number one overall pick In 2012 ESPN ranked him 34th on their list of greatest college players of all time
In 1999, Jordan announce his second retirement, this time from professional basketball. Afterward, he became majority owner and head of basketball operations for the Washington Wizards franchise in 2000. He is also the principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets. Jordan’s impulsive buy of the Hornets saved the franchise from moving to another city. In 2010, he became the first former player to become majority owner of an NBA team.
In 2006, Jordan married Cuban-American model Yvette Prieto. The wedding was a star-studded event that took place at Bethesda-by-the-Sea, an Episcopal church in Palm Beach, Florida. The bride wore a custom gown by J’Aton Couture and the couple’s wedding cake was nine feet tall. The two had been together since 2008 and have twin daughters, born in February 2014.