SportsPickle readers voted to elect the scrappiest athlete of all-time. After more than 60,000 votes from dozens of contenders, here are the athletes you determined to be the most scrappy.
25. Theo Fleury
Fleury scored 1,000 points in the NHL, won a Stanley Cup and an Olympic gold medal and did it all at 5-foot-6. He even gutted through a season with Crohn's Disease. His last name means "flower" in French, but tell him that and he'll probably punch you in the ribs or even higher up your body if he can reach.
24. Martin St. Louis
St. Louis has scored 80 or more points in a season six times during his career despite being only 5-foot-8. The Lightning captain is also the highest-ranked hockey player in the voting. Of course, if the NHL itself had been a voting option for scrappiest, it would have won in a landslide.
23. J.J. Barea
At 6-feet, 175 pounds, Jose Juan Barea exploded onto our scrappy radar with his scraptastic contributions to the Dallas Mavericks' championship run. Just 27 years of age, expect Barea's scrappy stock to continue to rise as the sports world's scrappiest or "mas animoso" Spanish-speaking basketball player.
22. Moredecai "Three Finger" Brown
All the evidence you need is in the name. If your nickname describes your body post-amputation or farm machine accident, you're pretty scrappy. The 239 wins, 2.06 career ERA and Hall of Fame spot are almost overkill.
21. Troy Brown
He was a possession receiver who agreed to play defensive back to help the team. He regularly got cut or was forced to take a pay reduction. He was only 5-foot-10. He didn't come from a college football power. And he played in Boston. Put all that together, and you have the makings of the scrappiest athlete of all-time! Who knows what it is about him that kept voters from placing him higher on the list. A true mystery. Hmm. Hmmmmm.
It must be the ghost of the Atlanta Thrashers.
"Prince is 27 and just entering his prime, so we feel we have locked up a powerful bat at the shortstop position for many years into the future," said Boston general manager Ben Cherington. "There isn't another shortstop in the league who can match Prince's production."
Fielder has averaged 38 home runs and 107 RBI in his six full seasons in the majors and has a career .282 batting average and .930 OPS. Cherington also pointed to Fielder's defense as a bonus.
"No offense to Marco Scutaro, who has been a professional for us at shortstop the last two seasons, but he made 33 errors combined in 2010 and 2011," the new Red Sox GM said. "Prince only made 19. So any perceptions out there that this is a huge downgrade in team defense couldn't be more absurd."
Kids: eat a ton of sugary candy if you want to be a professional athlete.
From @ConnorBarwin98 AKA Houston Texans linebacker Connor Barwin
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No, this parent is not a ham radio enthusiast. That weird looking box thing they carry with them at all times is a portable defibrillator and it might just save your child's life!
A youth soccer game might not seem like a heart-stopping event, but they read this one story on the Internet somewhere. There's also this other story they heard from the parent of an opposing player, that's why they also bring that bag full of instant cold packs, smelling salts, and assorted foods that are high in electrolytes. You can tell their kid from the others because he's the one playing a non-contact sport with a helmet on and drinking a Gatorade made specifically for marathoners.
Favorite thing to say while watching from the bleachers: "(Gasp!) My baby!"
Not only has he been named "Dad of the Year" (unofficially via coffee mug) for making it to every one of his son's games, he's also won numerous regional amateur photography awards for the pictures taken at said games.
Growing up, his parents never supported his passion for photography, and his wife always said it was stupid so a state-of-the-art-camera was the obvious choice when it came to buying himself a gift to celebrate his 50th birthday/divorce. Believe it or not, but photographing his own kid playing tennis hasn't helped him much financially, so he's looking to "branch out" and do some weddings and other events.
No, really, here's his card. Take it. Tell your friends.
Favorite thing to say while watching from the bleachers: "Here's that 8×10 action shot of your kid you never asked me for."
If that touchdown had been late in the game, Lebron would have shot and missed his leg.
Ever hear a coach say something horrible and/or hilarious? Send your submissions to OverheardSP at gmail. Or submit for future editions about things overheard at a game, at the gym or terrible sports gifts you've received.
In my junior year of high school hockey, we were going through a little losing streak so our head coach had the idea of taking us out to a pond to practice. The idea was that he was going to take us to the roots of hockey to help us remember our fundamentals. It was actually a pretty good idea.
All went well until he took about 5 steps onto the ice and then fell through. I guess we sort of got a team-building exercise out of it as we helped fish him out.
In high school, my basketball coach got angry really fast and caused some things he said to not make sense. One practice a kid committed a hard foul and smacked the kid in the face. My coach then proceeded to yell "I swear Devon, if you slap another kid I'm going to smack your ass. I'm": going to smack your ass so hard." We all died laughing and he made us run the rest of practice.
The youngest generation may turn out to be the greatest generation.