The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors are currently interlocked in their third consecutive NBA Finals together, with the two teams splitting the two previous series in 2015 and 2016. Whilst many feel that this is one of sport’s great rivalries, there’s definitely been a couple that go above and beyond the basketball duo.
The range in sports here is evident, but the passion among their respective fans is not. Every team has a rival of sorts that pushes them to the limit, but few have seen their feud reach these kind of heights. Seriously, we’d be afraid for our safety attending any one of these match-ups.
I hate the Red Sox with every fiber of my being, so let's get these first two hitters out of the way. Ted Williams' nickname was literally "The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived" so yeah, he's on this list. A career .344 batting average and the last player to bat .400 or better during a season back in 1941. So as much as I hate everything Red Sox, the guy was damn good. (Source: Twitter)
Let me reiterate that I hate the Boston Red Sox, but I'm objective when it comes to this. "Yaz" (which is kind of a sweet nickname by the way) was a 3x batting champion, and up until 2012 was the last player to hit for the Triple Crown. And just like that, I don't have to say anything nice about the Red Sox for the rest of this list. Thank God. (Source: Twitter)
It is an absolute travesty that Pete Rose isn't in the Hall of Fame, and the MLB should be embarrassed. I'm probably in the minority on this, but being a manager and betting on baseball games is AWESOME. Frowned upon, but awesome. Anyways, if he was a marginal player, I'd get keeping him out, but "Charlie Hustle" (again, another great nickname) has the most hits in MLB history with 4,256, a career .303 batting average, 3 NL Batting Titles, and 3 World Series titles to his name. Do the right thing baseball, put Pete in the Hall. (Source: Twitter)
Throughout his 14 year career, there were only three times Miggy didn't hit for .300 or better. That is absolutely insane. I still can't believe that there were people who thought that Mike Trout should have won the AL MVP over Cabrera back in 2012...he hit for the freakin' Triple Crown! Now while I love Trout and think he's well on his way to being an all time great, the Triple Crown should end any sort of MVP debate right there alone. Miggy went on to win the MVP the following year, and currently has a .321 career batting average. It's good to be king. (Source: Twitter)
"The Say Hey Kid" (another remarkable nickname) was not just one of the best hitters of all time, but arguably the best baseball player of all time. Known as a great centerfielder, Willie Mays blasted 660 home runs during his career, as well as 3,283 hits, led the NL in home runs four times, won the NL batting title in 1954, and has a career .302 batting average. (Source: Twitter)
He's definitely not the player he once was when he came into the league, that's what happens when you get old, but during his time with the Cardinals, Pujols may have been the best pure hitter I've ever seen in my life. To go along with his .309 career batting average, 2,825 hits, 591 home runs, and 1,817 RBIs, Pujols has also led the NL in home runs twice and RBIs once, and has a batting title to his name. I wish he would have stayed with the Cardinals because I love when players spend their whole career with one team, but the dude had to get his money. Bet the Angels are kicking themselves for that contract. (Source: Twitter)
As impressive as it was being married to Marilyn Monroe, DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak is arguably the most impressive feat in the history of sports. MLB players have said how hard it is to get a hit during a game, so the fact he did it for a record 56 straight times, with the next closest guy being 11 games behind him, is an unbelievable achievement. I'd be shocked if I saw someone beat that during my life. (Source: Twitter)
This may not be a popular take amongst Yankee fans, but I loved A-Rod, absolutely loved him. Don't even care that he took steroids, or didn't live up to his contract, when he was in his prime he was one of the best players from the plate of all time. Just to prove my point (steroids aside) here's a look at some of his career achievements: 696 home runs, 3,115 hits, 2,086 RBIs, 5 AL home run titles, 1 batting title, and 2 MLB RBI titles. Now did I love him more than Jeter? No, that'd be idiotic, but I think that Rodriguez got too bad of a rap, but I can also admit he brought a lot of it upon himself. (Source: Twitter)
By all accounts, Ty Cobb was a terrible person and mega scumbag when he was playing baseball, but man oh man was he a good hitter. It may have been back when the talent wasn't as good as it is today, but he batted over .400 three times in his career, has a career batting average of .367, and has over 4,000 career hits. He may have been a huge racist, but the guy could hit the hell out of a baseball. (Source: Twitter)
There are many people out there (old, stuffy, annoying baseball writers) that still think Hank Aaron is still the all-time MLB leaders in home runs with 755 because of the whole Steroid Era in baseball (I'll get to that later). But besides hitting an absurd amount of home runs, "Hammerin' Hank" (baseball players have the best nicknames, there I said it) also had a career batting average of .305, 2,297 career RBIs, 3,771 hits, 2 NL Batting titles, and 4 NL home run titles. (Source: Twitter)
So as Cleveland attempts to Defend The Land, and their hopes of being back to back World Champions, remember that these two sides have a long way to go before they scale the lofty heights of these 22 competitors.