10 Best Italian-American Athletes of All-Time

There’s a lot to love about Italian-Americans. This list will only make the feeling stronger.

Many of them defined the generation they played in. You cheered for them even if they didn’t play for your team. Hard to dismiss their contribution to our culture.

Building this least is no easy feat. Lets set the ground rules. Each has to self identify as Italian-American. Below are 10 of our favorites. Feel free to fight us in the comments if you disagree.

10) Lou Ferrigno

Unlike the actors of today, he didn’t need special effects to play, The Incredible Hulk. He just is.

Winner of two Mr Universe competitions and one American Championship.

9) Mike Piazza

The greatest hitting catcher of all-time. Travesty it took him so long to make the Hall of Fame. Find me one team in the history of the sport who wouldn’t take Mike in his prime.

8) Tony Esposito

Hall of Famer and three time goalie of the year. His brother was pretty good, too.

7) Phil Esposito

Tony Esposito’s brother. A Hall of Famer himself with two MVP’s.

6) Willie Pep

I had never heard of Willie until doing my research. Holy shit. This guy is amazing. Get this. A record of 229-11-1 with 65 KO’s. We just ducked looking at his picture.

5) Mario Andretti

4x Indy Car Champion and Hall of Famer. Mario’s had a pretty amazing post driving career as an owner and a spokesperson.

4) Rocky Marciano

49-0 with 43 KO’s. He’s the only fighter in history to remain undefeated into retirement.

3) Dan Marino

The greatest quarterback to never win a Super Bowl? MVP, Hall of Famer, and more than 420 career touchdowns.

2) Joe Montana

4x Super Bowl Champion. Accolades too long to list. Everyone grew up wanting to be Joe.

1) Joe DiMaggio

Is listing marrying Marilyn Monroe the legacy he wants? Nah. Still not a bad thing to be known for. 9x World Series Winner and holder of the longest hitting streak there will ever be at 56 games.

Bonus: Rocky Balboa

We get he isn’t real, but for a long time he was Philadelphia’s only champion. Beating Ivan Drago, Machine Gun Morrison, and Apollo Creed. Am we the only ones that do Rocky marathons once per year?

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