Here are the top 10 sports figures of the 1960's. The 1960's were a time of athletic excellence and a list of the top ten sports figures of the 1960's illustrates the championship level and the amazing players of this decade. The NFL inaugurated the Super Bowl game in January 1967, and the sports of golf, baseball, hockey and boxing took front page headlines when super stars had outstanding performances.
- Wilt Chamberlain. The year 1962 saw Wilt score 100 points—a scoring record for a single game, in the match between his team, the Philadelphia Warriors, and the New York Nicks. He beat an earlier record, his own, of 78 made just three months before that. Wilt was on fire during the 1960's and continued to break records. Chamberlain is a top ten sports figure of the 1960's.
- Jim Brown. Cleveland Brown's player Jim Brown helped lead the team to the 1964 NFL championship. Considered by some to be the greatest player in the game, not just the 1960's, Brown retired from the sport in 1965. Before that time, he ran for a single season record in 1963 and held records for touchdowns. The present-day Cleveland Browns could use his talents!
- Muhammad Ali. The boxing sports figure Muhammad Ali, who competed until the mid-1960s as Cassius Clay, was a contender. After taking the gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics, Ali turned professional. He was the first boxer to capture the heavyweight championship three times. Despite a gap in his career in the 1960's, he established a new style and presence in boxing.
- Bill Russell. The basketball master Russell claimed eleven championship rings. If that doesn't earn a spot on the top sport figures list for the decade of the 60's, add his career 21,620 rebounds and eleven championships in just thirteen seasons with the Boston Celtics. Many folks think Russell was the best player who ever lived, which ertainly earns him a sport on the top ten sports figures of the 1960's.
- Sandy Koufax. Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Sandy Koufax, a lefty, blazed his way to the record books in the 196'0s. From 1962 and 1966, Koufax won 111 games and had three shutouts, not to mention four no-hitters and a perfect game in 1965. Too bad he was forced to retire after the 1966 season due to arthritis.
- Willie Mays. New York Giant Willie Mays played the game top to bottom. He could hit, field, run and capture headlines. "The Say Hey Kid," his nickname, make the top ten sports figures of the 1960's list with dual MVP awards and dozens of All-Star Game nods. Mays cleared the fence for 50 home runs in 1965.
- Gordie Howe. Hockey player Howe had the longest career of most players, leaving the game after 32 years on the planet. That's a legacy by itself, but Howe also won six MVP awards and held a handful of records until the upstart Wayne Gretsky started playing. And as if this record didn't earn a spot on the top sport figures list, don't forget his six scoring championships.
- Johnny Unitas. Gridiron sports figure Johnny Unitas was a player to be reckoned with in the 1950's and his power playing continued during the 1960s winning the NFL's MVP in 1964 and 1967. He quarterbacked his team with at least one touchdown pass for 47 games in a row in the 1960 football season.
- Arnold Palmer. Golfer Arnold Palmer had major competition from the young up-and-comer Jack Nicklaus, but early in the decade of the 1960's, the greens and links were Palmer's. Arnold won the Masters Tournament in 1960, 1962 and 1964, the U.S. Open in 1960 and the British Open in 1961 and 1962. Between 1960 and 1963 he won 29 titles and earned near the mid-six figures, in a time when money was worth something.
- Bart Starr. This Green Bay Packer quarterback was not a flashy passer but still won five NFL championships in seven years. Starr threw 290 consecutive passes without one interception and threw eleven touchdowns with only one interception in his six NFL championship games. Not usually a top ten lister, but with these stats, he deserves it.
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