10 Athletes with Other Professions
Athletes are a set of talented people who have everything: fame, wealth, glamour. They need not ask for more. Yet, some athletes are not satisfied with being in sports alone. They wish to get a little more from life, perhaps to push themselves a little further and cross the boundary of their own capabilities, and explore some new side of themselves, venturing into a new profession. Some take up business from the contacts they establish during their career, while some take up acting to present themselves in a whole new way to the fans. Many find their passion and take up music or painting, while some decide to serve the country. There are many professions that the athletes have chosen to be in beside sports, be it during their career as an athlete, or after it. Let us take a look at 10 Athletes with Other Professions.
10 Athletes with Other Professions
10. Whitey Ford
Whitey Ford is a former American Major League Baseball player, and he spent 16 seasons playing as a pitcher with the New York Yankees. Apart from being a player, he also served in the military. He is noted as one of the most successful athletes with other professions. He was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1947, and he began his Major League career in 1950 with the Yankees, and had a spectacular debut that soon translated into an excellent season. After the first season in which he finished second in the voting of Rookie of the Year, he missed the next two seasons in 1951 and 1952, because he was service in the US Army during the Korean War. After that, he returned to baseball, and was able to pick up where he had left off with the Yankees. He went on to win 6 World Series, the 1961 Cy Young, and make 10 All-Star games. He is inducted on the 10th spot in the list of our 10 Athletes with Other Professions.
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9. Ernie Barnes
1938 born Ernie Barnes, considered among the most well-known of athletes with other professions, was an African-American professional football player who was better known as a painter. He was also an author and actor. As a professional football player, he played for the Baltimore Colts, Titans of New York, San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos. He also played at the Canadian Football League with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He was an excellent painter since his college days, and his first painting sale was in 1959. He was particularly famous for his unique style of elongation and movement. His work has inspired numerous artists. One of his most famous paintings was the Sugar Shack. His work also appears on several album covers. He is also noted for his sports art, and he was appointed as the Official Sports Artist for the Games of the XXIII Olympiad. He is inducted on the 9th spot in the list of our 10 Athletes with Other Professions.
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8. George Foreman
George Foreman is a retired American professional boxer who has been a two-time World Heavyweight Champion and an Olympic gold medallist. He is also an entrepreneur and an author, and one of the greatest among athletes with other professions. Foreman took up boxing to deal with his troubled childhood, and became quite successful, as he went on to win a gold medal in the 1968 Olympics, and beat then-undefeated Joe Frazier in the World Heavyweight Championship. His first retirement was in 1977. In 1994, he returned to become the oldest Heavyweight Champion. He retired again in 1997. He claimed that it was healthy eating that helped him return from retirement. He became the spokesperson for the fat-reducing grill of Russell Hobbs Inc., and as a result of Foreman’s design, the George Foreman Grill became a success. He is inducted on the 8th spot in the list of our 10 Athletes with Other Professions.
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7. Wayman Tisdale
Wayman Tisdale was an American basketball player who played in the NBA. He was also a smooth jazz bass guitar player, and was thus one of the most well-known athletes with other professions. During his earlier years, he was not interested in the sport of basketball, and had no plans to take it up as a career. He was more interested in music, and even when he started playing basketball since the eighth standard, he continued to play bass guitar at his father’s church, and even after being recruited to the University of Oklahoma, and for him, the practice schedule had to be changed to make room for music. As a part of the winning team of the US, he won an Olympic gold in 1984. He played for the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns at the NBA. As a musician, he launched an album Power Forward. His Face to Face was the No. 1 on Billboard’s contemporary jazz chart. He is inducted on the 7th spot in the list of our 10 Athletes with Other Professions.
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6. Ted Williams
One of the greatest of athletes with other professions, Ted Williams, born in 1918, was an American professional baseball player. He also served in the US military. As a baseball player, he played for 19 season in the Major League Baseball for the Boston Red Sox as a left fielder. He was noted for his stunning hitting capability, and had earned various nicknames. His achievements and honours include being named two-time American League Most Valuable Player, six-time batting champion, 17-time All-Star and two-time Triple Crown winner. He entered active duty with the US Navy in 1943 for World War II, a year after winning the AL Triple Crown, and served three years. In 1944 he was certified as a Naval Aviator. After 8 years, during the Korean War, he was recalled to active duty and he flew 39 combat missions. He is inducted on the 6th spot in the list of our 10 Athletes with Other Professions.
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5. Patrick Dempsey
Patrick Dempsey is an American race car driver. He is one of those who actively maintains two separate careers, making him one of the most successful of athletes with other professions, though he started with acting first and is more known for his role, he was noted mentioning in an interview that auto racing is not just a hobby but something he takes very seriously. He started acting with a stage production of Torch Song Trilogy, and his first major feature film was In The Mood at the age of 21. His most famous films are Sweet Home Alabama and Enchanted, and he gained major attention with his role as a doctor in the ABC TV series, Grey’s Anatomy starting 2005. His first Pro class race was the 2006 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race and was 2nd. He has competed in various prestigious pro-am events, like 24 Hours of Le Mans and many more. He is inducted on the 5th spot in the list of our 10 Athletes with Other Professions.
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4. Venus Williams
Venus Williams is an American professional tennis player. She is a former World No. 1 and is currently ranked World No. 11 in singles. She is also an entrepreneur, and one of those successful athletes who could not wait for her retirement to enter a business venture. She became the first African-American woman to become a World No. 1 in Tennis, and has been given the honour three times. She has a total of 22 Grand Slam titles. She has several feathers in her hat, and is credited for changing the face of the game for women. As a business owner, she is the CEO of an interior design firm, V Starr. She teamed with Steve & Barry’s to launch her fashion line, EleVen. She and her sister, Serena, are part-owners of football team Miami Dolphins. Venus co-wrote Come to Win; on How Sports Can Help You Top Your Profession in 2010. She is one of the most successful among athletes with other professions. She is inducted on the 4th spot in the list of our 10 Athletes with Other Professions.
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3. Jim Thorpe
Jim Thorpe, born in 1888, is considered one of the most versatile athletes of modern sports, as he chose to play a number of sports simultaneously as alternate careers, which makes his inclusion in the list of the most famous athletes with other professions a must. He won the Olympic gold medals in 1912 for pentathlon and decathlon, though he lost his medals after He was found to have been paid for playing semi-professional baseball for two seasons, before competing in the Olympics, and had thus violated the rules regarding amateurism that was in place at that time. He played collegiate and professional level American football. He also played professional basketball and baseball. He participated in various sports at a professional level until the age of 41, and ended his career with the start of Great Depression. He had to do odd jobs to earn his living. He is inducted on the 3rd spot in the list of our 10 Athletes with Other Professions.
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2. Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova is a Russian professional tennis player who is a former World No. 1 and a current World No. 2. She also owns her own candy line, in collaboration with candy veteran Jeff Rubin, making her one of the most successful athletes with other professions. Sharapova has been named World No. 1 on five different occasions. She is the reigning champion in the French Open in singles. She has a total of 34 singles titles and five Grand Slam titles. She won a silver medal at the London Games for Russia. She is noted for a rare longevity of women in tennis, with at least one singles title a year from 2003 to 2015. She has many other achievements in tennis. She is also known for being featured in a number of modelling assignments. Her business venture is a candy line named Sugarpova, which is described on the company website as “…a premium candy line that reflects the fun, fashionable, sweet side of international tennis sensation Maria Sharapova.” She is inducted on the second spot in the list of our 10 Athletes with Other Professions.
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1. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger is perhaps one of the most famous of athletes with other professions. The Austrian-born American is a former professional bodybuilder, as well as an actor, model, producer, director, entrepreneur, writer and politician. After winning the Mr. Universe title at 20, he went on to win the Mr. Olympia title 7 times, the last being in 1980, and remained a prominent figure in the industry. He has writer several articles and books on this sport. His acting career took off with the 1970 film Hercules in New York. He has worked in several other films, the most famous being The Terminator. As a Republican, he was elected in 2003 in a special election. In 2011, he finished his 2nd term as a governor of California. He is various business ventures, like real estate, restaurant, etc. He is inducted on the top spot in the list of our 10 Athletes with Other Professions.
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These players, and many more, have shown their prowess in not just sports but other fields as well. While some of them have taken up two or more professions simultaneously, other have waited for their retirement to follow their passion or dream. For some, sports is not even the full time profession. Be it by taking up business ventures, following the heart to do something more artistic like acting, painting or dabbling in music, by serving the country, or just by playing other sports, these players have shown that they are more than just one thing.