Comparing the incomparable

This page presents a list of sporting immortals ranked objectively across six different fields of competition.

All rankings are final, all choices are arbitrary and all errors solely the author’s.

Apples & Oranges has rated more than 700 players so far. More detail will be coming, but for now here’s the top 20:

NameSportGamesTotalPer 160Rating
WG GraceCricket870140.5025.8437.69
Wilt ChamberlainBasketball1205177.3723.5536.87
Michael JordanBasketball1251179.0022.8936.27
Babe RuthBaseball2544302.3817.9535.34
Ty CobbBaseball3052318.0116.6734.50
George LohmannCricket29350.0527.3334.41
Frank TarrantCricket32955.4126.9534.39
Mike ProcterCricket69597.5724.1334.00
Kareem Abdul-JabbarBasketball1797215.8619.2233.91
Willie MaysBaseball3017305.9716.2333.72
Karl MaloneBasketball1669203.0219.4633.71
Barry BondsBaseball3034306.6116.1733.68
Hank AaronBaseball3315321.6315.5233.46
Shaquille O’NealBasketball1423177.2919.9333.25
George MikanBasketball61190.2323.6333.13
Ferenc PuskásSoccer35556.6625.5433.06
Kobe BryantBasketball1566188.4319.2532.98
Tris SpeakerBaseball2809279.4215.9232.63

If you’re curious what all this means, I lay out my methodology here.

In addition to the top 20, the position-by-position rankings for BaseballCricketFootball, BasketballSoccer and Hockey are fleshed out, complete with commentary. More player profiles will be updated daily.

This project has been more than a decade in the making. Some of the data used here was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet. Interested parties may contact Retrosheet at Other sources include Baseball Reference, Pro Football Reference, Basketball Reference, Hockey ReferenceThe Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation, Cricket Archive, 11v11, Football Club History Database, HockeyDB, BDFutbol, JustSportsStats, Eurohockey and BBall Sports.