2008 was a big year in sports and was a big year for athletes. Naming the top 10 athletes is a challenging task. Unfortunately, a great athlete will be over looked or left of the list. Football players were excluded from this list due to the awards coming late in the year or early in the next year. Tom Brady won the MVP Award for the NFL for 2007 in 2008. However, this list contains Olympians, baseball stars, basketball stars, hockey stars, and World Cup skiers.
1) At the top of the list would be Michael Phelps. The Olympic swimmer won an amazing eight Gold Medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics. “Michael Phelps won gold medals in men’s 200M freestyle, men’s 100m Butterfly, men’s 200m Butterfly, men’s 200m individual medley, and men’s 400m individual medley. He also won gold medals in the team events men’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay, men’s 4 x 200m freestyle relay and men’s 4 x 100m medley relay.”
2) A list of the top athletes of 2008 would not be complete without Kobe Bryant. Kobe Bryant won the NBA MVP for the 2007-2008 Season. Kobe Bryant also led the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Finals in 2008. Then for an encore, Kobe Bryant was part of Team USA which won the Olympic Gold Medal in Beijing.
3) Jamaica’s Usain Bolt deserves to be among the top ten athletes of 2008 for winning the Gold Medal in the 100 meter race and the 200 meter race at the 2008 Olympics. Not only did he win those races he also set world records in both events while winning Olympic Gold.
4) Young stars like Alexander Ovechkin are helping the NHL move back to the sports forefront. In 2008 Alexander Ovechkin won the Hart Trophy as the leagues MVP. Ovechkin lead the league in goals scored with 65 and lead the league in points with 112. Leading in those categories Alexander also brought home the Art Ross Trophy and Rocket Richard Trophy. The only trophy missing was the Stanley Cup which one day may have Alexander Ovechkin’s name on it.
5) Skier Bode Miller who many called a disappointment in the 2006 Winter Olympics, who bounced back in 2007 to finish fourth in the FIS Alpine World Cup. In 2008 Bode Miller bounced all the way back to be the World Cup Champion in 2008. He was also the World Cup Champion in 2005.
6) Dustin Pedroia won the American League MVP Award for 2008. Pedroia becomes the first second baseman “to win the MVP award since Nellie Fox in 1959 with the Chicago White Sox.” Dustin also won a silver slugger award for 2008 and a Gold Glove Award for 2008. The 25 year old Pedroia was named Rookie of the Year in 2007. Dustin batted .326 with 17 home runs, batting in 83 and scoring 118 runs for the Boston Red Sox.
7) Albert Pujals won his second MVP award in 2008 for the St. Louis Cardinals. Pujals hit .357 slugging 37 home runs and driving in 116 runs. Albert also scored 100 runs for the Cardinals.
8) Skier Lindsey Vonn who just turned 24, was the woman’s overall alpine World Cup Champion in 2008. Her World Cup win combined with Bode Miller’s marks the first time in 25 years USA has swept the World Cup Champions.
9) Tim Lincecum, the 24 year old pitcher for the San Francisco Giants for winning the 2008 National League Cy Young. “The right-handed pitcher went 18-5 with a 2.62 earn run average. He pitched in 34 games and hurled 227 innings. Tim led the majors in strike outs with 265.”
10) Staying with pitchers, Cliff Lee of the Cleveland Indians won the American League Cy Young. Cliff Lee went 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA for an 81-81 Cleveland team.
“Top 10 Sports Stories of 2008” by Mike Spain Associated Content 11/29/2008
“My Sportsman: Usain Bolt” by Tim Layden Sports Illustrated 12/1/2008
“Tim Lincecum Wins NL CY Young” by Mike Spain 11/12/2008
“Pedroia Becomes first 2B to win AL MVP since 1959” Fox Sports 11/19/2008
“Albert Pujals powers way to 2nd NL MVP award” Fox Sports 11/18/2008