Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Rafer Johnson 2

Posted on August 02, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Rafer Johnson

Rafer Johnson

In recognition of the 25th anniversary of the 1984 Summer Olympics, we are honoring as the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Week the person who received the prestigious honor of lighting the Olympic Flame at the opening ceremonies of those games.

Because success in the decathlon requires high-level performances in 10 significantly different events, decathlon champions have traditionally been considered to be the best athletes in the world. Few have ever been better than Rafer Johnson.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

      Read more »

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