21 Vintage Photos Of Famous Athletes You've Probably Never Seen

Athletes can generate not only wonderful sporting moments but also amazing pictures. Get ready to enjoy a visual feast with 20 of the most iconic photos in sports history. Some of them were captured at just the right moment and may make you doubt your eyes.

1. Tiger Woods And Greg Norman

This picture of Woods and Greg Norman was taken at the 1995 Masters when a then 19-year-old Woods started his first major championship. As the only amateur to make the cut, he ranked 41st in the tournament overall. Norman finished tied for third place. At the time no-one could have expected this little boy would become one of the greatest golfers of all time.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_1

2. Where Stephen Curry's Legend Began

Stephen Curry played for the Queensway Christian College Saints boys' basketball team in 2001 and 2002. Curry lit up the court even when he was a young boy. It was no surprise that he would go on to be a professional NBA player.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_2

3. Shaquille O'Neal And Monica Seles

Shaquille O'Neal, a four-time NBA champion, and Monica Seles, a tennis star with nine Grand Slam singles titles, shared a moment at the press conference of the restaurant they co-invested in.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_3

4. Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant was so focused on the game that he had no idea what was going on around him.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_4

5. Serena Williams' First World's No.1 Ranking

Serena Williams defeated her sister Venus Williams, who at the time was a two-time defending champion, in the final of the Wimbledon in 2002. It was her first Wimbledon singles title.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_5

6. Cincinnati Reds' Dive

Known as Charlie Hustle for his intense style of play, Cincinnati Reds all-time great Pete Rose was always willing to throw his body around. No picture will represent that better than the one here of him literally diving with no helmet on.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_6

7. Ali Won Gold

In the 1960 Rome Olympics, a young boy named Cassius, who would become Muhammad Ali just four years later, won the Light Heavyweight gold medal with a 4-0 victory over a Polish boxer. It would be Ali's only Olympic games as an athlete.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_7

8. Young Phil Mickelson And Dapper Dr. J

Before Phil Mickelson became the face of golf in the 2000s, he was a young student and an amateur golfer at Arizona State University. Here, Phil shared a moment with dapper Dr. J at a banquet.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_8

9. They Didn't Call Michael Jordan Air Jordan For Nothing

Air Jordan leaped from the free throw line and scored a perfect 50 points to defeat Dominique Wilkins in the finals of the Slam Dunk Contest.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_9

10. Joe DiMaggio Set A World Record That Still Stands Today

Legendary MLB player Joe DiMaggio, who was also Marilyn Monroe's second husband, set a record in 1941 with a 56-game hitting streak. It has become known as one of the most impressive streaks in baseball history and hasn't been broken yet.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_10

11. First NBA Finals

The first NBA finals took place in 1947 between the Chicago Stages and the Philadelphia Warriors. At that time, the Basketball Association of America (BAA) was the sport's main governing body. Several seasons later, the BAA and the National Basketball League (NBL) merged together to form the NBA that we know today. Eventually, Philadelphia won series 4-1. The NBA considered all BAA records to be their own, which meant the 1947 Finals became the first NBA Finals in history.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_11

12. Michael Jordan Was So Passionate About Super Cars

Not only was Michael Jordan a famous NBA player, he was also known as an avid sports car collector. Jordan was often spotted driving to the arena in some of the flashiest cars around, like Ferraris and Aston Martins. He even had his iconic Air Jordan XIVs shoes designed after a Ferrari F335.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_12

13. Wayne Gretzky Hoists the Cup

Wayne "The Great One" Gretzky is undoubtedly one of the greatest hockey players of all time. He led Edmonton Oilers to four Stanley Cups championships during his career. The photo here captured the moment he was hoisting the cup for the first time in 1984.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_13

14. Michael Phelps Won By A Narrow Margin

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Michael Phelps touched out Serbian swimmer Milorad Cavic by 0.01 second in the 100-meter butterfly final. It was the seventh of Phelps' record eight golds during the Games.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_14

15. Willie Mays' Catch

A 12-time Gold Glove winner, Willie Mays, made one of his best defensive plays in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series. He hauled in Vic Wertz's drive near the wall to help the Giants hang on to a 5-2 win.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_15

16. Vince Lombardi Rides Off Into Victory

Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Jerry Kramer carried head coach Vince Lombardi off the field after the team's 33-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders during Super Bowl II in 1968.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_16

17. Arnold Schwarzenegger And Raquel Welch Were So Close

Before Arnold Schwarzenegger gained worldwide fame as a Hollywood action film icon, he was known to people as a professional bodybuilder. Schwarzenegger began his acting career in the late 1960s and officially retired from bodybuilding in 1980. In the picture here, Schwarzenegger held Raquel Welch at the Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, 1977.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_17

18. Bill Russell VS. Wilt Chamberlain

Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics boxed out Wilt Chamberlain of the 76ers in the 1968 NBA Eastern Division Finals.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_18

19. Dennis Rodman's Flying 

Chicago Bulls power forward Dennis Rodman went horizontal for a loose ball during a game against the Packers.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_19

20. Eddie Gaedel: Small In Size, Big On Power

Standing just 3'7" tall, Eddie Gaedel became the smallest person in MLB history when he pinch-hit in a game against Detroit in 1951. Wearing '1/8' on his jersey, Gaedel walked on four pitches in the first inning.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_20

21. Hardworking Greg Olson

Atlanta Braves catcher Greg Olson went head over heels on the plate as he tagged Minnesota left fielder Dan Gladden out at home during Game 1 of the 1991 World Series. Due to plays like this, Olson helped the Twins win the Series in seven games.

21-vintage-photos-of-famous-athletes-youve-probably-never-seen_21

Trending