The 10 Most Famous Pro Athletes Named Michael

"If I could be like Mike..."

Michael is one of the most popular male names in the world. In the US, it was in the top three baby names every year for the long stretch of 1953 to 2010. With so many Michaels (and Mikes!) running around, it's no surprise it's also the first name of some of the most famous professional athletes to ever shoot, catch, bat, swim, hit, score, and... well, you get the point.

01
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Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan dunk
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According to the NBA, Michael Jordan is "the greatest basketball player of all time." Despite the other guy who wears number 23, it's hard to argue with that statement. Jordan is a five-time NBA MVP, six-time NBA champion, six-time NBA Finals MVP, and the list goes on. Plus he starred in Space Jam (arguably one of the greatest basketball films ever) and has an entire Air Jordan sneaker collection with a cult-like following. With his dunking days behind him, MJ is now owner of the Charlotte Hornets.

02
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Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps
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As swimming's most well-known athlete, Michael Phelps has gotten into a bit of hot water in the past in the form of DUIs and controversial photos. But in the pool, Phelps is flawless. He's been the World Swimmer of the Year seven times and the American Swimmer of the year nine times. He (and his 6' 7" arm span) holds the world records in the 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter butterfly, and 400-meter individual relay, among other events. And he is the most decorated Olympian of all time with a total of 22 medals—18 of them gold, naturally.

03
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Michael Strahan

Michael Strahan
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The always charismatic Michael Strahan is not just Kelly Ripa's co-host on "Live with Kelly and Michael." He was a real athlete, too! As a defensive end in the NFL, he set a record for the most sacks per season and was named the Sports Illustrated NFL Player of the Year in 2001. In a sport where players often bounce from team to team, Strahan spent his entire 15-season football career with the New York Giants and earned himself a Super Bowl ring before he retired in 2007.

04
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Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson
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The "Man with the Golden Shoes" was one of the fastest and most consistent sprinters in the history of track and field. Johnson is the only male runner to ever win the 200-meter and 400-meter events at the same Olympic Games. In fact, the United States Track and Field Hall of Fame named his 200-meter race at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta the greatest track and field moment of the last 25 years. And no one has matched his world and Olympic record for 400 meters yet either.

05
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Mike Schmidt

Mike Schmidt
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As the third baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies (and often considered the greatest in history), Mike Schmidt hit 548 homers, drove in 1,595 runs, and won 10 Gold Gloves from 1972 to 1989. He also won three MVP awards, and led the Phillies to its 1980 World Series title. After an 18-year career, Schmitty was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995. These days, he's traded in his bat for some golf clubs, and you can find him swinging at many charitable golfing events.

06
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Michael Oher

Michael Oher
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Even if you don't follow sports closely, you probably know Michael Oher. The movie , starring Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw, shared his inspiring story. After overcoming a difficult childhood, Oher became an All-American at the University of Mississippi. The offensive tackle started his NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens (and won the Super Bowl in 2013), but today he lines up with the Carolina Panthers.

07
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Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson
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Between the giant tribal tattoo on his face, his cameo in , and his high-pitched voice, it's hard to take Mike Tyson seriously as an athlete. Not to mention the very serious rape charge and the ear-biting incident of 1997. But we're only looking at his stats: 50 wins, six losses, and 44 knockouts in his career. Iron Mike is a former heavyweight champion of the world and holds the record as the youngest boxer to win three boxing titles.

08
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Mike Ditka

Mike Ditka
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Another "Iron Mike," Mike Ditka is an NFL legend as a former player, coach, and commenter. He was considered the best tight end in college football history (at the University of Pittsburgh), and joined the NFL in 1961. He played for the Chicago Bears and won the Super Bowl with them, but also spent time on the Eagles' and Cowboys' rosters. As coach of the Bears from 1982-1992, Ditka became the only individual in modern NFL history to win a championship with the same team as a player and head coach.

09
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Mike Piazza

Mike Piazza
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Baseball catchers have one of the most grueling jobs on the whole diamond, but Mike Piazza made a name for himself when he stepped out from behind the plate. During his career at bat with the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets (among other teams), Piazza was considered the best offensive catcher of all time. He holds the career record for home runs by a catcher with a total of 427 and has a .308 batting average.

10
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Michael Vick

Michael Vick
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Yes, NFL quarterback Michael Vick still makes this list despite being more famous for his off-the-field dog fighting ring scandal than his actual playing. In fact, because he's currently a free agent, who knows where he'll be playing come next season! During his time on the Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, and New York Jets, however, he accumulated the most career rushing yards of any other quarterback in the league.