The 6 Greatest Athletes Over 40…Ever!

Brett Favre turned 40 at the start of the 2009-10 season but will he come back for the 2011 season? We will know in a few weeks when training camp starts up. He may be one of the greatest quaterbacks of all-time but can he match the successes that these guys had after turning the big 4-0.

1. Nolan Ryan

If you think Favre has a strong arm, you’ve never seen Ryan pitch. Ryan first came up with the Mets in 1966. He would retire in 1993, nearly 30 years later.

After turning 40, Ryan had four seasons with more than 200 IP, had an ERA over 3.72 just once, struck out more than 1,400 batters, and threw two no-hitters.


2. George Foreman

Foreman retired from boxing, a sport where you are paid to get hit – repeatedly, at an astounding 47-years-old.  Even after turning 40, Foreman was no slouch!  He fought to a 12-3 record over the seven years past “Middle Age” . . .and even today I’m not getting in the ring with that Granddaddy.


3. Roger Clemens

Clemens played for five years after turning 40-years-0ld. Over that time he won 61 games, struck out more than 750 batters, and had a Cy Young-caliber year for the Astros when he finished the season with a ridiculous 1.87 ERA.


4. Gordie Howe

Gordie Howe is considered by many to be the best athlete over 40 ever, putting up great numbers until he turned a remarkable 51 . . . but he played hockey, which gets no respect,  so he is only fourth on this list.

Still, you can’t knock a guy who scored nearly 300 goals after turning 40.


5. Warren Moon

The guy Favre will be compared to the most is Warren Moon, one of the few NFL players to make it past 40, playing for another five years.

Moon would be voted into the Pro Bowl at 41-years-old while passing for nearly 3,700 yards and 25 touchdowns.


6. Jerry Rice

Few NFL players make it past 35, much less 40. Rice played for four years after turning 40, amassing more than 1,200 receiving yards at 40-years-old and more than 850 yards at 41-years-old.  recently of Pro vs Joes he deeked the pants of of guys more than half his age.

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  1. Ij says:


  2. […] more from the original source:  The 6 Best Athletes Over 40 – Ever. : COED Magazine Share and […]

  3. Bildo says:

    Nolan Ryan was still throwing in the high nineties, and would at times hit 100, after he turned 40. Throwing a no-hitter at 43, in the age of steroid enhanced hitters no less, is a feat that may never be matched.

  4. GW says:

    A link to Nolan Ryan's career stats.

    You missed his last year, which was an injury-prone year that ended the career. STILL: 7 (SEVEN) no hitters. Seven!


    And yes, Randy Couture should be on this.

  5. Roger Clemens did it on Steroids… *ASTERISK* all over that. Minnie Minoso played Major League Baseball in 4 consecutive decades and was called up to play at the age of 57?! What about Julio Franco??! The dude played Major League Baseball until the age of 51.

  6. Rev. Fabulous says:

    Satchel Paige was a Major League Rookie at 42, due to the color-line. Debuted with the Cleveland Indians in 1948, pitched his last game with the Kansas City A's in 1965 at the age of 59.

  7. carldec says:

    Forman should be number one on this list… followed by the NFL players and Gordy Howe. Winning a heavyweight prize fight in your late 40's has to be one of the most amazing feats ever.

    Being a modern baseball pitcher would rank way down the list for me. Yes, they had amazing careers but its way easier on the old body than being a NFL Quarterback or NHL player.

    You should also give a tip of the hat to Satchel Paige and Jim Thorpe. They both had amazing careers after 40… Were not totally sure how old Satchel was to begin with but when he finally had his shot at "white" baseball he was officially the oldest rookie ever at 47 but may have been in his 50s… (some say early 60's). He played his last baseball game in 1966 and was born before 1906. Jim Thorpe was playing NFL football, Pro Basketball and Major League baseball in his early 40's and played in an exhibition baseball league during World War 2 when he was in his fifties.

    One to watch in 2010 is Michael Schumacher who is returning to Formula One as a driver for Mercedes at age 41. But he has a ways to go since Juan Manuel Fangio won his last F1 World Driving Championship in 1958 at age 47.

  8. Thomas Miller says:

    George Blanda played in the NFL until either 48 or 49 – mostly as a kicker as tiem went on, but he did spell Daryl Lamonica at QB during his last two years

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