Many Athletes Have Entered the Political Arena: Here’s a Lengthy List

ATHLETES AND POLITICS by Arnold Bailey

BASEBALL:

Walter Ancker: Right-handed Pitcher & Local Politics.

One season (1915) with Philadelphia Athletics – 0-0 in 4 games.

Served on local boards including Bergen County (N.J.) Board of

Freeholders (county legislature); Republican.

No cards.

 

Randy Bass: First Baseman in MLB and in Japan & State Senator.

6 seasons in Major Leagues (1977-1982), 5 teams; batted .212;

then, very successful career in Japan (won 4 batting titles, 2 triple

crowns; remembered for “Curse of Colonel Sanders” incident).

Oklahoma state senator, Democrat.

14 cards – 1979 Topps #707 rookie card.

 

Rick Bosetti: Outfielder & Mayor.

6 seasons in Major Leagues with 4 teams, batted .250.

Elected Mayor of Redding, California, also city council; candidate for

election to state assembly (legislature) 2012 election; Republican.

About 20 cards – 1978 Topps #710 Rookie Card.


Jim Bunning
: Hall of Fame Pitcher & U.S. Senate.

17 seasons in Major Leagues- 1955-71; (mostly Tigers and Phillies),

2 no-hitters including perfect game in 1964; 9-time all-star.

Long-time member of U.S. Senate (1999-2011) from Kentucky; also

U.S. Rep (1987-99), city council, state senate Kentucky; GOP.

Many cards – 1957 Topps – #338 Rookie Card.

 

George H. W. Bush: Yale Baseball Captain & President

Captained both the baseball and soccer teams in prep school, then was

baseball captain at Yale & first-baseman, played in the first two

College World Series; famous photo of him with Babe Ruth.

Elected to Congress from Texas as Republican in 1966; served as Vice

President from 1981-1989; elected President in 1988. Among

his GOP primary opponents was football star Jack Kemp.

4 baseball cards: 3 in the Megacards Babe Ruth series.

 

Tommy Byrne: Left-handed Pitcher & Mayor

13 seasons in MLB, most successful with Yankees; 85-69 career; fast and

wild (led AL in walks 3 times; hit 85 –led AL 5 times; good hitter.

Mayor of Lake Forest, N.C. (1973-78).

28 cards – 1951 Bowman #73 was his best.


Ray Collins
: Left-handed Pitcher & State Representative

7 seasons in big leagues with Red Sox, 1909-1915; 84-62 career,

20-13 in 1914 his best season; known for great control.

Served as state representative in Vermont legislature, also a Trustee

of University of Vermont (his alma mater).

6 cards – 1911 Sporting Life M116 – #4.

 

Dave Edler: Infielder & Mayor.

4 seasons in big leagues (1980-1983) with Seattle; third baseman;

.216 career average.

Mayor of Yakima, Washington; also on city council; Republican;

pastor of evangelical congregation.

7 cards – 1981 Fleer #610; 1980 Spokane (AAA) Indians #15.

 

Walter Johnson: Great Right-handed Pitcher & Local Office.

The “”Big Train” Hall of Fame pitcher with Washington, 416-279;

Hall of Fame in original 1936 group; led AL in strikeouts 11 times.

Ran for Congress in Maryland – lost; had served as county commissioner;

Republican; (father-in-law had served in the Congress).

Many cards – 1911 T206 #172 (portrait) was among his best.

 

Bill McAfee: Right-handed Pitcher & Mayor.

5 seasons in MLB with 4 teams (1930-1934); 10-4 career record; minor

league teams included Montreal.

Served as a Mayor of Albany, Georgia.

1 card – 1928 LaPresse #23 – photo cards of players on Canadian minor-

league teams – McAfee with Montreal; (card is July 9, 1932

highlight); (LaPresse was a French-language newspaper).

 

Wilmer “Vinegar Band” Mizell: Left-handed Pitcher & Congress

9 seasons in Major Leagues with 3 teams but mostly Cardinals;

90-88 career; led NL in walks as a rookie in 1952.

Republican; elected to U.S. Congress from Mississippi, served 3 terms;

1969-75; later, appointed asst. sec. of commerce by Ford.

21 cards – 1952 Topps #334 his best.

 

Conrad Raiford: Negro Leagues Star & Local Office.

Played in Negro Leagues for New York; mentor to young black athletes

including Arthur Ashe.

Served on City Council and as Parks Commissioner in South Carolina; no

Party ID; civil rights activist; one of 1st black police officers.

No cards.
Bobby Richardson: Second Baseman & Congressional Candidate.

With Yankees 1955-1966; .266 career average; 8-time All-Star; 8 Gold

Gloves; 3 World Series championships; 1960 World Series MVP.

Lost election for Congress as Republican in South Carolina; leader of

Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Many cards: 1957 Topps #286 is his Rookie Card.

 

Nap Rucker: Left-handed Pitcher & Mayor

10 seasons in NL with Brooklyn; 134-134 career (1907-1916);

best season was 22-18 in 1911, led NL in CG in 1910 with 27;

Dodgers scout (signed Al Lopez, Dazzy Vance, etc.).

Mayor of Roswell, Georgia; later, water commissioner; Democrat.

Many cards – 1910 T206 #306 was his best.

 

John K. Tener: Pitcher/Outfielder & Governor

Three seasons (1888-1890) in MLB with Cincinnati and Pittsburgh;

25-31 record with 15-15 his best season; involved in early version

of a players association; later named first president of National Lg.

Elected as 25th Governor of Pennsylvania; a Republican; previously (1908)

elected to Congress from Pennsylvania.

Two cards – 1887 Old Judge N167 #489 his best.

 

FOOTBALL:

Alan Autry:  Pro Football & Mayor.

College of Pacific QB, then pro football; signed as QB by Green Bay 1976,

quickly cut by Coach Bart Starr.

Mayor of Fresno, Calif. (2 terms-2001-09); GOP; also an actor (best

known as Bubba Skinner in TV’s “In The Heat Of The Night.”).

No Cards.

.

John Cherberg: Player and Coach & Lieutenant Governor.

Star player then head coach at University of Washington.

Elected Lieut. Governor, State of Washington, served 32 years; Democrat.

One card – 1992 Washington Greats/Pacific #95.

 

Clint Didier: Pro Player & Active Republican.

Played tight end for Redskins and Packers; 2 Super Bowl rings.

Republican and Tea Party conservative; lost run for U.S. Senate, state of

Washington; currently candidate for commissioner of public lands.

Nine cards – 1984 Redskins and 1985 Topps Stickers #110.

           

Dwight Eisenhower: Fullback at West Point & President

A star on Army teams; legend has it that he tackled legendary Jim Thorpe;

very good and avid golfer.

Heroic leader as general during World War II; elected as 34th President of

the U.S. (1953-1961); Republican; born in Texas, raised in Kansas.

Cards in several non-sport sets and in some recent retro sports sets.

 

Gerald Ford: College Football & President.

Center and linebacker at University of Michigan including national

championship teams in 1932 & 1933; was team captain as senior

turned down pro football offer to coach at Yale.

Served in Congress and as Speaker of the House; replaced Agnew as

Vice President, succeeded Nixon as 38th President in 1974; GOP.

Included in several non-sport U.S. Presidents card sets and in some

more recent sports sets like 2005 Topps Turkey Red, 2002

Michigan Legacy.

 

Jerry Fowler: Pro Football & Elections Official.

Played in NFL as offensive tackle for Houston in 4 games in 1964.

His family long politically active; he served many years as commissioner

of elections for Lousiana; left office amid controversy; Democrat.

No cards.

 

Percy W. Griffiths: Star in College and Pro Ball & Congress.

All-American guard at Penn State and played in NFL for 1 season with

Canton Bulldogs as quarterback (at the time, QB position similar

to guard).

Mayor of Marietta, Ohio; then elected to U.S. Congress, Republican.

No Cards.

 

Edd Hargett: Quarterback & Congressional Candidate.

Star quarterback who set records at Texas A&M; led Aggies to Cotton

Bowl win in 1967; in NFL 1969-1973 with Oilers and Saints.

Lost in special election for Congress from Texas; Republican.

9 cards; 1971 Topps #226 his rookie card.

 

Craig James: Running Back and Candidate.

Star running back at SMU, then in the NFL with Patriots.

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Texas; lost in primary.

21 cards: 1984 Topps USF #128 his rookie card.

 

Fob James: Star Halfback & Governor.

All-America running back at Auburn, 1957; played pro ball in Canada.

Elected 48th Governor of Alabama (1978-83; then 1995-99), sandwiched

around terms of George Wallace.

Two cards: Auburn Coca Cola #13 & #178.

 

Jack Kemp: Star Quarterback & Congress/Vice Presidential Candidate.

Congressman from NY, presidential candidate, VP with Dole vs. Clinton

in 1996, also served as secretary of HUD, had been on Reagan

staff in California.

QB for 13 seasons in AFL; 2 championships (1964 &’65); AFL MVP ‘65

7 Pro-Bowls.

Many cards – 1960 Fleer #124 is his rookie card.

 

Mike Kenn: Offensive Lineman & Local Official

A walk-on at Michigan, he went on to become an All-Big 10 star as an

offensive tackle; first-round pick by Atlanta, played 17 seasons in

NFL. An ironman, he started every game (251) he played; picked

for 5 Pro Bowls; 1990 NFL Man of the Year.

Elected Chairman of Fulton County, Georgia, County Commission;

resigned to lead Georgians for Better Transportation; Republican.

Many cards: lst  – 1977 Michigan set, 1981 Topps #215 Rookie Card.

 

The Kennedy Brothers: Harvard FB/Swimming & National office; Democrats.

John F. Kennedy: 35th President of the U.S., played football and was

varsity swimmer at Harvard, Class of 1940 (Note: Card #66 in

1964 Topps set pictures JFK on football team).

Robert F. Kennedy: Attorney General, Senate from NY; presidential

candidate; played football at Harvard (Class of 1949) when team

captain was Ken O’Donnell (later among JFK’s closest advisers).

Edward Kennedy: Long-time U.S. Senator was a starting two-way

end as a senior (Class of 1956) and caught pass for only

Harvard touchdown in 21-7 loss to Yale in “The Game.”

 

Edward J. King: Pro Football & Governor

Played as a pro with a brief career as guard with Buffalo of AFL (1948-49)

and Colts of NFL (1950).

Elected Governor of Massachusetts (1979-83), as Demoncrat he defeated

incumbent Michael Dukakis in primary; later switched to

Republican party.

No Cards.

 

Steve Largent: Star Receiver in Pro Football & Congress.

Hall of Fame 14-year career in NFL, mosty Seattle; wide receiver who set

many reception and scoring records; named to 7 Pro Bowls;

had  been only 117th pick in the 1976 NFL draft.

Congress from Oklahoma, 4 terms; lost bid for governor; Republican.

Many cards – 1977 Topps #172 rookie card.

 

Hank Lauricella: College Star & State Senator.

Star running back at the U. of Tennessee on national championship teams;

Elected to College Football Hall of Fame; runner-up for Heisman

and dubbed “Mr. Everything” for his versatility.

Served as Louisiana state senator for 24 years; a Democrat.

1 card – University of Tennessee (playing card set).

 

Phil McConkey: Pro Wide Receiver & Congressional Candidate.

NFL wide receiver, best years with New York Giants (1984-89).

Candidate for the Congress NJ in 1990, but lost; Republican.

5 cards – 1986 Topps #143 his best.

 

Jack Mildren: Quarterback & Lieutenant Governor

Wishbone quarterback at Oklahoma but mostly defensive back in NFL

(3 seasons with Colts and Patriots).

Elected Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma; Democrat.

Five cards – 1975 Topps #431 his best.

 

Tom Osborne: College Coach & Congress

Wide receiver in college, and in 3 pro seasons in NFL; college coach at

Nebraska (1972-1997), 3 national championships and 13

conference titles; later named school’s director of athletics.

Elected to Congress from Nebraska, 3 terms, Republican; defeated                                                            in campaign for Nebraska governor.

16 cards – mostly Nebraska and Press Pass.

 

The Hon. Alan Page: All-time Great Defensive End & High Court Judge.

Star defensive lineman at Notre Dame and Minnesota Vikings; elected

to both college and pro football halls of fame; Academic All-

American team; 6-time All-Pro and 9 Pro Bowls; leader of

“Purple People Eaters”; ironically,while in high school worked in construction crew that built Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Earned J.D. at University of Minnesota School of Law

Serves as elected judge on Minnesota state Supreme Court.

Many cards – 1970 Topps #59 his best.

 

Endicott “Chub” Peabody: Football Star & Governor

Earned All-America honors as a lineman for Harvard where he received

his bachelor’s and J.D. degrees.

Elected the 62nd Governor of Massachusetts as a Democrat, served 1 term;

lost run for U.S. Senate; Ran John F. Kennedy’s campaign in

Virginia, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.

I card; 1955 Topps All-American #72.

 

Ronald Reagan: Football and Swimming in College & Governor and President.

At Eureka College, Reagan was captain of football and swimming teams.

As an actor, known for role of George Gipp in Knute Rockne movie.

After long career in movies and television, elected Republican Governor

of California, then two terms as U.S, President.

Cards in several non-sport sets and some retro sports-card sets such as

21011 Tri-Star Obak pictured as “The Gipper” in movie role.

 

Jay Riemersma: Tight End in NFL & Republican.

Several NFL seasons, star tight end with Bills; 1996-2000 and Steelers

(2003-2005); injuries cut career short; had been star QB at

University of Michigan (a teammate of Jon Runyan).

Appointed regional director of family research council (running for

re-election); lost election for U.S. Congress as Republican

candidate from Michigan in 2009.

Many cards – beginning in 1997; 1999 Topps #199 his best.

 

Jon Runyan: Offensive Lineman & Congress.

Offensive tackle for Houston and Eagles in 14 NFL seasons; 1 Pro Bowl

selection; at one point was highest paid offensive lineman in NFL;

played 190 consecutive games; 6’7” & 330 lbs; great college star

at Michigan (w/Riemersma); 4-year starter, 2-time All-American.

Elected to U.S. Congress from New Jersey as a Republican.

Several cards – mostly Press Pass, Classic and Pacific.

 

Ed Rutkowski: Quarterback/Receiver & County Executive.

Wide receiver and quarterback at Notre Dame in college, then with Bills

in NFL;

Served as County Executive in Erie County, NY; Republican; appointed

New York’s deputy commissioner of parks, etc.

Five cards – 1964 Topps #35 and ER card his best (his image also on card

of Ray Abruzzese).

 

Bob St. Clair: Pro Football Star & Mayor.

Solid NFL career as tackle with 49ers (1953 to 1964) after college career

at Tulsa; elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame, 9-time All-Pro;

named to NFL’s 1950s All-Decade Team; San Francisco named

its football stadium in his honor in 2001.

Mayor of Daly City, California (1958-61); county supervisor of San

Mateo (1966-74)

Several cards – 1955 Bowman #101 his best,

 

Jim Schwantz: Pro Football & Mayor.

A linebacker who played 8 seasons in NFL (Bears, 49ers and Cowboys);

named to one Pro Bowl; college star at Purdue and was runner-up

for Heisman Trophy in 1993; won Super Bowl w/Dallas.

Elected in 2009 as Mayor of Palatine, Illinois; member village council.

Many cards starting in 1997.

 

Heath Shuler:  Quarterback & Congress

Great Univ. of Tenn QB, 3rd pick in 1994 draft; then, 3 years with

Redskins, Saints and Raiders.

Elected to Congress from North Carolina, in 2007, Democrat.

Many cards – 1994 Bowman – #3 is his best.

 

Greg Skrepenak: Offensive Lineman & City Council.

From 1992-1997 was offensive lineman with Raiders and Panthers; had

been two-time All-American at Michigan.

Elected to Luzerne, Pennsylvania, city council 2004 to 2009; resigned;

Democrat.

About 40 cards beginning in 1992.

 

Lynn Swann:  Star Pro Wide Receiver and Candidate for Governor.

Pro FB Hall of Fame, 4 Super Bowl champs; MVP in SB IX; named to

NFL’s 1970s All-Decade Team; had been All-American at USC;

College Football Hall of Fame; pro from 1974 to 1982.

Chaired president’s council on physical fitness (2002-2005).

Lost election as GOP nominee for governor of Pennsylvania.

29 cards; T75 #282, #459.

 

The Hon.Robert Thomas: College and Pro Placekicker & Judge.

Academic All-American at  Notre Dame; NFL 1975 – 1986 (4 teams –

Bears, Lions, Giants, Chargers); place-kicker in both college and

pro ball; inducted into Academic All-American Hall of Fame 1996.

Elected Circuit Court judge in 1988 in Illinois, ultimately became

Chief-Justice of Illinois Supreme Court; Republican.

Current: As a judge he authored the 2011 decision overturning lower

court and allowing Rahm Emanuel to run for Mayor of Chicago.

16 Cards – 1976 Topps #258 rookie card.

 

J. C. Watts: Star Quarterback & Congress.

Very effective quarterback at Oklahoma and in Canadien football; won

Grey Cup 1981; 2-time Orange Bowl MVP..

Member of Congress from Okla. (1994-2000), known as 4th most powerful

Republican in House; had given a GOP response to Clinton; later

he established a lobbying firm.

8 cards including Upper Deck Oklahoma series in 2011.

 

Samuel A. Weiss: Pro Player and Referee & Congress

Played pro football with Glassport (1925-26), played quarterback; later

became a football official in NFL; .

Member of Congress (3 terms) elected a judge in Pennsylvania (1945-67);

born in Poland; Democrat.

No Cards.

 

The Hon.Byron White: College and NFL Star & U.S. Supreme Court.

All-American halfback at Colorado, then a star in NFL with Steelers

and Lions; 3-time All-Pro; 2-time rushing leader; named to

NFL’s 1940s All-Decade Team; nicknamed “Whizzer”; honored

by NFL for charity work.

U.S. Supreme Court associate justice (1962-1993); law degree from Yale.

4 cards – T55 #21A & 21B (wrong bio on back or ER card)

 

The Hon. Dwayne Woodruff: Pro Football & Judge.

College star at Kentucky; cornerback for 12 seasons with Steelers; one

Super Bowl victory; earned J.D. at Duquesne.

Elected a judge of Court of Common Pleas of Pennsylvania, 2005.

20 cards – T83 #369

 

Sam Wyche: Pro Coach & Local Official.

College quarterback at Furman and played in NFL from 1968 to 1976;

coached Cincinnati Bengals; introduced no-huddle offense; later

became a broadcaster.

Elected to Pickens County Council in South Carolina in 2008; Republican.

19 cards – mostly Bengals.

 

Adam Martin Wyant: First Pro Footballer Player Elected to Congress.

College star at Bucknell and University of Chicago; elected to College

Football Hall of Fame; played guard for legendary coach Amos

Alonzo Stagg at Chicago; played quarterback (then a blocking

position) with early pro team (Greensburg Athletic Association)

in Pennsylvania.

Served six terms in Congress from Pennsylvania beginning in 1921; lost

election for 6th term; Republican.

No Cards

 

BASKETBALL:

Dave Bing: Pro Basketball & Mayor.

Long career in NBA, with Detroit; 7-time all-star; elected to Hall of Fame.

NBA rookie of year in 1975-76; led NBA scorers in 1968.

Elected Mayor of Detroit; Democrat; oft-honored for civil rights activities.

Many Cards – 1968 Topps Test and 1969 Topps #55 his best.

 

Bill Bradley: Star in College and as a Pro, & Senate.

Princeton 3-time All-American and NBA-Knicks (2 championships);

10 years in NBA; elected to Basketball Hall of Fame; won 1964 Olympic

gold medal; Rhodes Scholar.

Elected to Congress, then to Senate; from New Jersey; 2000 Democrat

presidential hopeful but lost to Al Gore.

34 cards – T68 Test #8; T69 #43.


Gerald Calabrese:
Pro Ball & Mayor.

Brief career in NBA (2 seasons with Syracuse); All-American at St. Johns.

Long-serving Mayor of Cliffside Park, New Jersey (elected 1959);

Democrat; also elected to Board of Freeholders in 1975, 1978

and 1982, named officer in 1984.

No Cards.

 

Tom Gola: College and Pro Star & State Legislature.

4-time All-American at LaSalle; NBA 1955-1966 with Philadelphia;

5-time All-Star; 1956 NBA champs; Hall of Fame.

Served 1969-70 as Pennsylvania state representative; lost run for mayor

of Philadelphia; Republican.

6 cards: 1957 Topps #44 his Rookie Card.


Kevin Johnson:
Pro Basketball & Mayor.

Set many Phoenix NBA scoring records; 5-time All-Star point guard;

team retired his “#7” jersey; 12 NBA seasons.

Also, graduate of Harvard Divinity School; Democrat.

First black mayor of Sacramento, CA, 2008-present (re-elected in 1/2012).

Many cards – FL89 #123 his best.

 

Terry Dehere: Pro Basketball & Local Boards.

Big East player of the year in 1993 at Seton Hall; NBA guard, 3 pro teams

1993-99.

Elected to local boards; council candidate Jersey City, N.J.; vice president

of city board of education; Democrat.

Many cards – T93#272 his best.

 

Chris Dudley: Pro Basketball & Gubernatorial Candidate.

16-season NBA career; 5 teams 886 games, much of time with Knicks;

defensive center; received NBA good citizenship award.

Candidate for Governor of Oregon; lost close race in 2010; Republican.

Many cards – 90 SkyBox #398 his best.

 

Anthony Masiello: College Star & Mayor.

Great player at Canisius – hall of fame level; drafted by Indiana (3rd

round), but did not play in NBA.

Mayor of Buffalo, NY (3 terms, to 2005), formed political consulting firm;

previously state senator (7 terms) and city council; Democrat.

No cards.

 

Charles Thomas “Tom” McMillen: College and Pro Star & Congress.

In 1970 was #1 ranked high school basketball player in U.S.; became

college star at Maryland; member of 1972 U.S. Olympic team

that lost controversial gold-medal game to Soviet Union;

drafted by Buffalo and played pro 1975 to 1986; played for 4

teams (including Braves and Knicks); also had been drafted by

ABA Virginia Squires; Rhodes Scholar.

Elected to Congress from Maryland; 3 terms; thought to be tallest (6’11”)

member of Congress; lost seat in redistricting battle; Democrat.

Many cards, T77 #66 his best.

 

George Mikan: College and Pro Great & Candidate.

DePaul All-American and star with Lakers for several years, first NBA

“Big Man” and a top scorer; Basketball Hall of Fame.

Ran for Congress seat in Minnesota in 1956 but lost; Republican.

About 50 cards:  1948 Bowman #69 is the basketball version of the

“Holy Grail” T206 tobacco baseball card of Honus Wagner.

 

Angie Paccione: College and Pro Star & State Representative.

College star at Stanford after record as a great high school player; played

pro in the former WABA.

Served 2-terms in Colorado House of Representatives; lost bid for seat

in Congress; Democrat.

No cards.

 

Thomas F. X. Smith:  Pro Basketball & Mayor.

Played just one game for the Knicks in 1951.

Major of Jersey City, New Jersey; made unsuccessful run for governor;

outspoken critic of political cronyism, wrote “The Powertrician”;

Democrat.

No cards.


Mo Udall
: College Basketball & Congress.

Basketball star at University of Arizona; played one season with Denver in

NBA; once fought Muhammad Ali in a charity boxing exhibition.

Member of Congress from Arizona; elected 16 times; son Mark & brother

Stewart both in Congress; challenged Carter in ‘76; lost; Democrat.

1 card – Arizona University set.

 

James L. Usry: Pro Basketball & Mayor.

Played pro basketball 1946 to 1951 (NY Renaissance & Dayton Rens).

Mayor of Atlantic City, NJ (1984-1990); Republican.

 

OLYMPICS:

Henry Skillman Breckinridge: Fencing Champion & Candidate/Attorney.

Won bronze medal in Olympics in fencing,, competed in 1920 and 1928.

One of few Democrats who opposed Franklin Delanor Roosevelt, ran

against him in 1936 primaries, opposed “New Deal”; had served

as Assistant Secretary of War under Wilson; based in New York.

As attorney, he represented Charles Lindberg in famous kidnapping case.

 

Ben Nighthorse Campbell: Judo & Congress.

Captain of U.S. judo team in1964 Olympics; later coached U.S. judo team.

U.S. Senate (1993-2005) and U.S. Rep. (3 terms) from Colorado; switched

from Democrat to Republican;  retired and started a consulting firm.

Member of Council of Chiefs, Northern Cheyenne tribe.

 

James Brendan Connolly: Track and Field & Candidate for Congress.

Olympic competitor in track and field; switched to crew in schooner

competition; in 1896 he was the first modern Olympic champion

after winning the first scheduled event of the renewed Games,

won the triple jump, also medals in high jump and long jump.

Lost bid for Congress as Progressive Party candidate from Massachusetts.

 

Hayes Jones: Hurdler & Local Offocial.

Hurdler who won gold in 110 in 1964 Olympics; in 1960 won bronze.

Served in Oakland, Michigan, County Dept. of Economic Development;

elected to state legislature to fill unfinished term; Democrat.


John B. Kelly, Jr.:
Oarsman and City Council.

Accomplished oarsman was 4-time Olympian, won bronze medal in 1956;

also competed in 1948 and 1952; both double and single

scull; gold medal in 1955 Pan American Games.

Part-owner of franchise in now-defunct World Football League.

Always active in sports, 1970 president of Amateur Athletic Union, and

in 1985 was appointed president of U.S, Olympic Committee.

(His first wife, a swimmer, was on 1952 U.S. Olympic team; his father

triple gold medal winner at Olympics); sister was actress/princess

Grace Kell

12 years on Philadelphia City Council at-large, also parks commissioner.

 

Charlie Mays: Sprinter/Long Jump & State Legislature.

A world-class long jumper, he also competed in the 440 and other sprints;

competed in 1968 Olympics; 9-time AAU All-Star.

Served as New Jersey             state representative and on Jersey City city council;

Democrat.


Matthew “The Law” Lindland
: Wrestler & State Legislature.

Won silver medal in 2000 in freestyle wrestling; had earned a spot on the

U.S. team after suing his closest rival and winning case; also, a

champion in mixed martial arts.

Lost election for Oregon House of Representatives in 2008; Republican.

 

Tom Lingenfelter: Runner and Field Hockey & Frequent Candidate.

Won bronze medal in Pan American Games as member of U.S. field

hockey team; also competed in indoor track (sprinter).

Staunch conservative, he has run as both a Democrat and Republican for

offices in Pennsylvania that include Congress, Lieut. Governor

and Senate, was elected a Republican state committeeman.

 

Judy Martz: Speed Skater & Governor

Member of U.S. speed skating Olympic team in 1964.

Was named Miss Rodeo Montana

Elected the 22nd Governor of Montana, served one term, state’s first

female chief executive; had controversial term in office;

Republican, also had served as lieutenant governor

 

Bob Mathias: Deacthlon Champion & Congress.

Youngest to win gold medal in track and field events; gold in decathlon

in both 1948 and 1952; voted top U.S. amateur athlete in early ‘50s;

later, led Stanford football team to the Rose Bowl.

Served 4 terms in Congress from California; Republican.

Pictured on several Olympics cards; best is 1956 Gum Inc. Adventure #92;

also in several retro sets by Topps, Upper Deck, Hostess, M&M;

also on a lobby card for the movie “The Minotaur”.

 

Ralph Metcalfe: 1932 and 1937 Olympics & Congress.

Sprinter who competed in both 1932 and 1936 Olympics (second to Jesse

Owens and like him was snubbed by Hitler); set 100-meter record.

Elected to U.S. Congress after serving as Alderman in Chicago; Democrat;

co-founder of Congressional Black Caucus.

Cards include 1936 Alfa Olympic-skylt. 4X100 relay team with Owens,etc.

 

Jim Ryun:  Distance Runner & Congress.

Competed in 1964, 1968 and 1972 Olympics; silver medal in 1500;

set records in mile,1500 meters and 800 meters; 1966 SI

Sportsman of Year; was the last American to hold a world record in the 1-mile run; first high school runner to break the 4-minute mile; spent some time as a sportscaster.

U.S. House of Representatives from Kansas 1996-2007; Republican.

Card include 1996 Grolier subscription issue.

 

Wayne Seybold: Figure Skater & Mayor.

Pairs skater with his sister as partner; competed 1988 Olympics; won

silver medal in U.S. Championships.

Mayor of Marion, Indiana; GOP, 3 terms so far; lost election bid for

Congress.


OTHER TRACK & FIELD:

Dave Albritton: High Jump & State Legislator.

Won silver medal at 1936 Olympics (also snubbed by Hitler); one

of first to use the straddle technique.

Served in Ohio House of Representatives for 6 terms; Republican.

 

Don Lash: Long-Distance Runner & State Representative.

A long-distance runner, he set a world record in the 2-mile at 8:58;

elected to Track and Field Hall of Fame.

Elected to Indiana House of Representatives; later an FBI agent.


WRESTLING
:

Jesse Ventura: Pro Wrestler & Governor.

Long-time pro wrestler, 1976-85, often vs. Hulk Hogan classics, WWF

HoF; one of most effective promoters of wrestling and one of

most popular wrestlers; known as “The Body”; usually the villain.

Had been Mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minn. (1990-95); Governor of

Minnesota; 2012 run for president mentioned, Reform Party.

Several cards includingTopps and Classic.


HOCKEY
:

Wendell Anderson: Olympics & Governor.

Defenseman at University of Minnesota; member of 1956 U.S. Olympic

team that won silver medal.

Governor of Minnesota (1971-76); also, served in U.S. Senate, 1976-78,

replacingWalter Mondale when he was VP candidate; Democrat.

No cards.

Steve Greenberg: Pro Hockey & Congressional Candidate.

A left wing who played two seasons for Hampton (East Coast League),

minor-league affiliate of Washington Capitals; injury ended career.

Ran for Congress in Indiana as Republican, but lost; still active in party.

2 cards – 1989 & 1990 Hampton Roads sets.

Syl Apps Jr.,Jean Beliveau, Gary Carr, Lionel Conacher, Ken Dryden, Red

Kelly, Mo Mantha Sr.,Bucko McDonald,Howie Meeker, Hugh Plaxton, Peter Stanstny: (See international)

 

OTHER SPORTS:

William Warren Barbour: Boxer & U.S. Senate.

Won heavyweight boxing championship of U.S. and Canada; served

as timekeeper for Dempsey v. Willard bout in 1919.

Elected to U.S. Senate from N.J.; Republican.

 

Dwight F. Davis: Tennis & Cabinet Officer.

Tennis champion; competed in 1904 Olympics; a founder of the Davis

Cup competition.

Served as U.S. Secretary of War for President Coolidge; Republican;

had served on parks commission in his native Missouri.

 

Richard Petty: Racing & Candidate.

One of the legendary drivers in NASCAR; record 7 championships; Hall

of Fame; 8 times most popular; Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Lost in election as candidate for Secretary of State in N.C.; Republican.

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Body Builder & Governor.

Mr. Universe and 7-time Mr. Olympia, body builder.

Movie star – action hero; naturalized American citizen.

Youngest Governor of California – 2 terms; Republican.

 

Gary Tuttle: Distance Runner & Deputy Mayor.

Long-distance runner won 2 NCAA outdoor titles, set 3 American

records, ran for U.S. in world cross country championships,

in 1985 finished second in the Boston Marathon.

Elected to city council, Deputy Mayor of Ventura, CA; Democrat.


INTERNATIONAL:

Syl Apps, Sr.: Canada; Hockey & Parliament

Played for Toronto in NHL from 1936 to 1948; also a pole vaulter on

the Canadian Olympic team.

Conservative Member of Parliament representing parts of Ontario,

1963-1975.

25 cards; 1936-37 OPC V304D rookie card.

 

Jean Beliveau: Canada; Hockey Great & Honored.

20 years with Montreal; Pro Hockey Hall of Fame; “class act” hockey

great; won 10 Stanley Cups as player then 7 more as a team

executive; was given highest civilian honor in Canada; image

on Canadien postage stamp.

Was offered position of Governor General of Canada but declined

to spend time with family.

Many cards- Parkhurst 1953 #27 is rookie card.

 

Menzies Campbell: Great Britain; Sprinter & Member of Parliament
Represented Britain in the 1964 Olympics but won no medals; held

British record in the 100 meters at 10.2 second for many years.

Liberal Democrat leader in the Parliament in 2006 but resigned after 18

months; earlier, in 1975, had been chair of the Scottish Liberals.

 

Eric Cantona: France; Soccer Star & Possible Candidate.

International football star for French national team; later the key to the

revival of Manchester United as a soccer force; enigmatic and

fiery; banned from soccer in 1995 for attacking a fan.

Has been considering a run for the presidency of France.

 

Gary Carr: Canada; Pro Hockey & Parliament

Played pro hockey including 6 seasons in American Hockey League.

Progressive Conservative elected to Legislative Assembly and

Provincial Parliament representing parts of Ontario.

 

Ron Clarke: Australia; World-Class Runner & Mayor.

Won bronze medal in 10,000 meter run in 1964; he set 17 world records;

suffered serious health problems at 1968 Olympics.

Elected Mayor of the Gold Coast, Queensland, in 2004 (initially, he and

his wife had vacationed there but finally settled there); resigned 2012

to run as independent in seat of Broadwater in state election.

Cards include 1984 Australian Sporting Heroes by Kodak #9.


Sebastien Coe:
Great Britain, Middle-Distance Runner & Member of Parliament.

Gold medals in 1500-meter run in both 1980 and 1984; his 800-meter

record in 1981 held to 1997.

Elected Conservative Member of Parliament in 1992; named government

whip in 1997 and elevated to House of Lords in 2000.

Returned to headlines in 2012 as the head of the London 2012 Olympics

bid; and also as a member of the global track and field council.

Cards include 1980 UK Bassett Athletes of the World #1.

 

Lionel Conacher: Canada; Pro Hockey & Football and Parliament.

NHL star including two Stanley Cup victories; pro rugby and pro football

including Grey Cup with Toronto in 1921; pro baseball including IL

championship in 1926; Voted Canada’s greatest athlete for first half of

20th century.

Liberal elected to Parliament, 1937-43 and 1949-54.

9 cards; 1933-34 V252 Canadian Gum #13 his rookie.

 

Ken Dryden: Canada: Hockey Goaltender & Member of Parliament.

Hall of Fame goaltender for Montreal (1970-1979); won 6 Stanley Cups;

won 5 Vezina Trophies as top NHL goaltender.

Liberal Member of Parliament (2004-2011); named Minister of Social

Justice.

Many cards: 1969 Sweden World championships (#26 & #93) ;1971 OPC

#45 is rookie card.


Dawn Fraser
: Australia; Swimming Champion & Legislator.

100-meter freestyle winner in 3 Olympics – rare 3 gold medas in same

event (like only 2 others including Michael Phelps); won 8

Olympic medals in all; voted Australia’s greatest female athlete.

Independent member of New South Wales Legislative Assembly.

 

Otto Jelinek: Canada; Figure Skater & Member of Parliament.

He and sister Maria born in Czechoslovakia, moved to Canada in 1951;

competed in junior pairs and won championship in 1955; won 4

silver medals in 1961 & 1962 senior pairs competition; world

bronze medals in 1957 and 1958, and silver medalists in

1960, then won world pairs title in Prague in 1962.

Elected to House of Commons in 1972 as a Progressive Conservative MP;

later became a federal cabinet member in the Tory caucus; served

as minister of state for fitness and amateur sport 1984-1988.

Iman Kahn
: Pakistan; Cricket Star & Justice Party Candidate.

In cricket, both his bowling and batting skills were extraordinary; led

Pakistan to 1992 World Cup title.

Formed opposition Tehrig-E-Insaaf (Movement of Justice Party) in 1997;

initially his intent was to establish a cancer hospital for Pakistan’s

poor, but his advocacy formalized.

 

Red Kelly: Canada; Hockey & Parliament

NHL Hall of Fame after 20 seasons with Detroit (as defenseman) and

Toronto (as a center); played for 8 Stanley Cup winners.

Liberal member of Parpiament from Toronto area. (In one election, he

defeated Alan Eagleson, later a famous and infamous agent.

Many cards; 1951 Parkhurst #55 his rookie.

 

Frank Mahovlich: Canada; Hockey Great & Senate.

Career spanned 22 NHL &  WHA seasons; 9-time All-Star and member of

Hockey Hall of Fame; won 4 Stanley Cups with Toronto and 2

with Canadiens.

Never ran for public office but was appointed to the Canadian Senate by

former Prime Minister Jean Chrertien in 1988 (described as the

highest political reward ever given to a Canadian athlete).

Many cards: 1957 Parkhurst #T17 is rookie card.

 

Mo Mantha Sr.: Canada; Pro Hockey & Parliament.

From 1954 to 1970, a defenseman in the AHL, QHL and WHL.

Progressive Conservative member of Parliament.

2 cards; 1952 Juniors Blue Tint #169 his best.

 

Bucko McDonald: Canada; Hockey and Parliament.

11 years in NHL and played for 3 Stanley Cup champions; also a star

in lacrosse and elected to that sport’s Hall of Fame; early on

coached youth teams including Bobby Orr at ages 11 and 12.

Liberal member of Parliament.

5 cards; 1937 V356 Worldwide Gum #84 his best.


Howie Meeker
: Canada; Hockey Player/Broadcaster & Parliament.

NHL Rookie of the Year 1946-47 (Calder Trophy); 8 years in NHL;

all playing time with Leafs; right wing; also a Hall of Fame

broadcaster (30 yrs) and revolutionized profession via in-depth

analysis; also coached Toronto; promoted to general manager,

then fired.

While still playing for the Leafs, he served three years as a Conservative

member of Parliament (1951-53); did not seek re-election.

9 cards – 1951 Parkhurst #72 is rookie card.

 

Roman Pavlyuchenko: Russia; Soccer Star & Regional Official.

High scoring striker/forward for Lokomotiv Moscow, formerly with

Tottenham.

Elected to seat on the regional council in Stavropol Krai, Russia,

representing the Putin-led United Russian Party.

 

Hugh Plaxton: Canada; Hockey and Parliament

1928 Olympic Gold Medal team from Canada; in NHL one season

(1932-33) with Montreal Maroons.

Liberal member of Parliament.

 

Romario: Brazil; Soccer Star & Chamber of Deputies.

Named one of the top 125 living soccer players/footballers; led Brazil

to the 1994 World Cup.

Brazilian Socialist Party candidate in 2010 and elected Congressman of

the Chamber of Deputies.

 

Peter Stastny: Slovakia; Pro Hockey & Parliament.

“Peter the Great” Hall of Famer;  prolific scorer in NHL 1980-1995.

Elected to serve in European Parliament representing Slovakia.

Many cards; 1981 OPC #269 his rookie.

 

Matthew Syed: Great Britain; Table Tennis & Parliament Candidate.

British table tennis star who is a four-time number 1 ranked player

in Commonwealth; competed in 1992 and 2000 Olympics.

Labour Party candidate for seat in parliament but lost; now a

journalist and author.

 

Sachin Tendulkar: India;  Cricket Star & Parliament.

He is his country’s cricket icon.

Elected to India’s Parliament.

 

Dileep Kumar Tirkey: India; Hockey & Parliament.

Captain of Indian’s hockey (field) team.

Serves in India’s Parliament.

 

George Weah: Liberia; European Football Star & Candidate for President.

Full name: George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Ousman Weah.

Played 14 years of European football for clubs in England, France and

Italy; won trophies in each country; named FIFA World Player

of Year in 1995, the only African to earn that honor; his position

was striker.

Devoted humanitarian in his native country; announced intention to run

for president of Liberia in 2005 but not elected.


NON-SPORT CARDS

Many U.S. Politicians and World Leaders Pictures in Various Card Sets.

 

U.S. Presidents: There are several sets of cards picturing U.S. Presidents led by

the U.S. Caramel set in 1936 that includes the long-missing William

McKinley card (the few recently discovered have sold in the $10,000

range); among other popular U.S. Presidents card sets are those produced

by Topps and Bowman in the 1950s and 1970s.

 

Also, there are non-sport sets focused entirely on a single U. S. President or

political official such as the John F. Kennedy sets by Topps and Rosan in

1964, and the Robert F. Kennedy set produced by Philadelphia Gum in ’64.

 

There are even card sets focused on specific political campaigns such as the

Johnson vs. Goldwater set by Topps in 1964.

 

Finally, there are many U.S. political figures and world leaders who are pictured

individually in various non-sport card sets of more general interest such as

the 1954 Topps Scoops set with cards of McKinley and Franklin Delano

Roosevelt and the 1948 Topps Magic Photos series which includes a card

of Eisenhower as an Army general.

One thought on “Many Athletes Have Entered the Political Arena: Here’s a Lengthy List

  1. Roger M. on said:

    Correction: Football player Alan Autry DOES have an NFL card in the 1977 topps set. His name on the card is Carlos Brown (name he went by until changing it).

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