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09-Jun-2020 18:53

For comparison, in the NFL, Brady checks in at 9.3 percent."That 2.9 percent for MLB is a mixed blessing," says Rich Luker, the founder of Luker on Trends."It means the favorites are distributed more evenly across all teams compared to the NBA or NFL -- giving all teams a rooting interest.As did Game 7 of those finals, by Game 7 of the World Series.So while Le Bron might have six consecutive appearances in the Finals going for him, that's not all he has.Once it steps outside its own comfort zone, however, it's as "Faceless" as it has been in decades. It's right there in the new polling data compiled by our friends at Luker on Trends, the company that runs the ESPN Sports Poll. But 15 active NFL-ers, six active hoopsters, two soccer stars (Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo), two tennis legends (Serena Williams and Roger Federer), one swimmer (Michael Phelps), one hockey player (Sidney Crosby), one sprinter (Usain Bolt), one race car driver (Dale Earnhardt Jr.), one mixed martial artist (Conor Mc Gregor) and one Tiger (Woods) all make appearances on this list before a single active baseball player.Between November and February, that firm surveyed more than 6,000 American sports fans, age 12 and older. Oh, and one more thing: In polling 17,908 American sports fans on the same question between January and December 2016, the response was pretty much identical.If you don't count Tim Tebow (please don't) or Bo Jackson, guess the only three baseball players who showed up among America's 50 favorite pro athletes? The only significant variation: David Ortiz (at No. Let's answer those critical questions: We begin with a fact from the same polling data: Nearly one in four people who consider themselves "avid" NBA fans (23 percent) say Le Bron James is their favorite player. Now contrast that with baseball -- in which no one even remotely approaches the star power of a Le Bron. The Hit King last played in the big leagues 31 years ago -- and he has been suspended from his sport for the last 28. America's three favorite baseball figures: Guys who have been dodging the box scores for a combined 116 years. In baseball's defense, respondents were invited to name either active retired athletes.

If the NBA or NFL had a 25-year-old two-time MVP in its midst, you think there's any chance he would rank behind, say, Roger Staubach, on a list of America's most popular athletes in the 21st century? But Trout's absence from this top 50 actually is a microcosm of his sport's issues.In a sport that has long suppressed personality, this is a team led by a manager, in Joe Maddon, who encourages it.And by proving they could do that and still win, they're teaching the rest of their sport a vital lesson."No doubt about that," says Ross, an admittedly far-from-objective witness.So he has regularly turned down invitations to do late-night talk shows and major national endorsement gigs, not to mention home run derbies and the World Baseball Classic. You make me sick.'"He's just this golden child when it comes to his mindset. Anybody want to nominate the entire Cubs franchise as the next Face of Baseball?That's a source of enough frustration inside MLB that, when we brought up his name to one baseball official, he grumbled, "Mike Trout doesn't leave Orange County or Millville."But Trout's agent, Craig Landis, has this message for everyone clamoring for more of his otherwise lovable client: "He's only 25," Landis says. He just wants [to] go out and be the best baseball player. "I really think the Cubs are The Face," Sutton says.

If the NBA or NFL had a 25-year-old two-time MVP in its midst, you think there's any chance he would rank behind, say, Roger Staubach, on a list of America's most popular athletes in the 21st century? But Trout's absence from this top 50 actually is a microcosm of his sport's issues.

In a sport that has long suppressed personality, this is a team led by a manager, in Joe Maddon, who encourages it.

And by proving they could do that and still win, they're teaching the rest of their sport a vital lesson."No doubt about that," says Ross, an admittedly far-from-objective witness.

So he has regularly turned down invitations to do late-night talk shows and major national endorsement gigs, not to mention home run derbies and the World Baseball Classic. You make me sick.'"He's just this golden child when it comes to his mindset. Anybody want to nominate the entire Cubs franchise as the next Face of Baseball?

That's a source of enough frustration inside MLB that, when we brought up his name to one baseball official, he grumbled, "Mike Trout doesn't leave Orange County or Millville."But Trout's agent, Craig Landis, has this message for everyone clamoring for more of his otherwise lovable client: "He's only 25," Landis says. He just wants [to] go out and be the best baseball player. "I really think the Cubs are The Face," Sutton says.

"If you look at the modern NBA, it was Magic [Johnson] and [Larry] Bird, leading into Isiah [Thomas] and Jordan ... And the best player usually wins the last game of the season, or is the last game of the season.