For many athletes, their number one goal is to win the championship in their respective sport. They practice for hours on end every day in hopes of achieving that goal at some point in their career. However, there are certain athletes who are of a higher level of play who don't win that elusive title. These sort of athletes miss out on the opportunity to hoist their sport's trophy while a bench player gets a chance to hold it. Here are some of these athletes who were so great in their careers, but never hoisted the trophy.
MLB: Ken Griffey Jr. In an era where steroid use and scandals were brewing, one player managed to become one of the greatest athletes in his sport without such advantages. That man was Ken Griffey Jr. Having played for the Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds, and the Chicago White Sox from 1989 to 2010, Griffey has amassed great numbers. He has a .284 lifetime batting average, 2,781 hits, 630 home runs, and 1,836 RBIs. He was also the AL MVP in 1997, a 13-time All Star, a ten-time Gold Glove winner, and a seven-time Silver Slugger winner. Not to mention the fact that he has his own video game(s).
NBA: Karl Malone: They call him 'the Mailman". You can call him one half of the dynamic duo that was John Stockton and Karl Malone. From 1985 to 2004, the two-time MVP was sixth in career rebounds with 14,986 and 10th in steals with 2,085. He also has the second most points in NBA history with 36,928 and is also a 14-time All Star and an 11-time member of the All-NBA team. He is the all-time leading scorer for the Utah Jazz. He did reach the NBA finals three times in his career, only to fall short all three times.
MLB: Frank Thomas: "The Big Hurt" has had a prolific career in baseball, mainly for the Chicago White Sox. The two-time MVP has a .301 lifetime batting average, 2,468 career hits, 521 total home runs, and 1,704 lifetime RBIs. He was also the AL batting champion in 1997, a four-time Silver Slugger winner, and a five-time All Star. He was inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.
NBA: John Stockton: Speaking of the dynamic duo of Malone-Stockton, here is the other half of that duo. He spent his entire career with the Utah Jazz, playing for them from 1984 to 2003. He led the NBA in assists from 1987-1988 to 1995-1996 and is a two-time Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame inductee. He holds the NBA record for most career assists (15,806) and for most career steals (3,265). The ten-time NBA All Star was also named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and was also a member of the 1992 United States "Dream Team".
NBA: Charles Barkley: You might know him as one of the analysts on "NBA on TNT". But you should also know that "Sir Charles" was a former MVP. From 1984 to 2000, Barkley has played for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, and the Houston Rockets. He was also an 11-time NBA All-Star and a five-time member of the NBA All-First Team. He did win two gold medals for the U.S. basketball team, one in 1992 and one in 1996. He was also voted as one of the "50 Greatest Players in NBA History".