When Thorpe won both the pentathlon and the decathlon at the 1912 Olympics, King
Gustav of Sweden, the host country, said, "Sir, you are the greatest athlete in the
world." Sadly, Thorpe had to return his Olympic medals when it was discovered he'd
played professional baseball in a low minor league for about $60 a month in 1909.
Signed by the Giants, Thorpe had an undistinguished six-season ML career. Manager
claimed Thorpe couldn't hit a curveball, but he actually disliked Thorpe's
easygoing personality. In 1919 Thorpe hit .327 in limited play with the Braves. Thorpe
was twice All-America at Carlisle Indian School, and his later professional football
career earned him enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 1950 he was voted
the greatest athlete of
the half-century. He appeared as a bit player in several
movies, the best-known being the famous Cagney vehicle White Heat.