Associated Press Athlete of the Year

The first Athlete of the Year award in the United States was initiated by the Associated Press (AP) in 1931. At a time when women in sports were not given the same recognition as men, the AP offered a male and a female athlete of the year award to either a professional or amateur athlete. The awards are voted on annually by a panel of AP sports editors from across the United States, covering mainly American sports. As a result, a large majority of the winners have been Americans. However, non-Americans are also eligible for the honor, and have won on a few occasions.

AP Athlete of the YearEdit

List of award winners
Year Male Female
Name Sport Name Sport
1931   Pepper Martin Major League Baseball   Helene Madison Swimming
1932   Gene Sarazen Golf   Babe Didrikson Track and field
1933   Carl Hubbell Major League Baseball   Helen Jacobs Tennis
1934   Dizzy Dean Major League Baseball   Virginia Van Wie Golf
1935   Joe Louis Boxing   Helen Wills Moody Tennis
1936   Jesse Owens Track and field   Helen Stephens Track and field
1937   Don Budge Tennis   Katherine Rawls Swimming
1938   Don Budge (2) Tennis   Patty Berg Golf
1939   Nile Kinnick College football   Alice Marble Tennis
1940   Tom Harmon College football   Alice Marble (2) Tennis
1941   Joe DiMaggio Major League Baseball   Betty Hicks Newell Golf
1942   Frank Sinkwich College football   Gloria Callen Swimming
1943   Gunder Hägg Track and field   Patty Berg Golf
1944   Byron Nelson Golf   Ann Curtis Swimming
1945   Byron Nelson (2) Golf   Babe Didrikson Zaharias (2) Golf
1946   Glenn Davis College football   Babe Didrikson Zaharias (3) Golf
1947   Johnny Lujack College football   Babe Didrikson Zaharias (4) Golf
1948   Lou Boudreau Major League Baseball   Fanny Blankers-Koen Track and field
1949   Leon Hart College football   Marlene Bauer Golf
1950   Jim Konstanty Major League Baseball   Babe Didrikson Zaharias (5) Golf
1951   Dick Kazmaier College football   Maureen Connolly Tennis
1952   Bob Mathias Track and field   Maureen Connolly (2) Tennis
1953   Ben Hogan Golf   Maureen Connolly (3) Tennis
1954   Willie Mays Major League Baseball   Babe Didrikson Zaharias (6) Golf
1955   Howard "Hopalong" Cassady College football   Patty Berg Golf
1956   Mickey Mantle Major League Baseball   Pat McCormick Diving
1957   Ted Williams Major League Baseball   Althea Gibson Tennis
1958   Herb Elliott Track and field   Althea Gibson (2) Tennis
1959   Ingemar Johansson Boxing   Maria Bueno Tennis
1960   Rafer Johnson Track and field   Wilma Rudolph Track and field
1961   Roger Maris Major League Baseball   Wilma Rudolph (2) Track and field
1962   Maury Wills Major League Baseball   Dawn Fraser Swimming
1963   Sandy Koufax Major League Baseball   Mickey Wright Golf
1964   Don Schollander Swimming   Mickey Wright (2) Golf
1965   Sandy Koufax (2) Major League Baseball   Kathy Whitworth Golf
1966   Frank Robinson Major League Baseball   Kathy Whitworth (2) Golf
1967   Carl Yastrzemski Major League Baseball   Billie Jean King Tennis
1968   Denny McLain Major League Baseball   Peggy Fleming Figure skating
1969   Tom Seaver Major League Baseball   Debbie Meyer Swimming
1970   George Blanda National Football League   Chi Cheng Track and field
1971   Lee Trevino Golf   Evonne Goolagong Tennis
1972   Mark Spitz Swimming   Olga Korbut Gymnastics
1973   O. J. Simpson National Football League   Billie Jean King (2) Tennis
1974   Muhammad Ali Boxing   Chris Evert Tennis
1975   Fred Lynn Major League Baseball   Chris Evert (2) Tennis
1976   Bruce Jenner Track and field   Nadia Comăneci Gymnastics
1977   Steve Cauthen Horse racing   Chris Evert (3) Tennis
1978   Ron Guidry Major League Baseball   Nancy Lopez Golf
1979   Willie Stargell Major League Baseball   Tracy Austin Tennis
1980   U.S. Olympic hockey team Ice hockey   Chris Evert Lloyd (4) Tennis
1981   John McEnroe Tennis   Tracy Austin (2) Tennis
1982   Wayne Gretzky National Hockey League   Mary Tabb Track and field
1983   Carl Lewis Track and field   Martina Navratilova Tennis
1984   Carl Lewis (2) Track and field   Mary Lou Retton Gymnastics
1985   Dwight Gooden Major League Baseball   Nancy Lopez (2) Golf
1986   Larry Bird National Basketball Association   Martina Navratilova (2) Tennis
1987   Ben Johnson Track and field   Jackie Joyner-Kersee Track and field
1988   Orel Hershiser Major League Baseball   Florence Griffith Joyner Track and field
1989   Joe Montana National Football League   Steffi Graf Tennis
1990   Joe Montana (2) National Football League   Beth Daniel Golf
1991   Michael Jordan National Basketball Association   Monica Seles[1] Tennis
1992   Michael Jordan (2) National Basketball Association   Monica Seles (2) Tennis
1993   Michael Jordan (3) National Basketball Association   Sheryl Swoopes College basketball
1994   George Foreman Boxing   Bonnie Blair Speed skating
1995   Cal Ripken, Jr. Major League Baseball   Rebecca Lobo College basketball
1996   Michael Johnson Track and field   Amy Van Dyken Swimming
1997   Tiger Woods Golf   Martina Hingis Tennis
1998   Mark McGwire Major League Baseball   Se Ri Pak Golf
1999   Tiger Woods (2) Golf[2]   U.S. women's soccer team Soccer
2000   Tiger Woods (3) Golf[3]   Marion Jones Track and field
2001   Barry Bonds Major League Baseball[4]   Jennifer Capriati Tennis
2002   Lance Armstrong Road cycling[5]   Serena Williams Tennis
2003   Lance Armstrong (2) Cycling[6]   Annika Sörenstam Golf
2004   Lance Armstrong (3) Cycling[7]   Annika Sörenstam (2) Golf
2005   Lance Armstrong (4) Cycling[8]   Annika Sörenstam (3) Golf
2006   Tiger Woods (4) Golf[9]   Lorena Ochoa Golf
2007   Tom Brady National Football League[10]   Lorena Ochoa (2) Golf
2008   Michael Phelps Swimming[11]   Candace Parker Women's National Basketball Association
2009   Jimmie Johnson[12] NASCAR   Serena Williams (2) Tennis
2010   Drew Brees National Football League[13]   Lindsey Vonn Skiing
2011   Aaron Rodgers[14] National Football League   Abby Wambach Soccer
2012   Michael Phelps (2) Swimming[15]   Gabby Douglas Gymnastics
2013   LeBron James National Basketball Association[16]   Serena Williams (3) Tennis
2014   Madison Bumgarner[17] Major League Baseball   Mo'ne Davis[18] Little League baseball
2015   Stephen Curry National Basketball Association[19]   Serena Williams (4) Tennis
2016   LeBron James (2) National Basketball Association[20]   Simone Biles Gymnastics
2017   José Altuve[21] Major League Baseball   Katie Ledecky[22] Swimming
2018   LeBron James (3)[23] National Basketball Association   Serena Williams (5)[24] Tennis
2019   Kawhi Leonard[25] National Basketball Association   Simone Biles (2) Gymnastics
2020   LeBron James (4) National Basketball Association   Naomi Osaka Tennis
2021   Shohei Ohtani[26] Major League Baseball   Candace Parker (2)[27] Women's National Basketball Association

Multiple AwardsEdit

List of male award winners
Name Sport Awards Years
Lance Armstrong Cycling 4 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Tiger Woods Golf 4 1997, 1999, 2000, 2006
LeBron James Basketball 4 2013, 2016, 2018, 2020
Michael Jordan Basketball 3 1991, 1992, 1993
Don Budge Tennis 2 1937, 1938
Byron Nelson Golf 2 1944, 1945
Sandy Koufax Baseball 2 1963, 1965
Carl Lewis Track and field 2 1983, 1984
Joe Montana American football 2 1989, 1990
Michael Phelps Swimming 2 2008, 2012
List of female award winners
Name Sport Awards Years
Babe Didrikson Golf 6 1932, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1950, 1954
Serena Williams Tennis 5 2002, 2009, 2013, 2015, 2018
Chris Evert Tennis 4 1974, 1975, 1977, 1980
Maureen Connolly Tennis 3 1951, 1952, 1953
Annika Sörenstam Golf 3 2003, 2004, 2005
Alice Marble Tennis 2 1939, 1940
Althea Gibson Tennis 2 1957, 1958
Wilma Rudolph Track and field 2 1960, 1961
Mickey Wright Golf 2 1963, 1964
Kathy Whitworth Golf 2 1965, 1966
Billie Jean King Tennis 2 1967, 1973
Tracy Austin Golf 2 1979, 1981
Nancy Lopez Golf 2 1978, 1985
Martina Navratilova Tennis 2 1983, 1986
Monica Seles Tennis 2 1991, 1992
Lorena Ochoa Golf 2 2006, 2007
Simone Biles Gymnastics 2 2016, 2019
Candace Parker Basketball 2 2008, 2021

AP Athlete of the DecadeEdit

List of award winners
Decade Male Female
Name Sport Name Sport
1960s   Arnold Palmer Golf None Awarded
1970s   Jack Nicklaus Golf
1980s   Wayne Gretzky Hockey
1990s   Michael Jordan Basketball
2000s   Tiger Woods Golf
2010s   LeBron James Basketball   Serena Williams Tennis

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ Became a U.S. citizen in 1994.
  2. ^ "Tiger AP's Male Athlete Of Year". CBS News. Associated Press. December 27, 1999. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  3. ^ Ferguson, Doug (December 27, 2000). "Year of the Tiger". Missoulian. Associated Press. Archived from the original on March 15, 2019. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  4. ^ "Barry Bonds Voted The Associated Press Male of the Year". Jet. 101 (4): 52. January 12, 2002. Retrieved March 15, 2019 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Vertuino, Jim (December 27, 2002). "Armstrong named AP Athlete of the Year Perseverance: Four-time Tour de France champion tops Bonds". The Brownsville Herald. Associated Press. Archived from the original on March 15, 2019. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  6. ^ "NAMES & GAMES Lance Armstrong: AP Male Athlete of the Year". New Haven Register. December 29, 2003. Archived from the original on March 15, 2019. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  7. ^ Vertuno, Jim (December 29, 2004). "Armstrong, Sorenstam honored as athletes of year". Deseret News. Associated Press. Archived from the original on September 24, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  8. ^ "Lance Armstrong wins AP male athlete honours". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. December 28, 2005. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  9. ^ "Woods wins AP male athlete award for 2006". Orlando Sentinel. December 26, 2006. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  10. ^ Flannery, Paul (December 21, 2007). "Tom Brady's Charmed Year Continues". Boston. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  11. ^ "Michael Phelps Named The Associated Press Top Sports Story, AP Male Athlete of 2008". Swimming World. December 24, 2008. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  12. ^ "Johnson is AP's top male athlete of '09". Associated Press (ESPN.com). December 21, 2009. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
  13. ^ Triplett, Mike (December 18, 2010). "New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees fourth QB to be named AP Athlete of the Year". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  14. ^ Markovich, Tony (December 21, 2011). "Associated Press Votes Aaron Rodgers 2011 Male Athlete of the Year". Complex. Archived from the original on January 16, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  15. ^ "Michael Phelps Named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year". Swimming World. December 20, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  16. ^ Schilken, Chuck (December 26, 2013). "LeBron James named Associated Press' male athlete of the year". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 2, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  17. ^ "Madison Bumgarner gets AP honor". Associated Press (via ESPN.com). December 30, 2014. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-30. Retrieved 2015-12-30.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ Herbert, James (December 26, 2015). "Warriors' Stephen Curry named AP Male Athlete of the Year". CBS Sports. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  20. ^ Withers, Tom (December 27, 2016). "Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James named AP Male Athlete of Year". The News-Herald. Associated Press. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  21. ^ "Astros star Jose Altuve named AP Male Athlete of the Year". ESPN.com. Associated Press. December 27, 2017. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  22. ^ Beth Harris (2017-12-26). "Katie Ledecky Swims to AP Female Athlete of the Year Honors". The Washington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved 2017-12-26.[dead link]
  23. ^ Holleran, Andrew (December 27, 2018). "Associated Press Names Its 2018 Male Athlete Of The Year". thespun.com. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  24. ^ Mahoney, Brian (December 26, 2018). "Serena voted AP Female Athlete of the Year for 5th time". The Associated Press. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  25. ^ "Kawhi Leonard and Simone Biles Are AP's Athletes of the Year". complex.com. December 28, 2019. Retrieved December 28, 2019.
  26. ^ "One of a kind: Ohtani wins AP Male Athlete of Year award". apnews.com/. December 28, 2021. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  27. ^ "Candace Parker voted AP Female Athlete of Year for 2nd time". Associated Press. 29 December 2021.

NotesEdit