When I think of sports tragedies, I think of baseball players like Darryl Strawberry, Jose Cansesco, Pete Rose, Dwight Gooden, Denny McClain, etc. And In Strawberry and Cansesco's case, both five-tool players who had all the ability to be First Ballot Hall of Famers, but who weren't very disciplined off the field. And both had drug problems as well as injury problems, which had something to do with their lack of discipline as men. In Pete Rose's case, had an incredible great career, because of what he accomplished on the field by that alone, is a First Ballot Hall of Famer.
But of course because Pete placed bets on baseball, has put into serious doubts, of whether he'll ever be inducted into the Hall of Fame. In Denny McClain's case, the former Detroit Tigers pitcher, who is a former Cy Young Award Winner, in 1968 who won thirty games in a season, who was on course to being a First Ballot Hall of Famer, but again had drug and gambling issues and his career was cut short. Because of trouble he got into outside of baseball. Dwight Gooden's case, probably the best National League pitcher of the 1980s. A former Cy Young Award winner as well. Again on course to becoming a First Ballot Hall of Famer, but again addicted to cocaine that kept him out of baseball for a period.
When I think of boxers who had tragic endings to their careers, who never lived up to their potential, I think of one boxer. Iron Mike Tyson, who dominated the heavyweight division in the late 1980s and that says a lot there. He wins the World Heavyweight Championship in 1986 and was dominant that year, as well as 87, 88 and 89, but loses his World Championship by 1990. To a journeyman, but talented boxer in James Buster Douglas, but never showed the discipline to be a great boxer. Who wins the World Championship by beating Mike Tyson in February, 1990, but loses his championship by November, 1990 to Evander Holyfield. And his career was basically over by then. Mike Tyson, by far the most dominant heavyweight of this 3-4 year period, but loses his championship to an unknown undisciplined boxer in 1990. Who loses the championship just nine months later.
And of course Mike Tyson makes an attempt at a comeback in 1991, with a couple of solid fights against Razor Rudduck. Wins both of them, setting up a potential fight with Evander Holyfield, by 1992. But was no longer the dominant boxer that he was a couple years ago, even though he's only in his mid 20s at this point. But of course that fight never happens because of Iron Mike's rape case in 1992. Where at the very least, Mike is guilty of poor judgement and shouldn't of put himself in that position to begin with. Which makes Mike Tyson's career, what could've been, which is how he'll go down, instead of what a great career he had.
ESPN: Mike Tyson- The Fallen Champ