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5 Obscure Gifs That Surprisingly Took The World By Storm

We all love gifs, and most of us use them on a daily basis. In fact, some people use them as a form of communication when words simply won’t describe how they’re feeling in that very moment. While the pronunciation of gif is a hot topic of debate, there’s no doubt that gifs are universally loved, and the internet would not be the same without them.

There are certain gifs that have become so popular over the years, though, that people use them without thinking about their origin. Today, we’re going to do a little bit of internet history behind some of our favorite gifs. How did one obscure part of something grander become the most popular part through the power of gifs? Here are five obscure gifs that surprisingly took over the internet and how they came to be.

Michael Jackson Popcorn

Michael Jackson is by no means obscure himself. After all, the late singer was dubbed “The King of Pop”. Not only that, but Jackson’s video for “Thriller” in 1982 was one of the most successful music videos of all-time, and it came from the highest-selling album in music history. There is one part of the music video that was an afterthought when it was shot, though, and that’s Jackson munching away vigorously on a handful of popcorn.

In the music video, it’s a very brief shot, but the internet has used it as a staple for reaction gifs. When you see two people arguing and don’t want to enter the argument yourself, you simply post the Jackson gif to show that you’re eating popcorn and enjoying the show while the internet rage commences. 

Robert Redford Nodding

When you wholesomely agree with what someone is saying or doing on the internet, there’s a good chance that you’ve responded with a bearded man and long hair slowly nodding in the wilderness as a smile slowly forms on his face. The gif has become a thing of legend, and it’s actually a gif of one of the most popular actors of all time.

The lumberjack-esque actor is none other than Robert Redford, who looks almost completely unrecognizable with the beard and hair combo. The gif comes from the 1972 film “Jeremiah Johnson”, with Redford playing the titular character who fought in the Mexican War before residing in the mountains to get away from it all.

Supa Hot Fire

Have you ever looked at a message board or social media post and witnessed someone get absolutely roasted? There’s a good chance, then, that you’ve seen the gif of a stoic man surrounded by his friends who are hyping him up while one man in particular is so stunned by what was said that he walks away with his hands holding his head.

This gif comes from the character Supa Hot Fire, and the original video was completely satirical. The video shows a rap battle that’s obviously bad in quality, and the hyped-up reactions are simply for show. The five-minute video showed the overreactions that people have during rap battles in 2011 and the video caught (supa hot) fire, with the gif remaining a legend of the internet.

Homer Backs Away

We’ve all seen conversations on the internet that we want no part of. We’ve also been completely wrong on topics, only to be exposed by others fact-checking us. When that happens, you might just want to back away into some shrubbery and hope that nobody sees you again. For that occasion, Homer Simpson slowly backing into a hedge is the perfect way to encapsulate that feeling.

In the original episode of “The Simpsons”, Homer isn’t actually embarrassed. Instead, he’s slowly approaching his newfound friend: neighbor Ned Flanders. He creepily emerges from the bushes only to be told that the Flanders family has plans and he retracts back into the bushes to return home.

The Undertaker Rises

Have you ever had something that gets your attention to the point where you went from bored and tired to wide awake? Perhaps a party invite or the end of the work day comes to mind, and professional wrestler The Undertaker has just the gif for you. Rising from his ringside casket, The Undertaker goes from perfectly dead to wide awake in an instant.

Pro wrestling (and the WWE specifically) is ripe with gif content, especially from “The Deadman”. This particular gif comes from when Brock Lesnar opened a casket with somber music playing, only to find it empty. When he returns to the ring after confronting some druids, the Undertaker magically appears and is ready for battle.

Why Are Gifs So Popular?

On June 15, 1987, the Graphics Interchange Format was released by CompuServe thanks to computer scientist Stephen Earl Wilhite, and it changed the way we communicate forever. While Wilhite says that the pronunciation is like Jif peanut butter, many agree that it should be pronounced with a hard ‘g’. No matter what you call it, though, there’s no doubt that gifs are incredibly popular around the internet.

We use gifs as a way of communicating with one another, especially in terms of reacting to something that we’ve read or seen. No matter your age, you have almost been guaranteed to use a gif at some point when reacting. The weekend is coming up and you’re going to happy hour with the workgroup? There’s a gif for that. Your team just won and made the playoffs in their league? There’s a gif for that.

What is it about gifs that make us love them so much specifically, though? Let’s take a look at the wonderful world of gifs and see what it is that has us all obsessed and using them as a form of communication in today’s digital world.

More Than Words

One of the biggest problems with sending someone a message through text is that there is absolutely no emotion behind it. You can say “okay” in a text, and most people will think that you’re annoyed and being sarcastic, even if your “okay” is filled with enthusiasm and positivity. When you send a gif of a character emphatically saying “okay” with a lot of joy, you’re really getting your point across that you’re happy to be agreeing.

Nobody likes to read a one-word message. Science has shown that people feel like those messages are passive-aggressive, and the same goes with certain emojis like the thumbs-up or checkmark emojis. When it comes to gifs, though, you can convey a one-word message in a way that shows that you’re thinking about that person’s feelings. It’s certainly a problem that wasn’t around a couple of decades ago, but it’s just part of life now.

All Emotions

No matter what you’re feeling in that very moment, there’s a gif for that emotion. From laughing until you’re rolling around and feeling intense stomach pain to being so sick that you can’t move, there’s a gif for just about everything. Even someone that doesn’t particularly like gifs that much will probably end up using them because there are some for how they’re feeling that they can’t quite put into words.

Gifs of people laughing in particular are the ones that get the most traction on the internet. Sometimes just saying “lol” isn’t enough to show just funny you found something to be. Thanks to gifs, we can truly show just how hard we’re laughing. Comedy, despair, apathy, you name it, there’s a gif that shows exactly how you’re feeling.

Easy to Consume

You could send a video to show your reaction to something, but then someone has to open a specific app to watch it, and it might end up being too long. Gifs are much easier for someone to consume at that moment and don’t take forever to load. There are even gifs of entire movies like “Shrek” all condensed into one moving picture that can be viewed on the internet, that’s how far we’ve gotten with gifs.

The best part is that gifs can be sent in lieu of text these days because they won’t take a couple of minutes to load over wireless networks. These days, gifs are almost instantaneous, which has led to an explosion in their popularity. Remember the days of dial-up when a gif took longer to load than a YouTube video does in the current day? Thankfully that’s long done for.

Companies Want Them To Be

We’ve explained all the scientific reasons why gifs are so popular, but there’s a business aspect to it, as well. Companies like Facebook and Google have acquired gif websites like Tenor and GIPHY, and they want you to use them. Some companies pay to have their gifs show up first when you’re searching for a specific one, which is probably something that you didn’t know.

Social media pushes these gifs, though not many people are fooled into using a McDonald’s or Walmart gif just out of the blue. Still, with these companies present at the top of the search results, they’re at least getting eyes on their products.

5 Best Pitchers in Seattle Mariners History

The Seattle Mariners certainly don’t have the longest history for teams in Major League Baseball, but they have had a fascinating one. Over the years, the Mariners have had some memorable players that include Alex Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez, and, of course, Ken Griffey Jr. They’ve also had a lot of great players on the mound.

Seattle is known for seemingly always having one pitcher that dominates the rest of the league, even if the team isn’t successful at the time. Let’s take a walk down memory lane for the Mariners franchise and look at their five best pitchers in team history. Before we get to the lists, some of the pitchers that just missed the cut include Gil Meche, Joel Pineiro, Paul Abbott, and Mike Moore.

5. Mark Langston

The first pitcher on the list is Mark Langston, who got his start with the Seattle Mariners back in 1984 when he was 23 years old. Langston was actually a draft selection for the Chicago Cubs in 1978, but three years later was selected by the Mariners in the second round. Langston had a strong rookie season, posting a record of 17-10 with a 3.40 earned run average.

In total, Langston spent more than five seasons with Seattle as he was traded to Montreal during the 1989 campaign. Overall, Langston had a record of 74-67 with the Mariners and an ERA of 4.01 with one All Star Game appearance prior to his trade. Langston then went on to have a long career with the California Angels before retiring as a member of the Cleveland Indians in 1999.

4. Freddy Garcia

One of the best players to ever come from the country of Venezuela, Freddy Garcia signed with the Mariners when he came to the United States, and was just 22 years old when he made his debut with the team in 1999. Garcia shone in his rookie season, posting a record of 17-8 with 170 strikeouts, and finishing second in the Rookie of the Year voting.

Like Langston, Garcia was traded during his sixth season with Seattle, put it was a fine career that he had with the Mariners. He finished with a record of 76-50 in Seattle and an ERA of 3.89, striking out 819 batters. Garcia played for a total of seven franchises before retiring after the 2013 season.

3. Jamie Moyer

Not many people can say that they’ve played 25 or more seasons in Major League Baseball, but Jamie Moyer is one of those few people. After spending time with the Cubs, Rangers, Cardinals, Orioles, and Red Sox, Jamie Moyer came to the Mariners via trade in 1996 at the age of 33 and spent 11 different seasons in Seattle.

During that time, Moyer had more than half of his 269 career wins (145), posting an impressive win percentage of .625. Moyer also had an ERA under 4.0 and helped the Mariners have one of the finest seasons in MLB history in 2001 with a record of 20-6. Moyer played for eight teams in his MLB career, but many of his years were with the Mariners.

2. Felix Hernandez

Selecting the top two was the hardest part of the list, and the silver medal goes to “King” Felix Hernandez, the second player on the list from Venezuela. At just 19 years old, Hernandez joined the Mariners and got off to a strong start in his limited rookie campaign. Things only got better as Hernandez became the long-time ace for Seattle, spending all 15 of his MLB seasons with the franchise.

Hernandez put together some incredible seasons in Seattle, including his 2009 Cy Young-winning season where he posted a 19-5 record and 2.49 earned run average. In total, Hernandez finished with 169 wins and 2,524 strikeouts to go along with his six All-Star appearances and two ERA titles.

1. Randy Johnson

“The Big Unit” may have come into the MLB with the Montreal Expos, but he’ll always be remembered for truly getting his start with the Mariners. Acquired in a 1989 trade, Randy Johnson spent 10 different seasons with Seattle, more than any other team during his illustrious career.

Johnson dominated while with the Mariners and finished with a record of 130-74 and a 3.42 earned run average. He was able to strike out 2,162 batters, as well, which is insane for less than 10 full seasons. Johnson may have won his World Series title with Arizona, but he’ll always be remembered as a Mariner.

5 Most Storied College Basketball Programs

College basketball is one of those sports where if you’re good, you’re probably going to be good for a long time. There is a list of bluebloods in the sport that are seemingly in contention for the NCAA title year after year, and even new entries into the upper echelon like Gonzaga that went from being a one-time cinderella team to a top-level basketball team.

With that in mind, which programs have the most storied success throughout college basketball history? We have five in mind that rise above the rest as the most storied programs. Before we get into the list, some of the honorable mentions that just missed the cut include Indiana, Louisville, Villanova, UConn, and Syracuse.

5. Kansas

There are college basketball fans that are in their 50s right now that haven’t seen a decade without Kansas making it to the Final Four. The Jayhawks are one of the most illustrious programs in college basketball and have consistently won their conference no matter what it is. They’ve called the Big 12 their home for many years, routinely taking home the regular season championship.

All in all, the Kansas Jayhawks rank third in terms of most NCAA Tournament appearances and won their first two national titles in the pre-tournament days. Since the tournament’s inception, Kansas has won four titles, with the first coming in 1952. They added championships in 1988, 2008, and 2022, moving them up to sixth all-time.

4. Duke

Many forget that prior to Mike Krzyzewski becoming the coach of the Duke Blue Devils that the team was in that “good, but not great” category. Once Coach K took over, though, Duke became a powerhouse program that hasn’t looked back. Duke had reached the Final Four several times before Coach K, but they became regulars starting in the late 1980s.

The Blue Devils have won the NCAA Tournament five times, all of which have come since 1991, the year after Duke finished as the country’s runner-up for the fourth time. Duke is fifth all-time in terms of NCAA Tournament appearances and has won their conference more than two dozen times during the regular season. In a conference as prestigious as the ACC, that’s quite the accomplishment. Duke has also routinely put players into the NBA, with more than two dozen on pro rosters during the 2022-23 NBA season alone.

3. North Carolina

We go from one North Carolina school to its biggest rival, the North Carolina Tar Heels. UNC is the home for legendary players like James Worthy, Vince Carter, and, of course, Michael Jordan. The Tar Heels were coached by Dean Smith for more than 35 years, and after some hiccups, had the great Roy Williams at the helm for nearly two decades.

Throughout UNC history, the program has made more NCAA Tournament appearances than any other team besides one that we’ll get to in just a moment. The school has made 12 appearances in the NCAA Championship, winning six titles in the process, which is good enough for third all-time.

2. Kentucky

The Kentucky Wildcats are one of the original bluebloods of college basketball, winning multiple championships even prior to World War II. When the NCAA Tournament got its start, Kentucky was right there in contention and made it to the Final Four three times during the 1940s. The team hasn’t slowed down since then, reaching the end of the bracket at least once in every decade except for the 2000s.

It seemed like the luster of Kentucky was starting to wear off during that time, but the team hired coach John Calipari and has remained one of the most relevant programs in basketball. No team has more NCAA Tournament appearances than Kentucky, and only one team has more than the eight championships that the Wildcats have won.

1. UCLA

While the UCLA Bruins might not carry the same luster that they once did, the history of the program is impossible for anyone to catch up with at this point. Under the tutelage of the great John Wooden, UCLA basketball became a powerhouse, winning 11 championships during his more than quarter-century with the program.

UCLA was also able to win another title in their post-Wooden era, doing so in 1995 under Jim Harrick. UCLA’s 11 titles are more than any other school by a long shot, and they’ve made the Final Four in all but one decade (2010s) since the 1960s. They rank fourth in NCAA Tournament appearances, but it’s the title wins that set them apart.

5 Best Managers in Seattle Mariners History

It seems that during the 1990s, the Seattle Mariners were one of the best teams in baseball and that bled into the early 2000s. However, the franchise hasn’t had a ton of success outside of that time frame and has one of the worst win-loss records for any franchise in Major League Baseball. In fact, only the Orioles, Phillies, Rockies, Padres, and Marlins have worse winning percentages.

Because of the ups and downs that the Mariners have had, there have been quite a few managers that have been hired and fired. Out of the nearly two dozen managers that the Mariners have had, there are a few that stick out as actually helping the franchise move forward. Here are the five best managers in Seattle Mariners history.

5. Jim Lefebvre

The first manager on the list had a decently long MLB career as a player, spending eight seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers before closing out his playing days in Japan. In 1989, Jim Lefebvre became a manger for the first time as he was introduced as the ninth manager in Seattle Mariners history, and the franchise needed a spark.

Lefebvre was able to provide that spark, as the team finished with a winning record for the first time in franchise history during Lefebvre’s third season. However, the team ultimately decided to let him go after the 1991 season, and he went on to manage the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers. Lefebvre finished his Mariners career with a record of 233 wins and 253 losses.

4. Bob Melvin

There are some managers that truly get around the game of baseball and end up leading multiple franchises, and Bob Melvin is one of them. Melvin has managed the Arizona Diamondbacks, Oakland Athletics, and San Diego Padres during his career, but his first managerial job came as a member of the Seattle Mariners.

Melvin found a lot of success in his first season, putting up a record of 93-69. Things looked like they were heading in a good direction, but the Mariners lost 99 games the following season and Melvin was let go. It goes to show just how rough the Mariners have had it if one winning season as a manager gets you into the top four.

3. Lloyd McClendon

Another one of those people that seems to get around as a coach or manager in Major League Baseball, Lloyd McClendon was the leader of the Mariners franchise for two seasons in 2014 and 2015. This came after he had spent several seasons as the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and prior to his stint with the Detroit Tigers.

After leaving the Pirates, McClendon was a long-time assistant in Detroit when he was hired to be the Mariners’ manager for those two seasons. Seattle finished with an 87-75 record in McClendon’s first season, but it was followed up with a 76-86 campaign, leading to the franchise and McClendon parting ways despite an overall winning record.

2. Scott Servais

Scott Servais was a long-time catcher in Major League Baseball, spending the bulk of his career behind the dish with the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs throughout the 1990s. He last played in 2001 with the Astros and went into front office work following his playing days, and said it was his dream to become a manager one day. Servais got his wish in 2016 when he was named the 20th manager in Seattle Mariners history.

Servais posted a winning record in his first season, though things would be up and down over his first few years. Despite a last-place finish in 2019, Servais is one of just two managers to have a winning record with at least three years at the helm in Seattle. In 2022, Servais led the Mariners to their first postseason appearance since 2001, putting together back-to-back 90-win seasons. 

1. Lou Piniella

Of course, you can’t talk about Mariners managers without mentioning “Sweet Lou” Piniella, the short-fused skipper that has had success at just about every stop. He spent the late 1980s and early 1990s with the Yankees and Reds, and ended his career with the Rays and Cubs, but much of his managerial career was with the Mariners, spending 10 seasons with the franchise.

Nobody in Mariners history has had a better record than Piniella, finishing at 840-711. Piniella was also the two-time recipient of the Manager of the Year Award in 1995 and 2001, remaining the only Mariners manager to win the award. Piniella is also just one of two managers to lead the Mariners to the postseason, finishing with 15 playoff games won.

5 Best Closers in MLB History

In the early days of baseball, the closer position simply didn’t exist. Instead, pitchers that started the game would end up finishing it, and probably come back and pitch another nine innings a day or two later. These days, though, managers are changing pitchers throughout the entire game to get the best matchups, and the closer position has become an important one.

Since the advent of the closer spot, there has been a lot of great talent on the mound. Let’s take a look at the five best closers in MLB history. Before we get into the list, some of the honorable mentions include Bruce Sutter, Lee Smith, Aroldis Chapman, Rollie Fingers, and John Smoltz.

5. Billy Wagner

Those that started watching baseball during the mid-to-late 2000s might remember Billy Wagner better for his time with the Philadelphia Phillies or New York Mets, but fans from the late 1990s of National League Central teams certainly remember Wagner when he was with the Houston Astros. Wagner spent nine seasons with Houston and then played for four other teams during his 16-year career.

Over that time, Wagner didn’t make a single MLB start as he went straight into a closing role during his first full season. Wagner would finish with 422 career saves, including a whopping 44 during the 2003 season. Wagner also had an impressive earned run average of 2.31 in his career and was a seven-time All-Star.

4. Rich Gossage

Though his birth name is Richard, everyone will forever know Mr. Gossage simply as “Goose.” Gossage played for nine different franchises during his long MLB career, with much of that time being spent with the Yankees, White Sox, and Padres. Originally beginning his career as a starting pitcher, Gossage moved into the closer’s role in his fourth season, collecting 26 saves with Chicago.

Gossage would finish his career with a total of 310 saves and an earned run average of 3.01 over 22 seasons. Gossage had to wait a while to hear his name called for the Baseball Hall of Fame, but it finally happened for the nine-time All-Star when he was inducted in 2008. At the time, he had been on the ballot for nine seasons.

3. Dennis Eckersley

Winning the Most Valuable Player Award is difficult to do as a pitcher, especially since the position has its own award. Dennis Eckersley did just that, though, and also won a Cy Young Award in the process. Eckersley played in 24 different Major League seasons, making appearances for five different teams.

Much of Eck’s career was spent with the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics, combining for 17 seasons between the two franchises. Overall, Eckersley had an earned run average of 3.50 and notched 390 career saves. Prior to becoming a closer, Eckersley was a phenomenal starting pitcher and finished with a career record of 197 wins and 171 losses.

2. Trevor Hoffman

It’s easy to forget that Trevor Hoffman actually entered Major League Baseball as a member of the expansion Florida Marlins, but in his rookie season was traded to the San Diego Padres. A bit of a late bloomer, Hoffman made his MLB debut at 25 years old and instantly became the go-to for the Padres during the rest of the 1990s and almost the entirety of the 2000s.

Hoffman was a seven-time All-Star during his MLB career and was the two-time Rolaids Relief Pitcher of the Year. He finished with a career record of 61-75, notching just over 600 career saves, and held a low earned run average of 2.87 with three different franchises, ending with Milwaukee in the 2010 season.

1. Mariano Rivera

Pretty much a unanimous pick for the top closer in baseball history, Mariano Rivera was able to make a career out of having just one pitch: his cutter. Rivera was a member of the New York Yankees for all 19 of his Major League seasons, winning a whopping five World Series titles and five more Rolaids Relief Pitcher of the Year titles.

“Mo” was named to the All Star Game 13 times during his illustrious career and was an easy choice for the Baseball Hall of Fame. He would finish with the all-time record of 652 saves, carrying an ERA of just 2.21 while striking ou 1,173 batters with his devastating cutter. It’s unlikely we’ll see that type of career-long dominance from a closer again.

5 Best Free Agent Signing in MLB History

If there’s one sport in which you want to be a free agent, it’s baseball. Typically, teams will grant massive contracts, all of the money is guaranteed, and you tend to find a spot to call home for several years. However, not all players live up to these massive contracts, especially when they get to be eight years in length or longer. Then, there are those free agents that play well above their expectations.

Today, we look at some of the players that ended up being huge bargains for franchises, with some even leading them to championships. Here are our picks for the five best free agent signings in MLB history. Before we start the list, some of the honorable mentions include Manny Ramirez (Boston Red Sox), Roger Clemens (Toronto Blue Jays), Vladimir Guerrero (Anaheim Angels), and Adrian Beltre (Texas Rangers).

5. Reggie Jackson (New York Yankees)

The man that would eventually become known as “Mr. October” was an MVP with the Athletics organization, sticking with the team during their move from Kansas City to Oakland in the late 1960s. After a falling out with the team, though, Jackson departed prior to the 1976 season as he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles where he played for one season.

Heading into the 1977 season, Jackson found a new home in the form of the New York Yankees, with owner George Steinbrenner handing him $2.9 million over five years. That sounds like nothing now, but at the time it was a huge deal, and Jackson delivered. During his five seasons with the Yankees, Jackson had a batting average of .281 with 144 home runs, including many clutch postseason dingers that helped the Yankees win two World Series titles.

4. Larry Walker (Colorado Rockies)

Larry Walker was one of the many eventual greats that started with the Montreal Expos but was allowed to leave after the 1994 strike season. Walker was a one-time All-Star in Montreal, with a lot of teams vying for his services.

The Colorado Rockies took, what was at the time, a huge chance by giving Walker $22.5 million over four seasons. He certainly didn’t disappoint as he hit 126 home runs during his original contract despite missing half of one season. Walker stuck around for a total of 10 years in Colorado, hitting 258 home runs and winning an MVP Award.

3. Randy Johnson (Arizona Diamondbacks)

Though most associate Randy Johnson with the Seattle Mariners early in his career, The Big Unit actually came up with the Montreal Expos before being traded to Seattle during the 1989 Major League season. Johnson was a dominant force with the Mariners, winning 130 games in his 10 seasons and racking up over 2,100 strikeouts.

After the Mariners traded him to Houston to end the 1998 season, Johnson became a free agent and signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks who shelled out a massive $52.4 million contract for four years (and a fifth-year option). Arizona broke the bank with their deal, but it ended up paying off as Johnson won 81 games during that four-year stretch and the 2001 World Series MVP.

2. Barry Bonds (San Francisco Giants)

A star from the get-go with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Barry Bonds spent seven seasons with the team and won the 1990 MVP Award. After a second MVP title in 1992, the Pirates were simply too cheap to sign him to a long-term contract and he became a free agent.

Prior to the 1993 season, the San Francisco Giants signed Bonds to a six-year contract worth $43.7 million. At the time, that was an insane amount, but somehow, Bonds still exceeded the expectations on the contract. Bonds stuck around the Giants beyond his original contract and finished with a .312 batting average and 586 home runs as a member of the Giants in 15 seasons.

1. Greg Maddux (Atlanta Braves)

Greg Maddux originally came up as part of the Chicago Cubs organization after being a second-round draft selection and made his Major League debut in 1986 at just 20 years old. Maddux went on to become a two-time All-Star in Chicago and even won the Cy Young Award, but the team inexplicably let him walk.

Maddux then signed with the Atlanta Braves for five years and $28 million, which was not even close to the highest offer that he received as the Yankees offered $34 million. Maddux was a perfect fit in Atlanta where he went 194-88 with a 2.63 earned run average during his 11 seasons with the Braves en route to a Hall of Fame career. While $28 million was a lot at the time, it was certainly worth it, especially by today’s standards.

5 Best Players Not in the Baseball Hall of Fame

Every major sport in North America has a Hall of Fame, but none is more exclusive than baseball’s. Located in Cooperstown, New York, the Baseball Hall of Fame only truly selects the best of the best to make it to enshrinement, with writers selecting from a long list of former players each year, but often only getting one or two people selected.

As a result, there have been plenty of great players that have been left out. Unlike the Basketball Hall of Fame where someone that won a single Sixth Man of the Year Award can get in, you need to do a lot to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Here are the five best players that still haven’t been let in. Before we get into the list, some of the other greatest players that aren’t in the Hall of Fame include Curt Schilling, Joe Jackson, Manny Ramirez, and Mark McGwire

5. Alex Rodriguez

Why he should be in: It doesn’t matter what team Alex Rodriguez was playing with during his career, he was one of the best shortstops in the game, and was one of the best players at that position in MLB history. Rodriguez crossed just about every major milestone to get into the Hall of Fame, including knocking out just shy of 700 home runs over his 22-year career while having a .295 batting average.

Why he’s not in the Hall of Fame: Simply put, Alex Rodriguez is one of the few people that actually got caught using performance-enhancing drugs. That alone will likely keep him out of the Hall of Fame for good. 

4. Pete Rose

Why he should be in: No player in Major League Baseball history has more base hits than Pete Rose, which alone should get him into the Hall of Fame. Even with that out of play, Rose was still able to lead the Major Leagues in batting average on three different occasions while also winning two Gold Gloves, Rookie of the Year, an MVP Award, and three World Series titles while being named an All-Star 17 times.

Why he’s not in the Hall of Fame: Pete Rose was banned from baseball for life due to gambling on games while he was still a player/manager. The Baseball Hall of Fame followed suit and deemed him ‘permanently ineligible’ to be enshrined.

3. Sammy Sosa

Why he should be in: Sammy Sosa was one of the biggest reasons that people tuned back into baseball following the player’s strike, going toe-to-toe with Mark McGwire in 1998 for the new home run title. Sosa was an MVP with the Chicago Cubs and finished his career with 609 home runs and 1,667 runs batted in while being named an All-Star seven times and winning six Silver Slugger Awards.

Why he’s not in the Hall of Fame: Sosa was one of the many players that were brought in front of Congress during the steroid scandal of the 2000s. Sosa denied taking performance-enhancing drugs, but writers haven’t been convinced and have kept him out of the Hall of Fame.

2. Roger Clemens

Why he should be in: Roger Clemens played with four Major League teams during his 24-season career, including extended stops with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. During that time, Clemens was one of the most dominant pitchers in the Major Leagues, finishing with 354 career wins and 4,672 strikeouts. Clemens won seven Cy Young Awards and an MVP while also adding a pair of World Series titles.

Why he’s not in the Hall of Fame: The story with Clemens is the same that it is for Sosa. There was always the suspicion that Clemens was on PEDs, and he testified that he hadn’t taken any. Even though he was found not guilty of perjury, Clemens has still been left out.

1. Barry Bonds

Why he should be in: Barry Bonds is perhaps the best hitter in Major League Baseball history. He was a 14-time All-Star that won a dozen Silver Slugger Awards across his career with the Pirates and Giants. During that time, Bonds hit a record 762 career home runs with a .298 batting average, but perhaps his most staggering stat is his on-base percentage of .444, which will never be topped in modern baseball.

Why he’s not in the Hall of Fame: Baseball writers simply didn’t like Bonds as the relationship between the two was often contentious. Bonds was also one of the main players in the BALCO scandal and was originally charged with perjury and obstruction of justice in the case, though the charges were dropped.

5 Rappers Who Retired Early

When it comes to the world of hip-hop, a lot of rappers end up having the same career length as that of a professional football player. Not all of them get to stick around into their 50s and 60s as they can lose that edge once the money and success come, or just do not really gel with what younger audiences are listening to.

There are plenty of great rappers who have retired before turning 40, with some even doing so before turning 30 years old. Out of the many rappers that have called it a career in their younger years, which ones stand out as the best? Here are our picks for the five best rappers who retired early, leaving their fans wishful for a big return somewhere down the road.

Jay-Z

Shawn Carter, widely known by his stage name Jay-Z, has had an extremely successful career. He became the co-founder of the record label Roc-A-Fella Records and released his debut album, Reasonable Doubt, in 1996. 

Some of his greatest hits throughout his illustrious career include Big Pimpin’, Can I Get A…, Hard Knock Life(Ghetto Anthem), and 99 Problems. He announced his retirement following his 2003 album “The Black Album“, after the constant flow of album releases. Though he says making music may still be in his future. 

Logic

Robert Hall, who goes by his stage name Logic, has had a huge impact through his socially conscious and wildly talented rap career. Logic got his start in 2010 after he released his debut mixtape Young, Broke, & Infamous. 

Three years and another music venture later, he signed on with Def Jam Recordings. His following albums Under Pressure, The Incredible True Story, and Everybody gained him worldwide notoriety and topped the charts. After his 2020 album No Pressure, he decided to retire to focus on his personal life and start a family. Logic has since released two albums with Def Jam, before his departure. 

Ma$e

Mason Betha, also known by his stage name Ma$e, began his rap career in 1996 when he befriended Notorious B.I.G’s road manager Cudda Love. After attending a convention and performing in front of Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs he acquired a deal with Bad Boy Records. 

He was featured on songs by Notorious B.I.G and Puff Daddy, like Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems, Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down, and Been Around the World. Ma$e later released his debut album Harlem World, reaching the top of the charts and hitting platinum status. In 1999 Ma$e called it quits and retired from rap to become a minister and pursue his faith. 

Kid Cudi

Scott Mescudi, widely known by his stage name Kid Cudi, started rapping while he was growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, and decided to move to New York City to further his career. Kid Cudi made it big when his songs started to take off on the social media site MySpace, and in 2009 he released his debut album titled “Man on the Moon: The End of Day”.

Some of Cudi’s hit songs included “Day ‘n’ Nite”, “Pursuit of Happiness” and “Erase Me”, though he faded from the mainstream spotlight during the early 2010s. He returned in a big way in 2020 by releasing songs with Travis Scott and Eminem but shortly thereafter announced his retirement at just 38 years old. “I want to be done with it,” he said. “I think, closing the chapter on Kid Cudi…I’ve made a lot of music, man.”

Run DMC

Run DMC is arguably one of the most popular and highly successful rap groups of our time. They got their start when members Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels, and Jason Mizell founded the group and signed with Profile Records in 1983. 

That same year they released their single “It’s Like That” which did well commercially. The group’s fame grew after releasing a few albums in the following years. Things really took off when they released their best-selling and most renowned album “Raising Hell”. Tragically, in 2002 Mizell was murdered at a recording studio and the group announced they would be retiring. 

5 US Destinations to Visit By Rail

When you think of traveling via train, your mind instantly goes to Europe. In one day, you can travel by rail and see several countries, and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. In fact, you can see more than two dozen countries in Europe for around $300, making it a massive bargain. In North America, however, and the United States specifically, traveling is done mostly by vehicle or airplane rather than a train.

One of the biggest reasons why passenger cars aren’t more popular in the United States is that most of the rails are owned by freight companies, making it difficult to schedule passenger cars without being a logistical nightmare or constructing a whole new set of rails. Still, there are some places in the United States that you can reach by train rather easily, with these five being the top spots.

New York City

New York City is the largest and most popular city in the United States, and one of the easiest to get to when traveling by car or plane. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to know that getting there by train isn’t too difficult, either. New York City is easily reachable from other major hubs in America’s northeast, and the local rail scene makes it so that you don’t need a taxi to get around.

The Big Apple has the largest local rail system in the country, and it isn’t even close. More than 2.7 billion (yes, billion) people ride the rails of the New York City Transit Authority each year, which offers around 250 miles in track length. With nearly 500 stations, you can visit Yankee Stadium, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, and more all easily within the same day.

Chicago

Outside of New York City, perhaps the only other city where you could get away with absolutely never needing to drive a car in your life is Chicago. Chicago offers the third-largest local rapid transit system in the country with over 218 million riders per year and over 100 miles of track that take you from airport to airport and baseball stadium to baseball stadium.

Getting to Chicago via train isn’t all that hard, either, as pretty much every railroad eventually leads to Chicago. Outside of New York, it’s one of the biggest hub cities for rail transportation, serving as the midwest’s de facto train capital. Whether you’re coming from Detroit, St. Louis, or Milwaukee, any long train trip will connect through Chicago.

Seattle

The Pacific Northwest is a bit of an outlier when it comes to any sort of travel in the United States as it serves as basically the only major hub of travel in the area. Whether you’re in Southern California or in Minneapolis, there’s a railway that leads to Seattle.

It can be a bit tricky to get there if you’re heading from the southwest as you have to make your way to Sacramento to get to the northbound train that heads to Seattle, but you’ll be glad that you made the trip. You’ll also get to stop in beautiful Portland, Oregon along the way to spice up the deal.

Washington D.C.

The nation’s capital is known for gridlock traffic from outsiders, but it should get a lot more praise for its public transport. Washington D.C. offers some of the best in the country, allowing those that live in the city the opportunity to get anywhere without needing to get stuck in some of the nation’s worst traffic jams.

Even getting to Washington D.C. is easy as it serves as the major hub of the east coast for national travel. Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and more all make their way to D.C. so you don’t have to fly.

Cleveland

Cleveland, Ohio is a fantastic city that serves as the connector for railways that are heading from the Atlantic coast to the Chicago hub. Washington D.C., Boston, Albany, and Pittsburgh connect from the east while Chicago feeds in from the west.

Though the local rail system isn’t one that gets a lot of love from around the world, it’s still one of the largest (ranking in the top 15). Starting at the Airport, you can travel by train to landmarks including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.