A list of 15 of the most famous Hispanic athletes of all time

A list of 15 of the most famous Hispanic athletes of all time

Claudia Kogi
updated at August 7, 2023 at 2:15 PM
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Some of the most famous Hispanic Americans have been leaving their prints in the world of sports for decades. And while most of them are called game-changing Latina athletes, they have relentlessly reached their goals. Thanks to them, present and future Latina athletes have an easier path to success, fame, and victory.

Famous Hispanic American athletes
Argentina players celebrate with teammates after scoring a second goal during the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group G match between Argentina and South Africa at Dunedin Stadium on 28 July 2023 in Dunedin. Photo: Joe Allison
Source: Getty Images

These current famous Hispanic athletes' excellence and dedication have paved the way for future generations and serve as an example that anything is possible with determination and discipline. Their accomplishments range from winning Olympic medals to championships in their respective individual or team sports to even the highest individual honours, like MVP awards.

A list of the most famous Hispanic athletes

Most of the Hispanic athletes featured on this list are in their sport's respective Hall of Fame, which is an honour that should be taken lightly by anyone. Besides, arguably, some of the greatest athletes in the sport's history are Hispanic.

According to various online sources, Sports Brief compiled a detailed list displaying some of the 10 famous Hispanic athletes as of August 2023.

15. Ivan Rodriguez

Famous Hispanic American athletes
Hall of Famer Ivan Pudge Rodriguez is introduced during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Clark Sports Center on 29 July 2018 in Cooperstown, New York. Photo: Mark Cunningham
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Iván Rodríguez Torres
  • Sport(s): Baseball
  • Years active: 1991 - 2011

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Rodriguez is renowned for being one of the greatest catchers in MLB history. The recently inducted Hall of Famer is a 14-time All-Star, 13-time Golden Glove winner, the 1999 AL MVP, and World Series champ (2003 with the Marlins).

14. Laurie Hernandez

A list of the most famous Hispanic athletes
Gymnast Laurie Hernandez poses for a portrait on 27 October 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Harry How
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Lauren Zoe Hernandez
  • Sport(s): Olympics; Gymnast
  • Years active: 2012 - present

Laurine is the youngest entrant and among the most famous female Hispanic athletes on this list. She won a gold medal as part of the USA women's gymnastics team at the 2016 Rio Olympics and a silver medal at the individual balance beam event.

13. Rebecca Lobo

  • Full name: Rebecca Rose Lobo-Rushin
  • Sport(s): Basketball
  • Years active: 1997 to 2003

One of the early stars of the WNBA, the Cuban American basketball player is known for winning a national championship with Connecticut in 1995 and a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics. Moreover, she was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.

12. Dara Torres

Current famous Hispanic athletes
Swimmer Dara Torres arrives at the 2014 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre LA Live on 16 July 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Axelle
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Dara Grace Torres
  • Sport(s): Olympics; Swimming
  • Years active: 1984 - 2009

Hailing from Los Angeles, Dara Torres is one of the most successful female Olympians ever. She has won 12 total medals throughout her career. 2008 she became the oldest swimmer to make a U.S. Olympic team.

11. Tom Fears

  • Full name: Thomas Jesse Fears
  • Sport(s): American football
  • Years active: 1948-1956

Born in Mexico to an American father and Mexican mother, Tom Fears is among the Famous Hispanic male athletes renowned for being a Hall of Fame split end/wide receiver who played for the Los Angeles Rams. He helped the team win an NFL title in 1951 after being named the NFL's 1950 All-Decade Team.

10. Cain Velasquez

Famous Hispanic male athletes
Former UFC heavyweight champion, Cain Velasquez, speaks at a WWE news conference at T-Mobile Arena on 11 October 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Ethan Miller
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Cain Ramírez Velásquez
  • Sport(s): MMA, UFC
  • Years active: 2006-present

Velasquez, a two-time UFC heavyweight champion, makes no secret of how proud he is of his heritage and legacy. The MMA fighter has a somewhat conspicuous Brown Pride tattoo, representing and embracing his Mexican roots.

9. Ryan Lochte

  • Full name: Ryan Steven Lochte
  • Sport(s): Olympics: Swimming
  • Years active: 2004-2021

The Cuban American is a 12-time Olympic medalist, making him one of the most successful male Olympic swimmers as of August 2023.

8. Alex Rodriguez

Famous Hispanic male athletes
Alex Rodriguez speaks prior to the World Baseball Classic Semifinals between Team Japan and Team Mexico at loan Depot Park on 20 March 2023 in Miami, Florida. Photo: Megan Briggs
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez
  • Sport(s): Baseball
  • Years active: 1994-2016

Despite the controversies and criticism, Rodriguez is among the greatest baseball players ever. By the time he retired in 2016, the Dominican-American player was fourth all-time in-home runs (696) and third in RBIs (2,086). As of August 2023, he is among the most famous Hispanic athletes in baseball.

7. Jim Plunkett

A list of the most famous Hispanic athletes
Former Raiders quarterback, Jim Plunkett, looks on before a game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium on 1 January 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Ethan Miller
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: James William Plunkett
  • Sport(s): American football
  • Years active: 1971-1986

Born to Mexican American parents, Jim Plunkett is known for leading the Raiders to two Super Bowl wins; XV and XVIII. The quarterback is also the only Latino to win the Heisman Trophy, which he received for his efforts at Stanford after the 1970 season.

6. Ted Williams

  • Full name: Theodore Samuel Williams
  • Sport(s): Baseball
  • Years active: 1939-1960

Yes! Teddy Ballgame, the Boston Red Sox slugger and one of baseball's all-time greats, was Hispanic. The 19-time All-Star and two-time Triple Crown winner was born to a Mexican American mom. To date, he is categorised among the most famous Hispanic American athletes.

5. Roberto Clemente

A list of the most famous Hispanic athletes
A portrait of Roberto Clemente. Photo:Bettmann
Source: Getty Images
  • Full name: Roberto Enrique Clemente Walker
  • Sport(s): Baseball
  • Years active: 1955-1972

Arguably the most excellent guru to ever don the Pittsburgh Pirates uniform, he led his team to two World Series: 1960 and 1971. He is also one of 31 players to get 3,000 hits. One of the first Latinos enshrined at Cooperstown, Clemente tragically died in 1972 following a plane crash.

4. Carmelo Anthony

  • Full name: Carmelo Kyam Anthony
  • Sport(s): Basketball
  • Years active: 2003-2022

Anthony is the greatest Latino basketball player of all time. He is a 10-time NBA All-Star, has four Olympic medals, three gold and one bronze, and an NCAA national championship under his belt.

3. Tony Gonzalez

  • Full name: Anthony David Gonzalez
  • Sport(s): American football
  • Years active: 1997-2013

Undoubtedly, Tony Gonzalez is one of the most extraordinary tight ends ever to play the sport. In 2019, he was the first-ballot inductee to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Mexican American is a 14-time Pro Bowler and holds the record for most career reception yards and touchdowns by a tight end.

2. Oscar De La Hoya

  • Full name: Oscar De La Hoya
  • Sport(s): Boxing
  • Years active: 1992-2008

Famously dubbed the Golden Boy, the East Los Angeles native of Mexican descent is among the greatest boxers in the sport's history. Oscar De La Hoya won championship belts across six different weight divisions in his career, which extended through the 90s and the early 2000s.

1. Tony Romo

  • Full name: Antonio Ramiro Romo
  • Sport(s): American football
  • Years active: 2002-2016
Famous Hispanic male athletes
Tony Romo looks on during the third period in Game Four of the Western Conference Final of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Dallas Stars and the Vegas Golden Knights at American Airlines Center on 25 May 2023 in Dallas, Texas. Photo: Steph Chambers
Source: Getty Images

Antonio Ramiro Romo, whose paternal grandparents came to the United States from Mexico, is a renowned quarterback in Dallas Cowboys history. The recently retired Romo holds the team records for most passing touchdowns and passing yards.

Who are the most famous Hispanic athletes in soccer?

A few Hispanic soccer players earned their reputation through their artistic game. Below is a list of some of the famous Hispanic soccer players.

1. Lionel Messi

2. Pep Guardiola

3. Diego Maradona

4. Diego Costa

5. David Silva

Interestingly, most famous Hispanic athletes play in vast leagues like the National Football League, Major League Baseball, Olympics, Mixed Martial Arts and Ultimate Fighting Championships, and National Basketball Association. Even though some of them are late as of 2023, their legacies are still bestowed upon their fans' hearts.

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Each year there is always a new bunch of stars being drafted into the NBA, and despite pressure from fans, some of them grow to become legends. Click on the link above to find out which is the best NBA draft class of all time.

Claudia Kogi photo
Claudia Kogi
Claudia Kogi is a Kenyan content creator with over 3 years of experience. Claudia joined Sportsbrief.com as a writer in January 2022, covering sports and relatable content.
Pep Guardiola