Sport and cigar smoking have long been intertwined as two classics in American culture. Whether in a locker room in a moment of post-championship glory or just in a post-game moment of relaxation, cigars have cemented themselves, especially with a core group of famous athletes, both past and present.
Whether they made their money hitting home runs or draining clutch jump shots, included is a list of a few of the greats known to savor a good cigar now and again.
Babe Ruth: While Ruth stands among baseball’s immortals as the third-highest grossing home run hitter of all-time, his cigar-smoking habits were also rumored to be legendary. Known to enjoy several courses of food and drink with his cigars, Ruth even helped buy a cigar factory in Boston while still a member of the Boston Red Sox. Producing five-cent cigars with his own picture on the wrapper, Ruth became a bit of a cigar mogul in his time as well.
Michael Jordan: Arguably the greatest basketball player of all time and an avid golfer, it’s rare that Jordan will hit the links nowadays or even be seen nowadays without a choice cigar. Once a sign of a season well done, cigars have now become a major hobby for the six-time NBA Champion. Jordan’s new mansion in Jupiter, Florida (located on, surprise, a golf course) is reportedly equipped with special humidor equipment that allows for large quantities of smoke throughout.
Wayne Gretzky: Without a doubt one of hockey’s most accomplished players, Gretzky began smoking cigars during the tail-end of his career in Edmonton and hasn’t stopped since. He’s also been enjoying cigars on the golf course much more in recent years, and all signs point to him continuing to do so, with his daughter, Paulina, recently announcing her engagement to PGA Tour golfer Dustin Johnson.
Red Auerbach: Totaling the second-highest number of championships in NBA history as the coach of the Boston Celtics, Auerbach made cigars a bit of a cult item in Boston when he became known for smoking them when he felt a particular game or series had been won. Ever heard the saying, “Close, but no cigar?” Auerbach and his well-publicized cigar antics are largely to thank for that.