Stan Smith, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, couldn't even make it as a ball boy as a kid!
There's no better feeling than heading back to the naysayers and discouraging people from your past and rubbing your success in their faces. Tennis superstar Stan Smith experienced exactly that when he went on to become the number one ranking tennis player in the world at one point—but couldn't even qualify to be a ball boy as a kid.
Stan Smith applied to be a ball boy in 1963 for a match between the United States and Mexico at the L.A. Club. Though he dreamed of sharing the court with his tennis heroes, he was turned down because he was "too awkward" and would bother players with his "clomping" size-13 feet, according to the guy in charge of ball boys.
He retired in 1985, with over $1.7 million in prize money throughout his career. He achieved the highest ranking in professional tennis in 1972 and has achieved over 80 titles. His biggest wins include multiple wins at Wimbledon and the US Open in both Grand Slam Singles and Grand Slam Doubles.
He was rated the 35th greatest player by TENNIS magazine in 2005.