Michael Phelps struggled recently against competitors in high-tech swimsuits, but it was hardly the first time superior equipment gave someone an edge:

1903: Maurice Garin easily wins the first Tour de France after adding a front tire to his unicycle

1915: The Yankees' new navy-blue pin-striped uniforms not only give a slim-downed appearance to the players, but also boost the team's self-esteem, giving it the confidence to throw, hit, and field the ball

1923: The Calgary Tigers introduce the puck to hockey and nearly double their scoring output

1924:With the introduction of the "diving board" and its advanced spring action, divers no longer have to jump 25 feet into the air before performing their dives

1955: The batting helmet makes it nearly impossible for pitchers to kill batters with fastballs to the skull

1995: Charlotte Hornets Starter jackets ultimately make it way too easy for individuals to look good

1999: The Louisville Slugger company swears it has discovered a tree made out of aluminum

2001: Dale Earnhardt's unique open-faced helmet allows him to arrive in heaven long before drivers wearing the full-coverage models

2002:† LaDainian Tomlinson's visor becomes the No. 1 cause of injuries to fingers as defenders attempt to gouge or poke out the running back's eyes

2002: Oakland A's GM Billy Beane uses something called a 'computer' to track and analyze his players' production instead of playing the game the way it oughta be played