Having drawn up rosters of the top 50 sports figures from each
state, we couldn't resist ranking the states themselves.
Weighing the magnitude of talent at the top of each list and the
depth of talent throughout each list, here's how the states
You should see the list of athletes who didn't make its top 50.
The state where football is king--and Babe is queen--is a
3. New York
And it didn't even get credit for Brooklyn-born Michael Jordan.
December 27, 1999
Want a quarterback? Six of the greatest keyed the Keystone State.
This football-crazy state bred plenty of baseball legends.
A rich source for the three biggest U.S. sports: baseball,
basketball and football.
7. North Carolina
Tobacco Road is the fertile crescent for basketball players and
stock car drivers.
A powerful mix: It's home to greats in most every sport.
Land of Halas is well represented by Butkus, Grange and Nitschke.
Speed rules here, from Bullet Bob Hayes to Big Daddy Garlits.
Birthplace of baseball royalty: Ruth, Ripken, Grove, Foxx and
An awesome NFL offense could be assembled with its stars.
Nothing unlucky about a state that produces both Jim Thorpe and
14. South Carolina
An all-around effort: Top 50 athletes hail from more than 30
Need an NBA center? Malone, Robinson, Sampson and Mourning grew
Not surprisingly, it's glory is basketball, from the Wizard of
Westwood to Larry Legend.
A curious collection of unhallowed heavy hitters: Sonny Liston,
Jerry Jones, John Daly.
A winning environment: Dean Smith and Adolph Rupp had 1,755
Home to sports sages Yogi Berra, Casey Stengel and Bill Bradley.
State's best include a President (Gerald Ford) and a General
Talk about diversity: from terrible-tempered Ty Cobb to the
gentlemanly Bobby Jones.
The greatest horses (Man o' War, Citation) run far behind the
23. West Virginia
Emerging stars like Randy Moss and Jason Williams could raise
its status in the next century.
24. New Jersey
The Garden State has cultivated a bumper crop of track and field
Surprisingly fertile state edges out its more populous neighbor
to the north.
Bay State goes into battle with boxers, hockey stars and Leo the
A few superstars and a whole lot of Cornhuskers lead the way.
Numerous notables who performed feats of the feet include Steve
Prefontaine and Dan O'Brien.
Many on this list stayed at home to play for the Golden Gophers.
Fittingly, many gridiron greats populate Curley Lambeau's frozen
A liberated list: Women are ranked first, second and fourth.
Set 'em up (John Stockton, No. 1) and knock 'em down (Earl
Anthony, No. 2).
33. New Mexico
The auto racing Unsers (Al Sr., Bobby, Al Jr. and Robby) all
make the top 25.
The desert delivers righthanded pitchers: Jim Palmer, Curt
Schilling, John Denny.
The only state list topped by a wrestler, the fabled Dan Gable.
A duo of unique doubles: two Madduxes and a pair of boxing
Unpopulous state impressive at the top: Harmon Killebrew, Jerry
Kramer, Picabo Street.
38. New Hampshire
In a land of snow, the hottest stars are a baseball player and a
Mecca for U.S. Olympic training has turned out pioneering
List gets a big boost from a pair of homegrown BYU quarterbacks.
More than just surfing and sumo: 12 NFL players are on the list,
42. North Dakota
From the far north came a home run king and a six-time NBA
43. South Dakota
Billy Mills and Frank Leahy aren't only the best in the state;
they're also among the best in history.
44. Rhode Island
A prized pair of second sackers head the smallest state's list
Big Sky's best includes a cowboy, a rifleman and a daredevil.
A century of snow and ice has produced a blizzard of winter
The top 10 of this list is heavy with guys who threw their
Leading the way Down East is marathoner supreme Joan Benoit
Would clearly be No. 1 on list of century's alltime dog-sledding
It's a constitutional thing: The first state has the last list.