Hall of Fame Members

New York has produced the most greats in basketball and baseball, Texas is tops in pro football immortals, and, of course, Canada is hockey's cradle. Here's where the best of the best came from in the four major sports and a few others
December 27, 2004

Baseball

A large number of New York's leading total of 22 members starred on New York City teams, none more famously than Yankees greats Lou Gehrig, Whitey Ford and Phil Rizzuto. John McGraw, who managed the Giants to three World Series championships, was born upstate in Truxton, 230 miles from the Polo Grounds. Among California's 19-player contingent are four more who made their marks in New York City: Joe DiMaggio (Yankees), Gary Carter and Tom Seaver (Mets) and Duke Snider (Brooklyn Dodgers). Among the Negro league players represented are Oscar Charleston (Indiana), Josh Gibson (Georgia), Buck Leonard (North Carolina) and Satchel Paige (Alabama).

SOURCE: BASEBALL HALL OF FAME

Pro Football

Texas (24) has produced more players and coaches in the group than any other state. But Pennsylvania (22) will narrow the gap in 2005, when Pittsburgh native Dan Marino (right) will surely be inducted. He will join the Keystone State's impressive list of passers, which includes Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath and Joe Montana.

SOURCE: PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME

Hockey

Not only are most inductees from Canada, but also a great portion of those are from Ontario. The U.S. players are so few that we can name them all: Pat LaFontaine (Missouri, right), Joe Mullen and Billy Burch (New York), Hobey Baker (Pennsylvania), Si Griffis (Kansas) and Frank Brimsek and Moose Goheen (Minnesota).

SOURCE: HOCKEY HALL OF FAME

Pro Basketball

New York's 30 players, the largest contingent from any state, include the game's alltime leading scorer (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), its greatest artist (Julius Erving, right) and the coach with the most titles (Red Auerbach). Florida doesn't have a Hall member, but that should change soon because former Spurs center David Robinson was born in Key West.

SOURCE: BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME

Pro Bowling

Why is Missouri a fitting home for the Professional Bowlers Association Hall? While the Show Me State has produced one member fewer than California (the leader with seven inductees), those six Missourians have combined for 95 tour victories, which is the most of any state and 23 more than California. Florida, with five members, is second in tournament wins (87), but nearly half of those victories belong to one bowler: six-time PBA player of the year Walter Ray Williams Jr. (above). With his next win Williams will tie Washington-born Earl Anthony's alltime record of 41. Ohio has six enshrinees with a total of 77 tour victories, led by 26-time winner Don Johnson.

SOURCE: PROFESSIONAL BOWLERS ASSOCIATION HALL OF FAME

Auto Racing

Old motor sports joke: When was the first race? Answer: Minutes after the second car was created. While that's an exaggeration--but not by much--the joke underscores the universal appeal of racing. And it helps explain why there's so much geographic diversity among the members of this hall. Though the hub of NASCAR is Charlotte, North Carolina has produced fewer inductees (six) than California (10) and Ohio, which also has 10, including Bobby Rahal (above). In fact, forget the myth that good drivers come only from the Southeast, because Illinois (three) and Kansas (three), for instance, have produced more Hall-caliber racers than Alabama (two), Arkansas (one) and Kentucky (one).

SOURCE: INTERNATIONAL MOTORSPORTS HALL OF FAME

Tennis

Florida may be the breeding ground for most of today's young tennis champions, but it has a long way to go before it catches California, which leads all states in Hall members with 22. The Sunshine State has only one enshrinee: 18time Grand Slam singles titlist Chris Evert (right), who has the highest career winning percentage in pro history (.897). Major urban centers have produced their share of tennis stars as well. Of the 15 members from New York, 11 were born in either Manhattan or Brooklyn. Althea Gibson, the first black player to win Wimbledon and U.S. championships, grew up in Harlem but was born in Silver, S.C., making her that state's only honored player.

SOURCE: INTERNATIONAL TENNIS HALL OF FAME

Boxing

When it comes to the best boxers of all time, New York (19 members) and Pennsylvania (15) knock out the competition. The two states are home to more than 30% of the U.S.-born enshrinees, most of whom are from the cities of New York, which produced Jake La Motta; Philadelphia, birthplace of old-timer Jack O'Brien; and Pittsburgh, where Billy Conn was born. What Alabama, Arkansas and Kentucky lack in numbers (one each), they make up for in quality--Joe Louis, Sonny Liston (above) and Muhammad Ali, respectively. Of the 100 international-born members, 24 were bare-knuckle pugilists from England, the birthplace of the sport.

SOURCE: INTERNATIONAL BOXING HALL OF FAME

B/W PHOTOTSN/ISM (DIMAGGIO) JOE DIMAGGIOCALIFORNIA COLOR PHOTOCORBIS (BANKS) ERNIEBANKSTEXAS COLOR PHOTOTOM DIPACE (MOLITOR) COLOR PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (MARINO) PAULMOLITORMINNESOTA COLOR PHOTOBILL SIKES/AP (LAFONTAINE) COLOR PHOTOWALTER IOOSS JR. (ERVING) COLOR PHOTOJOHN F. MARTIN/AP (WILLIAMS) COLOR PHOTOGEORGE TIEDEMANN/GT IMAGES (RAHAL) COLOR PHOTOTONY TRIOLO (EVERT) B/W PHOTOBETTMANN/CORBIS (LISTON) EIGHT COLOR MAPS

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