There's a difference between loyalty to the home team--athletes
imported to play for our local colleges and pro franchises--and
the deep emotional bond we share with hometown heroes, the local
legends we knew back when. They are the boys and girls from next
door, or the next town. We watched them grow up, watched them
play when it was still play. Unfortunately, these luminaries are
almost inevitably dispersed because of sport's mercenary nature,
lured away by scholarships or contracts. Well, we're bringing
'em all back home for the millennium--not necessarily to where
they were born, but to where they first showed flashes of the
greatness to come. Thus, Broadway Joe is in Pennsylvania, not
Alabama or New York; and the Mailman is in Louisiana, not Utah.
The result: the top 50 from your state and, on the following
pages, a list of those from all 50 states. In short, the
ultimate home teams.
#1 Billy Mills
Won 10,000-meter track title in then Olympic-record 28:24.4 at
1964 Games; in 1965 set world record for six miles (27:11.6).
#2 Frank Leahy
Notre Dame football coach from 1941 to '43 and '46 to '53 had
six undefeated seasons and won five national championships.
#3 Garney Henley
Was Canadian Football League All-Star nine straight years (from
1963 to '71) as a defensive back; moved to flanker in '72 and
won league MVP award.
#4 Marlene Hagge
In 1950 was one of 11 charter members of the LPGA; won 25 tour
events from 1952 to '72.
#5 Casey Tibbs
Won Rodeo Cowboys Association world title as a teen and was
nine-time world champion all-around cowboy.
#6 Jack Manders
Bears' three-time All-Pro halfback scored two TDs, intercepted a
pass and recovered a fumble in loss to Redskins in 1937 title
#7 Randy Lewis
Won a gold medal at 136 1/2 pounds in freestyle wrestling at the
#8 Dave Collins
Sixteen-year major league outfielder excelled in 1980, batting
.303 with 79 stolen bases and 94 runs for Reds.
#9 George Amundson
In 1969 set national high school discus record with throw of
211'4"; running back for three seasons in NFL.
#10 Earl Sande
Was the nation's leading jockey in 1921, '23 and '27; in '30
rode Gallant Fox to the Triple Crown.
#11 Dick Green
Four-sport star at Mitchell High played second base for
world-champion A's from 1972 to '74.
#12 Pug Manders
Three-time All-Missouri Valley Conference running back at Drake,
scored school-record 24 TDs; in 1941 was NFL's top rusher with
Dodgers (486 yards).
#13 Ordell Braase
Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end spent 12 seasons with Colts (from
1957 to '68); helped Baltimore win three NFL titles.
#14 Buster Charles
Won first five events of 1929 U.S. decathlon championship, then
sprained ankle; a year later was national decathlon champion.
#15 Kris Tschetter
Four-time South Dakota women's stroke play champion as an
amateur, has earned more than $1.7 million on LPGA tour.
#16 Carroll Hardy
Only man to pinch-hit for Ted Williams; batted .225 over eight
major league seasons; caught 12 passes for 1955 49ers.
#17 Wayne Rasmussen
Intercepted 16 passes in nine-year career (from 1964 to '72)
with Lions, including five in '65; set seven school football
records at South Dakota State.
#18 Leonard Lovely
Three-time All-America guard led Creighton to two league
basketball titles (1923 and '24).
#19 John Dutton
Picked fifth in 1974 NFL draft; spent 14 seasons as Colts and
Cowboys defensive lineman.
#20 Weert Engelmann
Starred in track at South Dakota State, winning six events in
two conference championships before joining Green Bay in 1930 as
#21 Frank Kelley
In 1925 broke world records in low and high hurdles; scored all
of South Dakota State's points (56) in conference football games
#22 Cindy Greiner
Only three-time Olympian from South Dakota; placed fourth in 1984
heptathlon, eighth in '88.
#23 Jim Iverson
Four-time all-state basketball player at Platte High started
for Kansas State in 1951 NCAA championship game.
#24 Ron DeHaven
The 1985 NCAA Division II 1,500-meter indoor champion was top
American marathoner in 1999 at the world championships.
#25 Joe Mendel
Led Onida High to 1926 state track title, setting state long jump
and 440-yard-dash records and winning 100 and 220.
#26 Don Jacobsen
Three-time all-conference guard (1958-59 to '60-61) set South
Dakota State basketball records for points in a season (638) and
#27 Mike Miller
Led Mitchell High to state basketball championship in 1996 and
'97; twice named South Dakota prep athlete of the year.
#28 Cornie Collin
Captain of Creighton basketball and football teams was hoops
All-America in 1933.
#29 Doug Wolfgang
Won more than 500 races and over $1 million on the World of
Outlaws sprint car circuit.
#30 Jim Scott
White Sox pitcher had 107-113 record and 2.30 ERA from 1909 to
'17; worked as NL umpire from 1930 to '32.
#31 Bill Scherr
The 1988 Olympic bronze medalist in 220-pound freestyle
wrestling was a three-time All-America at Nebraska.
#32 Urban Odson
First South Dakotan to be named All-America at a major college,
as tackle at Minnesota in 1940; spent four years with Packers.
#33 Steph Schueler
Three-time all-state basketball guard and Parade All-America in
1986; twice All-Big Ten at Iowa.
#34 Larry Jacobson
All-state in football and basketball; won 1971 Outland Trophy and
was named first-team All-America at Nebraska.
#35 Bob Stransky
Earned All-America honors as Colorado tailback in 1957, placing
second in nation in rushing (1,097 yards) and fourth in total
#36 Tom Byrum
In 15 years on PGA Tour has earned more than $2.3 million; won
1989 Kemper Open.
#37 Fred Hecker
Versatile star led Washington High to two state basketball
titles, three track titles and one golf title from 1953 to '57.
#38 Jim Scherr
Placed fifth in 1988 Olympics in 198-pound freestyle wrestling;
won silver medal at '87 and '89 world championships.
#39 Eric Piatkowski
Clippers swingman was South Dakota's 1989 Mr. Basketball,
averaging 25.6 points and 10.3 rebounds at Stevens High.
#40 Dave Gassman
Has starred in amateur baseball for last 34 years; holds state
records for wins (382) and strikeouts (5,474).
#41 John Simko
Only South Dakotan to win four state high school singles tennis
titles (from 1954 to '57); two-time All-America on offensive line
at Augustana College.
#42 Dennis Koslowski
Greco-Roman wrestler, at 220 pounds, won silver medal at 1992
Olympics and bronze in '88.
#43 Curt Byrum
Five-time South Dakota amateur champion (and brother of Tom) has
won more than $1.7 million in 17 years on the PGA Tour.
#44 Jeremy Sonnenfeld
On Feb. 2, 1997, bowled the first officially recognized 900
series in history.
#45 Becky Hammon
Three-time WAC player of the year at Colorado State before
joining WNBA; was first South Dakota woman to play pro
basketball in the U.S.
#46 Becky Flynn
State's alltime leading scorer in girls' basketball (3,268
points) led Wakonda High to 101 straight wins and three state
#47 Lincoln McIlravy
No. 1-ranked 152-pound freestyle wrestler in the U.S.; won three
NCAA titles at Iowa (1993, '94, '97).
#48 Fred Gushurst
Right end for unbeaten 1912 and '13 Notre Dame football teams;
named All-America in '13.
#49 Kirk Wallman
Went 201-0 in six years of varsity wrestling for Freeman High;
only South Dakotan to win six state wrestling titles.
#50 Neil Graff
All-Big Ten QB for Wisconsin led conference in passing and total
offense as a junior in 1970; spent six years in NFL.