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.
Holds NCAA season rushing record (2,628); retired in 1999 as
NFL's second-leading alltime runner (15,269).
Won 1952 NCAA basketball title as Kansas guard; holds college
record for wins, with 879, as North Carolina coach.
Walter (Big Train) Johnson
Strikeout record (3,508) stood for 56 years; won 416 games with
Senators from 1907 to '27; only Cy Young won more.
Played on national basketball champs at Kansas in 1922, '23;
four NCAA titles and 876 wins in 41 years as Kentucky coach.
First high school miler to break four-minute barrier; silver
medal at 1968 Olympics in 1,500 meters; set record in mile twice.
High school (Wichita North) and college (Kansas) basketball
All-America; captained gold-medal-winning Olympic team in '84.
Won two high school state titles in 100-yard-dash; NFL's
10th-leading alltime runner (11,352); Super Bowl XVII MVP.
All-America halfback and quarterback at Kansas; six Pro Bowls
with Rams and Chargers; 33,503 passing yards.
Knocked out Jack Johnson for heavyweight title in 1915; lost it
to Jack Dempsey in '19.
Three-time high school state track champ; Big Eight offensive
player of the year at Kansas in 1975; four-time Pro Bowl safety.
Bolted to 100-meter world record (9.79 seconds) last June; swept
100 and 200 at 1999 world championships.
One third of baseball's most famous double play combo; hit .263
in 15 major league seasons.
Kansas State leader in career passing yards (6,208); threw for
4,458 yards with Packers in 1983.
Set decathlon world record at 1932 Olympics; also received
Sullivan Award that year.
Only three men managed more games than his 3,942; won 1,902
games, two division titles and three NL Manager of the Year
awards, but never a pennant.
Four-time All-America sprinter at Kansas State; won gold in 4X00
relay at 1956 Olympics.
Set state high school hurdles record; quarterback at Kansas; led
Jayhawks basketball team in scoring in 1940 and '42; retired in
'89 as sixth-winningest college hoops coach (674).
Held world record in the mile from 1934 to '37; won Sullivan
Award in '33; took silver in 1,500 meters at '36 Olympics.
Won Preakness aboard Hasty Road in 1954; fourth jockey to win
3,000 races; on the board with 8,609 of 20,159 mounts.
All-America Kansas end; played a year in NBA; Pro Bowl halfback
with Giants in 1951 and '52.
Became first player west of the Mississippi to score 2,000, at
Wichita State in 1955; only four-time All-Missouri Valley pick.
Phillies catcher from 1985 to '97; three-time All-Star led NL in
RBIs (109) in '92.
In 1952 became first schoolboy to put 12-pound shot more than 60
feet; high school football All-America; won silver in shot at '56
Olympics, gold in '60.
Football and basketball All-America at Kansas in 1940s; still
holds Jayhawks' record for career interceptions (17).
Player-manager of Pirates team that lost first World Series of
modern era (1903); club's winningest manager (1,422).
Kansas star won two NFL championships and went to six Pro Bowls
as Browns and Giants tackle from 1952 to '62.
Last to letter in three sports (baseball, football, basketball)
at Kansas; pitched 15 years in majors (1969-83).
Kansas State standout spent 16 seasons with Patriots; holds NFL
record for rushing TDs by a quarterback, with 12 in 1976.
All-America forward at Wichita Heights High; took Wichita State
to Elite Eight as sophomore in 1981; played on five teams in 14
Trapshooting legend captained 1924 Olympic gold medal team; won
international championship in '32.
William Roy (Link) Lyman
Defensive tackle won five NFL championships with four teams from
1922 to '34.
Big Eight basketball player of the year as Kansas State guard in
1973 and '74; coached Florida to Final Four in '94.
Three-sport Kansas State star from 1929 to '32; won 130 games as
submarine pitcher for Tigers, Red Sox and Browns.
Set world records in shot put and javelin in 1926; won gold in
shot put at '28 Olympics.
Pro basketball's first black coach, with Cleveland Pipers of
American Basketball League in 1961; 523-165 mark with five
Won 13 individual state track titles at Little River High in
1970s; set U.S. women's record in 400-meter hurdles in '80.
Spent parts of eight years with Yankees as Yogi Berra's backup;
won 1961, '62, '63 AL pennants as New York manager.
Led Shawnee Mission South to 1973 state football title;
All-America kicker at Arkansas in '76, '77; tied NCAA record
with 67-yard field goal in '77.
All-America guard on Kansas State basketball team that went to
1951 NCAA Finals.
Won eight events on PGA Tour from 1966 to '90; Senior tour player
of the year in '95.
Arthur (Dutch) Lonborg
Basketball All-America at Kansas in 1919; helped organize first
NCAA tournament in '39.
Big Seven indoor long jump champ at Kansas in 1952; All-America
halfback in '53; led NFL in punt-return average as Packers
rookie in '54.
All-around rodeo world champ in 1942 and '48, North American
champ in '50.
All-Big Six tackle at Kansas in 1932 and '33; won wrestling gold
at '32 Olympics.
Carried Winfield High to state basketball titles in 1927, '28,
'29; led Kansas State College (now Pittsburg State) to 47
straight wins from '29 to '32.
Made 1960 Olympic swimming team six days after emergency
appendectomy; three weeks later anchored gold-medal-winning
teams in 4X00-medley relay and 4X00-freestyle.
Two-time All-America linebacker at Kansas State; played with
Chiefs from 1978 to '86.
Bullet Joe Rogan
Negro leagues star on mound and at plate; had 113-45 record, hit
.343 and led Kansas City Monarchs to four league titles.
At Emporia State in 1998 became alltime leader in any division in
career rushing, career all-purpose yards and career points.
Iva Pembridge Jarvis
Two-time North American trapshooting champ; state champ 12
consecutive years, from 1949 to '60.