The 50 Greatest Sports Figures From Maine

December 27, 1999

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 Joan Benoit Samuelson
CAPE ELIZABETH
Won first women's marathon, at 1984 Games; her 2:24:52 time is
still an Olympic record.

#2
Cindy Blodgett
CLINTON
State's leading high school basketball scorer--boys and girls;
All-America at Maine (1997-98); fifth-leading scorer in NCAA
history.

#3
Jack Coombs
WATERVILLE
Set AL record by pitching 24-inning game in 1906; won 31 games
in '10 and holds AL record with 13 shutouts.

#4
Edmund (Rip) Black
BAILEY ISLAND
All-state in football at Portland High; won hammer throw bronze
at 1928 Olympics; also pitched no-hitter for Maine that year.

#5
Dick MacPherson
OLD TOWN
National football coach of the year at Syracuse in 1987; had
66-46-4 record at Syracuse; coached Patriots for two seasons.

#6
Billy Swift
SOUTH PORTLAND
Three-time All-America at Maine; led NL in ERA (2.08) with Giants
in 1992, won 21 games in '93.

#7
Mike Bordick
WINTERPORT
Played in two College World Series at Maine; took over for Cal
Ripken as Orioles shortstop in 1997; has twice led AL in assists.

#8
Joey Gamache
LEWISTON
Won WBA junior lightweight title in 1991; briefly held WBA
lightweight title in '92.

#9
Mark Plummer
AUGUSTA
Has won 10 Maine and two New England Amateur golf championships;
lost to Tiger Woods on 18th hole in U.S. Amateur semifinals in
1995.

#10
Bill (Rough) Carrigan
LEWISTON
Red Sox catcher-manager led Boston to World Series wins in 1915
and '16 with lefty ace Babe Ruth in his rotation.

#11
Chet Bulger
RUMFORD
Two-way tackle with Cardinals and Lions from 1942 to '50; played
for Cardinals' last NFL title team, in '47.

#12
Walter Case
LISBON FALLS
Set world harness season record with 1,077 wins in 1998; set
record with 10 wins on a single program in '99.

#13
Bob Legendre
LEWISTON
Two-time Olympian won bronze in 1924 pentathlon; set world
record in long jump phase of that event.

#14
Abby Spector
WATERVILLE
Won fourth straight Maine Women's Amateur golf championship, in
1999; now playing for North Carolina.

#15
Al McCoy
WATERVILLE
Only Maine heavyweight to fight for world title--lost to Joe Louis
in 1940; beat four onetime light heavyweight champions.

#16
John Winkin
ORONO
Baseball coach at Colby from 1954 to '72; had 642-430-3 record at
Maine ('75 to '96) and got into College World Series six times.

#17
Eric Weinrich
GARDINER
All-America defenseman at Maine in 1987; played on '88 Olympic
team; now in NHL.

#18
Freddy Parent
SANFORD
Shortstop on Red Sox team that won first World Series, in 1903;
broke up three no-hitters; saved Cy Young's perfect game with
defensive gem.

#19
John Bower
AUBURN
Won Nordic combined at prestigious Holmenkollen Festival in
1968, the first U.S. skier to win that event.

#20
John Huard
WATERVILLE
Two-time All-America in football at Maine; Broncos' middle
linebacker from 1967 to '69.

#21
Dot Petty
PORTLAND
World candlepin bowling singles champion in 1967 and '78;
two-time WCBC Bowler of the Year.

#22
John Wassenbergh
SOUTH PORTLAND
Scored 43 in South Portland High's five-overtime win over Bangor
High for 1992 Class A hoops title; NAIA All-America twice at St.
Joseph's (Maine).

#23
Carl Willey
CHERRYFIELD
Pitched shutout in major league debut with Braves in 1958;
spent eight seasons with Braves and Mets; career ERA of 3.76.

#24
Paul Junior
LISBON
Lightweight boxer had 476-13 record in 1920s and '30s.

#25
Tony Miner
AUGUSTA
Two-time All-America at Southern Maine set Division III record
with 35-game hit streak while batting .397 in 1997; team won NCAA
title that year.

#26
Whitney Leeman
BUCKSPORT
Won 16 New England swimming titles in four years at Maine; won
Division II 200-meter backstroke title in 1984; holds three
school records.

#27
Kevin Mahaney
BANGOR
Won a sailing silver medal at the 1992 Olympics; reached finals
of America's Cup trials in '95.

#28
Raymond Lebel
LEWISTON
State's youngest amateur golf champion (17), in 1940; won title
five more times from '41 to '65.

#29
Bert Roberge
AUBURN
Set school career ERA record (1.82) at Maine (1974 to '77) and is
tied for career shutouts mark (six); 12-12 record with Astros,
White Sox and Expos.

#30
Harold (Bud) White
AUBURN
All-America swimmer at Edward Little High; Bowdoin's first
All-America swimmer, in 1938.

#31
Jean Roy
LEWISTON
Led Lewiston High to state hockey championship in 1978;
three-time All-America defenseman at Bowdoin; Hobey Baker
finalist in '84.

#32
Clyde Sukeforth
WASHINGTON
Played 10 years as backup catcher for Reds and Dodgers; scouted
and helped sign Jackie Robinson for Dodgers.

#33
Robert Aceto
CAPE ELIZABETH
All-America pitcher at Southern Maine went 11-1 and shut out
Trenton State in 1991 Division III title game.

#34
Jay Ramsdell
FRANKLIN
At 23 became youngest sports commissioner in U.S. when he took
over CBA in 1987; died in a plane crash two years later.

#35
Marcus Nash
FRYEBURG
Member of U.S. Olympic cross-country ski team in 1994 and '98;
has won six U.S. titles since '97.

#36
Gail Liberty
AUBURN
National women's pistol champion in 1961, '62 and '63; world
co-champion in '82.

#37
Stump Merrill
BRUNSWICK
Catcher for Maine's College World Series team in 1964; manager
and coach in Yankees system since '77.

#38
L.L. Bean
FREEPORT
Invented waterproof boots in 1912; built company that has
outfitted hunters and fishers throughout century.

#39
Erik Nedeau
KENNEBUNK
First New England collegian to break four-minute-mile barrier
when he ran 3:59.6 as senior at Northeastern in 1993.

#40
Danny Bolduc
WATERVILLE
Played on 1976 U.S. Olympic hockey team; after three seasons with
WHA New England Whalers, became state's first NHL player.

#41
Gary Williamson
BETHEL
College World Series MVP for Division III champion Southern Maine
in 1991.

#42
Julie Parisien
AUBURN
At 1991 U.S. championships won gold in Super G and silver in
downhill; member of Olympic ski team in '92.

#43
Francois Bouchard
OLD ORCHARD BEACH
All-America forward scored 27.1 ppg at Cheverus High in
1988-89; all-conference at Maine ('93-94).

#44
Shawn Walsh
ORONO
Coached Maine to two NCAA hockey titles (1993 and '99); national
coach of the year in '95; career record of 363-197-34.

#45
Fred Tootell
BRUNSWICK
Took up hammer throw at Bowdoin in 1920; four years later won
Olympic gold in that event.

#46
Barbara Krause
FREEPORT
Led Freeport High to state titles in basketball, field hockey
and softball; set Duke game rebound record (24) in 1979.

#47
Coley Welch
PORTLAND
Third-ranked middleweight in the world in 1942; lost 10-round
decision to Jake LaMotta in '44; career record of 100-22-2.

#48
Bob Prince
WELLS
Outfielder on Southern Maine's 1991 Division III title team;
three-time All-America.

#49
Mike Thurston
CARIBOU
Swished a last-second, half-court heave to beat Westbrook High
65-63 and give Caribou High its only state title, in 1969.

#50
Charles Milan III
BREWER
Veteran candlepin bowler has won 23 singles titles since 1954.

COLOR PHOTO: MANNY MILLAN #1 Joan Benoit Samuelson

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)