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
Three-sport star at Shanley High; Yankees outfielder was AL MVP
in 1960 and '61; broke Babe Ruth's record with 61 home runs in
Played 12 seasons in the NBA; coached Bulls to six titles between
1991 and '98.
Scored 36 goals in 1992 for Jamestown High hockey team; state
110- and 300-meter hurdles champion; punted for Nebraska's '94
national championship team; outfielder with Angels.
Only American to win Tour of Italy and Tour of Switzerland.
Played on 1952 state basketball championship team at Grand Forks
High; '97 NCAA title as Arizona coach.
Two-time Kansas All-America hurdler, in 1959 and '60; won silver
medal in 400-meter hurdles at 1960 Olympics.
Cliff (Fido) Purpur
First North Dakotan to play in NHL; joined St. Louis Eagles in
1934-35; had 60 points in 144 regular-season games in five
seasons with two teams.
North Dakota State women's basketball coach has led Bison to
five NCAA Division II titles since 1980.
Won NCAA long jump at Marquette in 1953 and '54, and silver medal
at '56 Olympics.
Won silver medal at 1984 Games; won WBA light heavyweight title
in '87; defended belt a record 19 times.
A captain of 1932 and '36 U.S. Olympic ski teams; won three
national titles in ski jumping.
Four-time world champion saddle bronc rider (1981, '83, '84,
'85); qualified for National Finals Rodeo nine times.
Earned 12 letters at Minot State in basketball, football and
track; LSU basketball coach from 1972 to '97; set school record
with 448 wins.
Eagles receiver was five-time Pro Bowl pick; retired in 1966 with
452 catches for 7,412 yards and 47 touchdowns.
Coached Shanley High football team to 231-38-3 record, 11
undefeated seasons and 15 state titles from 1948 to '77.
Three-time letterman in football and track at North Dakota;
rushed for 4,320 yards and 29 touchdowns with Vikings from 1965
Won 20 games for Rangers in 1998; is 44-34 in six seasons.
Two-time all-state back at Jamestown High in early 1940s was
twice All-Big Ten at Michigan; lettered two years in basketball,
three years in baseball for Wolverines.
Won PBA national title and was bowler of the year in 1988.
Two-time All-America at North Dakota State; defensive end is
third player in Bills' history with 50-plus sacks.
Set Colts' marks with 21 field goals and 96 points in 1961;
kicked late-game field goal in historic '58 NFL Championship
against Giants to force overtime.
North Dakota School for the Deaf guard scored state-record 3,930
points (1970 to '73).
All-conference quarterback at Jamestown College; Giants
offensive coordinator with two Super Bowl championship teams
(1986 and '90).
Set North Dakota State women's basketball career marks for
points, three-pointers and assists, from 1986 to '89.
Don Barcome Jr.
In 1979, captained first American team to win world junior men's
Major league outfielder from 1959 to '64 had best season in '61
with Angels, hitting career-high 25 home runs.
Two-time Division II All-America tight end at North Dakota, in
1997 and '98; led team in '98 with 45 catches; second-round pick
Set state career scoring record at Grand Forks High; played
in NBA from 1976 to '78.
Has five snowmobile drag-racing world records and more than 160
Averaged 26 points at Valley City High as a senior and
was state's first McDonald's high school All-America; now point
guard at Kansas.
Minot State QB passed for school-record 5,737 yards and 49
touchdowns; started four games for Buccaneers in 1977.
Twice named all-state in girls' basketball at Valley City High;
Stanford's 18th alltime leading scorer (1985 to '88).
North Dakota's alltime winningest high school football coach had
234-110-1 record at three schools (1964 to '98).
Won three straight state cross-country championships (1989 to
'91); won '91 national cross-country championships.
North Dakota State guard-forward was NCAA Division II Final Four
MVP in 1991 and '93.
Two-time all-conference football player at Valley City State;
coached five high schools, including Strasburg High, to combined
Four-time all-city QB at Central High; passed for 4,209 career
yards and 40 touchdowns; won 10 letters in three sports; now
playing at Wisconsin.
Junior forward on North Dakota hockey team had 21 goals
and 26 assists in 1998-99.
All-state at St. Mary's High; two-time all-conference linebacker
and center at North Dakota State in 1956 and '57.
U.S. Junior Amateur golf champion in 1996; first
16-year-old to win that title since Tiger Woods in '92.
Averaged 14.9 points and 10.0 rebounds at Iowa in 1990; played
two years in the NBA.
North Dakota's alltime leading high school scorer (3,148 points)
at Bowman High; state's 1993 Miss Basketball; two-time state
All-America in football and basketball at Jamestown High; played
in NFL from 1976 to '81.
Was 33-42 in seven seasons with Cubs, A's and Tigers between 1930
Ended career as alltime leading scorer for North Dakota women's
basketball team (1992 to '95); finished with 1,941 points.
All-conference receiver at North Dakota; played with Browns in
1967 and '68.
National coordinator of American Legion Baseball from 1961 to
'86; credited with popularizing American Legion World Series.
Has won five straight I Made the Hill 10K's and nine of the last
10; set course record in 1998.
Two-time all-conference pitcher at North Dakota State (1996 and
'97); school's career leader in wins, complete games and innings
North Dakota State running back from 1987 to '90 helped team win
two Division II national titles; career average of 9.96 yards per