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 Arthur Ashe
Winner of 33 pro titles; won the U.S. Open in 1968 as an
amateur; winner of '70 Australian Open and Wimbledon in '75;
ranked in world's Top 10 for 12 years.
#2 Lawrence Taylor
Baseball star at Lafayette High; All-America in football at
North Carolina; NFL's alltime leader in sacks by a linebacker,
Raised at Meadow Farm; capped 1973 Triple Crown with a 31-length
victory in Belmont Stakes.
#4 Bruce Smith
Won 1985 Outland Trophy as a senior at Virginia Tech; second on
NFL's career sack list.
#5 Sam Snead
Most wins on PGA Tour (81), including seven majors.
#6 Moses Malone
Led Petersburg High to two undefeated state championship
seasons; went straight to ABA's Utah Stars in 1974; three-time
NBA MVP and 12-time All-Star.
#7 David Robinson
Consensus college player of the year at Navy in 1987; 1994-95
NBA MVP; has been eight-time All-Star with Spurs.
#8 Ralph Sampson
Three-time AP College Player of the Year at Virginia; Rookie of
the Year for Rockets in 1984; four-time NBA All-Star.
#9 Willie Lanier
Six-time All-Pro middle linebacker played 11 AFL and NFL seasons
#10 Dwight Stephenson
All-State center and defensive tackle for Hampton High state
champions. Hall of Fame center with Dolphins from 1980 to '87.
#11 Grant Hill
Three-time All-America at Duke; NBA co-Rookie of the Year;
#12 Benita Fitzgerald Mosley
Three-time NCAA 100-meter hurdles champ at Tennessee; won gold
at 1983 Pan Am Games and '84 Olympics.
#13 Alonzo Mourning
Two-time Mr. Virginia averaged 9.6 blocks as senior at Indian
River High; 1998-99 NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
#14 Kenny Easley
As a senior at Oscar Smith High, was first Virginian to pass and
rush for 1,000 yards in a season; NFL Defensive Player of the
Year with Seahawks in 1984.
#15 Allen Iverson
Was state's player of the year in football and basketball at
Bethel High his junior year; led NBA in scoring in 1998-99 for
#16 Clarence (Ace) Parker
Five-sport star at Woodrow Wilson High; in college and pro
football halls of fame; hit a home run in first big league at
bat for Philadelphia A's in 1937.
#17 Andre Cason
Set world indoor 60-meter-dash record in 1992; member of
world-record U.S. 4x100-meter relay team.
#18 Herman Moore
Set school records for catches and receiving yards at Virginia;
had three straight 100-catch seasons with Lions (1995 to '97).
#19 Roosevelt (Rosey) Brown
Black All-America tackle at Morgan State (1951, '52); All-Pro
eight seasons with Giants.
#20 Ray Dandridge
Negro leagues star of 1930s and '40s; considered best third
baseman never to play in the majors.
#21 Pernell Whitaker
Olympic lightweight boxing gold medalist in 1984; six-time champ
in four divisions from 1987 to '97.
#22 Leroy Keyes
Set Virginia high school long jump record in 1964; two-time
All-America in football at Purdue; led nation in scoring in '67.
#23 Curtis Strange
1974 NCAA champion and World Amateur Cup winner at Wake Forest;
U.S. Open champion in '88 and '89.
#24 Melissa Belote Ripley
Won three gold medals at the 1972 Olympics, setting world record
in 200-meter backstroke and Olympic record in 100 backstroke.
#25 Lanny Wadkins
Has 21 PGA Tour victories, including 1977 PGA Championship.
#26 Barty Smith
Baseball, football, basketball and track star had state record
toss of 59'1" in shot; led Packers in rushing and receiving in
#27 Beattie Feathers
All-state at Bristol High four times; Tennessee All-America;
with 1934 Bears, the first NFL back to run for 1,000 yards.
#28 (Bullet) Bill Dudley
Virginia halfback led nation in all-purpose yards in 1941; led
NFL in rushing for Steelers ('46).
#29 Eppa Rixey
Baseball star at Virginia; his 266 wins (1912-33), with Phillies
and Reds, stood as NL lefty record for more than 40 years.
#30 Charles Haley
Pass-rush specialist; only man to play on five Super Bowl
champions, with 49ers and Cowboys.
#31 Jake Scott
Super Bowl VII MVP clinched Dolphins' perfect 1972 season with
two interceptions against Redskins; five-time All-Pro safety.
#32 Archie Harris
Two-time NCAA discus champion at Indiana; set world record with
174'9" throw in 1941.
#33 Gray Simons
State wrestling champion at Granby High; four NAIA and three
NCAA titles at Lock Haven; set NCAA mark with 84 consecutive
wins; two-time Olympian.
#34 Spottswood (Spot) Poles
Hit .440 in 1911 and .398 in '12 for New York Lincoln Giants of
the Negro leagues.
#35 Sonny Randle
Track and football star at Virginia; had most NFL TD catches in
1960s (for Cards, Cowboys and 49ers); coach at Virginia and
#36 Bobby Dandridge
Maggie Walker High and Norfolk State basketball star; four-time
NBA All-Star in career (1969 to '82) with Bucks and Bullets.
#37 Chris Warren
Alltime leader at Ferrum with 4,583 all-purpose yards; four-time
1,000-yard rusher with Seahawks from 1992 to '95.
#38 Chandler Harper
Won 20 PGA Tour events, including the 1950 PGA Championship;
youngest (18) and oldest (56) Virginia state golf champion.
#39 D.J. Dozier
Led Penn State in rushing four times; played briefly for
Vikings; 25 games with Mets in 1992.
#40 Charles (Lefty) Driesell
All-state in basketball at Granby High; set state coaching
record with 57 straight wins at Newport News High; coach at
Davidson, Maryland and James Madison.
#41 Billy Wagner
Holds NCAA strikeout records for career (327) and per nine
innings for a season (19.1) at Ferrum; now closer for Astros.
#42 Gene McEver
Tennessee's first football All-America; scored 21 TDs in 1929.
#43 Norm Snead
Threw for 30,797 yards and 196 touchdowns in 18-year NFL career
with Redskins, Eagles, Vikings, Giants and 49ers.
#44 Lawrence Johnson
Three-time NCAA champion set collegiate record in pole vault in
1996 at Tennessee; set U.S. mark of 19'7 1/2" later that year.
#45 Curtis Turner
Had 17 NASCAR victories despite a four-year ban for trying to
#46 Carroll Dale
All-America at Virginia Tech; 14 NFL seasons; played for Packers
in first two Super Bowls.
#47 Deacon Phillippe
Pitched in majors from 1899 to 1911 for Louisville Colonels and
Pirates; 189 victories in 372 major league games.
#48 Jack Cloud
Rushed for 2,056 yards as two-time All-America at William & Mary
from 1950 to '53; played for Packers and Redskins.
#49 Frank Havens
Olympic gold medalist in 1952 10,000-meter canoe singles;
seven-time national champion.
#50 Joe Smith
College player of the year at Maryland in 1995; No. 1 pick in
'95 NBA draft with Warriors; now a forward with the Timberwolves.