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.
Highest lifetime average (.366) and fourth-highest total of
games played (3,034) in major league history.
Heisman winner at Georgia; fourth in NFL history in all-purpose
Greatest golfer ever? Swept British and U.S. Opens and Amateurs
in 1930, won 13 majors before retiring at 28. Founded Masters.
Mobile and durable quarterback set NFL records for pass attempts,
completions, touchdowns and yards passing.
Walt (Clyde) Frazier
Won two NBA titles with Knicks; named one of league's 50 greatest
Won three gold medals (200 meters and 4x100 relay twice) in
1992 and '96 Games; also took 4x400 silver in '92 .
First to win back-to-back Olympic 100-meter gold medals, in 1964
and '68; won another gold and a silver in Olympic career.
Hit 359 homers, including 51 in 1947, with just 524 strikeouts;
a 10-time All-Star.
All-America defensive back at Southern and anchor of
Pittsburgh's Steel Curtain secondary.
Won 110-meter-hurdles gold at 1984 and '88 Olympics and broke
event's eight-year-old world record in '89.
Won Heisman Trophy and led nation in rushing in 1980; won rushing
title as NFL rookie and had four 1,000-yard seasons.
Tied NL single-season record for hits (254); last in league to
bat .400 (1930); lifetime .341 average is 11th alltime.
Only player to hit .300 with 20 homers, 100 RBIs, 100 runs and
100 walks in seven straight seasons (1991 to '97).
Alice Coachman Davis
First black woman to win Olympic gold (high jump in 1948); named
one of 100 greatest Olympians in '96.
Set season records for wins and strikeouts at Georgia Tech; had
major leagues' best ERA (2.33) from 1996 to '98.
Led Southwest High to state title in 1973; two-time All-Star
guard played 10 NBA seasons.
U.S. Women's Amateur champ in 1947; founding member of the LPGA
in '50; won 50 pro events.
Seven-time All-Star shortstop hit .300 16 times in 20 years with
White Sox and won two batting titles.
All-America at Warner Robbins High and at Auburn; ended 12-year
NFL career as Bengals' alltime leading rusher.
Two-time All-America guard at Georgia; only American to play on
four Olympic basketball teams; won three golds and a bronze.
Olympic sprinter and bobsledder; on record-setting 4x100 relay
team at 1980 Games; '83 NCAA indoor hurdles and 60-yard
champion; 333 receptions in 11-year NFL career.
All-America defensive end and 1968 Outland winner at Georgia;
four-time All-Pro with Dolphins.
Cowboys back for eight seasons; NFL's winningest active coach
(eighth alltime); coached in four Super Bowls.
First punter to be chosen in first round of NFL draft, in 1973;
played in seven Pro Bowls.
Won a gold in 200-meter dash and two silver medals at 1964
Theodore (Tiger) Flowers
First U.S.-born black world middleweight champ, in 1926; had
career record of 115-13-6.
Won Heisman and quarterbacked Florida State to national title in
'93; Knicks point guard was drafted by Brewers and Yankees.
Won America's Cup in 1977; boss of Atlanta's Braves, Hawks and
Thrashers; Goodwill Games founder.
Dick (Cannonball) Redding
His fastball blew through Negro leagues; went 43-12 for Lincoln
Giants in 1912.
Won Daytona, Winston and Southern 500s in 1985; first driver to
win Winston Million; 40 wins, 274 top 10 finishes in 23-year
Ninth pick in 1983 NBA draft; deadly shooter, second alltime on
three-point field goal list.
Forrest (Spec) Towns
Won Olympic gold in 110-meter hurdles in 1936; three weeks later
in Oslo blazed to a world record that stood for 12 years.
Spurgeon (Spud) Chandler
Retired in 1947 with best winning percentage (.717) among
pitchers with 100 victories; won MVP with Yanks in '43 (20-4,
Four-time Pro Bowl back with Falcons; had four 1,000-yard seasons
in six-year career.
Starred on defensive line for 1986 Super Bowl-winning Bears;
137.5 sacks in 15-year career; went to the Pro Bowl four times.
First man to lift a total of 1,100 pounds in press, snatch and
jerk, in 1955; won weightlifting gold at '56 Olympics.
Won a total of six swimming golds at 1979 and '83 Pan Am Games
and two more at '84 Olympics.
Two-time NASCAR champion; won 40 of the 187 NASCAR events he
started from 1949 to '61.
Set 26 cycling world records in 1904; held two U.S. Motorpace
and two world championships.
Sank 140-foot pitch to win 1987 Masters; has won more than $6
million in 18 years on PGA Tour.
Bobby Lee Bryant
Two Pro Bowls and 51 interceptions as Vikings cornerback from
1968 to '80; drafted by Yankees.
Six-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle; won two Super Bowl rings in
13-year career with Cowboys (1967 to '79).
Two-time All-Star guard; the NBA's 11th-best alltime free throw
A 5'4", 120-pound retriever, he won three U.S. clay-court
championships; ranked in the U.S. top 10 nine times between 1930
Led Decatur High to state title in 1965; played 178 straight
games and was an All-Pro defensive back for Browns from '71 to
Three-time All-America forward at Tennessee from 1976 to '79;
Lady Volunteers' record holder for free throw percentage, second
Perennial PGA Tour runner-up made his biggest mark by winning the
Masters in 1973.
Three-time All-Star shortstop, but best known for home run that
beat the Red Sox in 1978 playoff.
Won high jump gold medal with world record performance at 1956
The Flamingo of the Fairways had 20 wins on PGA Tour from 1956 to
'72 and was runner-up in four majors.