The 50 Greatest Sports Figures From California

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
Joe DiMaggio
SAN FRANCISCO
Record 56-game hitting streak in 1941; three-time MVP played on
eight World Series champions with Yankees; career .325 hitter.

#2
Jackie Robinson
PASADENA
UCLA football star; changed baseball--and the nation--in 1947 as
first black in majors; MVP with Dodgers in '49.

#3
Bill Russell
OAKLAND
Led San Francisco to NCAA titles in 1955 and '56; defensive force
and anchor of Celtics dynasty of '60s; five-time MVP.

#4
Mark Spitz
SACRAMENTO
Seven swimming world records and seven gold medals at 1972
Olympics; two golds, one silver and a bronze at '68 Games.

#5
Ted Williams
SAN DIEGO
Last man in majors to bat .400, in 1941; won Triple Crown in '42
and '47; .344 career average over 19 seasons with Red Sox.

#6
Pete Sampras
PALOS VERDES
Tied with Roy Emerson for most Grand Slam singles titles (12);
only player to finish No. 1 in world six straight years.

#7
Tony Gwynn
LONG BEACH
San Diego State's alltime assists leader in basketball; winner of
NL-record eight batting titles; active hits leader (3,067).

#8
John Elway
GRANADA HILLS
Baseball and football star at Stanford; winningest QB in NFL
history with Broncos.

#9
Pete Rozelle
LOS ANGELES
In 29 years as commissioner built NFL into cultural behemoth,
adding new holiday to nation's calendar: Super Sunday.

#10
Marcus Allen
SAN DIEGO
At USC in 1981, set NCAA record for rushing yards (2,342)
and won Heisman; NFL's seventh-leading rusher alltime.

#11
Duke Snider
LOS ANGELES
Dodgers centerfielder hit more home runs (326) than any other big
leaguer in 1950s; seven-time All-Star.

#12
Anthony Munoz
ONTARIO
Dominant offensive lineman at USC; perennial All-Pro in 13
seasons with Bengals.

#13
Tiger Woods
CYPRESS
Has 15 PGA Tour wins in four years as a pro; youngest player to
win the Masters, in 1997.

#14
Jack Kramer
MONTEBELLO
Won two U.S. titles (1946, '47) and one Wimbledon ('47) with
blistering serve-and-volley game; later helped form ATP and
tirelessly promoted tennis.

#15
Greg LeMond
LAKEWOOD
First American to win Tour de France, in 1986; returned in '89
after near fatal hunting accident to win again; won for third
time in '90.

#16
Helen Wills Moody
BERKELEY
Grande dame of women's tennis; won 19 Grand Slam titles; didn't
lose a set in singles play from 1927 to '32.

#17
Bob Mathias
TULARE
Two-time Olympic gold medalist in decathlon (1948 and '52) was,
at 17, youngest Olympic track champion.

#18
Barry Bonds
SAN MATEO
Best baseball player of the 1990s; three-time MVP and only
player with 400 home runs and 400 steals.

#19
Billie Jean King
LONG BEACH
Won 12 Grand Slam titles, but more important tennis victories
came in popularizing sport in U.S. and boosting women's tour.

#20
Florence Griffith Joyner
LOS ANGELES
Sprinter won three golds at 1988 Olympics, setting world records
in 100 (10.49) and 200 meters (21.34).

#21
Greg Louganis
EL CAJON
First man to sweep platform and springboard diving golds at two
Olympics (1984 and 88).

#22
Mark McGwire
CLAREMONT
Hit Pac-10 record 32 home runs at USC in 1984; bashed major
league record 70 with Cardinals in '98; home run ratio of one
every 10.8 at bats best of any hitter.

#23
Bill Walton
SAN DIEGO
Three-time college player of the year at UCLA (1972-74); played
on two NBA champions.

#24
Rafer Johnson
KINGSBURG
Won state high school high hurdles title in 1954; set decathlon
world record in '55; won Olympic decathlon silver in '56 and
gold in '60.

#25
Frank Gifford
BAKERSFIELD
All-America at USC; running back was league MVP and led Giants
to NFL title in 1956.

#26
Tom Seaver
FRESNO
Pitcher led Miracle Mets in 1969; won 311 games, three Cy
Youngs; first pitcher with 10 200-strikeout seasons.

#27
Peggy Fleming
SAN JOSE
Three-time figure skating world champion won gold medal at 1968
Olympic Games.

#28
Don Budge
OAKLAND
First player to win tennis's Grand Slam, in 1938.

#29
Frank Robinson
OAKLAND
Only player to win MVP in both leagues; hit 586 homers, won
Triple Crown in 1966; majors' first black manager, in '75.

#30
Don Drysdale
VAN NUYS
Set major league record for consecutive scoreless innings (582/3)
in 1958 with Dodgers; Cy Young winner and eight-time All-Star.

#31
Gino Marchetti
ANTIOCH
Played 13 seasons with Colts; went to 10 Pro Bowls; named
defensive end of All-NFL team for league's first 50 years.

#32
Cheryl Miller
RIVERSIDE
Led Riverside Polytechnic High girls' basketball team to 132-4
record (1979 to '83); won two NCAA basketball titles at USC.

#33
Norm van Brocklin
LAFAYETTE
Won NFL titles with Rams (1951) and Eagles ('60); led league in
passing three times; played in 10 Pro Bowls; still holds
single-game passing yards record (554).

#34
Jim Hines
OAKLAND
World record in 100 meters (9.95) at 1968 Olympics stood for 15
years; first man to break 10-second barrier in that event.

#35
Joe Morgan
OAKLAND
Only second baseman to win back-to-back MVPs (1975 and '76);
played on two World Series champions with Reds.

#36
Glenn Davis
LAVERNE
Doc Blanchard's cohort in dominant Army backfield (1944 to '46);
won Heisman as senior after two years as runner-up.

#37
Pancho Gonzales
LOS ANGELES
Perhaps most gifted tennis player of all time; won U.S. title in
1948 and '49; pioneered pro tour with Jack Kramer (#14).

#38
O.J. Simpson
SAN FRANCISCO
Won Heisman trophy at USC; first in NFL to rush for 2,000 yards
in a season (1973).

#39
Maureen Connolly
SAN DIEGO
In 1951, at age 16, became youngest U.S. singles champion; then
swept nine straight Grand Slam titles from '51 to '54.

#40
Willie Shoemaker
EL MONTE
Second-winningest jockey alltime with 8,833 victories; career
earnings of $123 million and 11 Triple Crown wins.

#41
Bob Lemon
SAN BERNARDINO
Failing outfielder started pitching as 26-year-old veteran; had
five 20-win seasons for Indians in 1950s.

#42
Janet Evans
PLACENTIA
Greatest U.S. distance swimmer won three golds at 1988 Olympics,
set 400-meter freestyle world record.

#43
Karch Kiraly
LOS ANGELES
Played on U.S. Olympic gold-medal-winning volleyball teams in
1984 and '88; won gold in beach volleyball in '96; considered
greatest player in history of volleyball.

#44
Tommie Smith
LAMOORE
Set seven sprint world records from 1966 to '68, including
200-meter gold-medal performance at '68 Olympics.

#45
Mickey Wright
SAN DIEGO
Four-time U.S. Open champion won 82 women's professional golf
tournaments, including 13 major championships.

#46
Dennis Eckersley
FREMONT
Pitched in second-most games (1,071) in majors; only pitcher with
150 wins and 300 saves.

#47
Bob Waterfield
VAN NUYS
Led UCLA to first victory over USC in 1942; became first rookie
QB to win NFL title with Rams in '45; MVP in '45 and '50.

#48
Rickey Henderson
OAKLAND
All-American running back at Oakland Technical High; majors'
alltime leader in steals, third in walks, fifth in runs.

#49
Matt Biondi
MORAGA
All-America swimmer at Cal tied Spitz for most Olympic medals: 11
total in 1984, '88 and '92 Games, including seven golds.

#50
Eddie Mathews
SANTA BARBARA
Third baseman hit 512 home runs from 1952 to '68; made nine
All-Star teams.

B/W PHOTO: CORBIS/BETTMAN-UPI #1 Joe DiMaggio

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