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 Jack Dempsey
Won heavyweight title in 1919 after knocking down champion Jess
Willard seven times in first round; held belt for seven years.
#2 Byron (Whizzer) White
Future U.S. Supreme Court justice led NFL in rushing in 1938 and
'40 after All-America career at Colorado.
#3 Amy Van Dyken
NCAA swimmer of the year at Colorado State in 1994 became the
first U.S. woman to win four medals at one Olympics, in '96.
#4 Glenn Morris
Won Sullivan Award in 1936 after setting world record in
decathlon at Berlin Olympics.
#5 Hale Irwin
Two-time All-Big Eight defensive back at Colorado before winning
three U.S. Opens, 17 other PGA Tour events and 25 Senior titles.
#6 Jack Christiansen
Safety twice led NFL in interceptions; Lions won three
championships during his eight-year career, from 1951 to '58.
#7 Ed (Dutch) Clark
Colorado College All-America; set Detroit Lions' single-season
rushing record of 763 yards in 1934, which stood for 36 years.
#8 Pat Day
Won 1991 Eclipse Award for outstanding jockey; has ridden eight
winners in Triple Crown races; fourth alltime in victories.
#9 Eddie Eagan
Won gold medals at both the summer and winter Olympics: as a
welterweight boxer in 1920 and as a bobsledder in '32.
#10 Rich (Goose) Gossage
Perfected the role of the intimidating closer; saved 20 or more
games 10 times and made eight All-Star teams.
#11 Dave Logan
Drafted by Reds out of high school and by Kansas City Kings in
1976 out of Colorado; played nine NFL seasons as wide receiver.
#12 Dick Anderson
Consensus All-America for Buffaloes in 1967; played nine years
#13 Joe Romig
Two-way lineman was first three-time all-conference pick at
Colorado (1959, '60 and '61); Rhodes scholar.
#14 Tom Chambers
Averaged 18.1 points in 16-year NBA career; scored 60 for Suns
against Sonics in 1990.
#15 Bobby Anderson
Switched from quarterback to tailback two games into senior
season at Colorado and still made All-America; played in NFL
from 1970 to '75.
#16 Hayes Alan Jenkins
World figure skating champion from 1953 to '56; won Olympic gold
#17 David Jenkins
Succeeded brother Hayes as world champion and held crown until
1959; gold medalist at '60 Olympics.
#18 Steve Jones
Has eight Tour wins including 1996 U.S. Open; equaled
second-lowest 72-hole score in Tour history (258) at '97 Phoenix
#19 Scott Wedman
Set field goal shooting percentage record at Colorado in 1973-74
(53.5%); averaged more than 15 points six straight seasons with
Kansas City Kings.
#20 Tony Boselli
All-America tackle at USC; second pick, for Jaguars, in 1995 NFL
draft; three-time All-Pro.
#21 Phyllis Lockwood
Played 11 years without a loss in state championship tennis
competition; named AAU basketball All-America in 1949.
#22 William Thayer Tutt
Built ice rink at Broadmoor Hotel, home to three Olympic figure
skating champions; instrumental in getting USOC to locate in
town; awarded L'Ordre Olympique, highest award given by IOC.
#23 John Stearns
Four-time All-Star as Mets catcher from 1975 to '84; lettered in
football at Colorado.
#24 Bill Marolt
Coached Olympic ski team to five medals in '84; coached Colorado
to seven NCAA titles; now CEO of U.S. Ski.
#25 Don Cockroft
Twice led NFL in field goal percentage while with Browns.
#26 Wallace (Buddy) Werner
Top U.S. downhill skier for a decade but fell twice in 1964
Olympics and died in an avalanche two months later.
#27 Chauncey Billups
Led Colorado basketball team to 22-win season as a sophomore in
1997; averaged 13.9 points for Nuggets in 1998-99.
#28 Danny Jackson
Went 23-8 with 2.73 ERA for Reds in 1988; won 112 games in major
league career and was two-time All-Star.
#29 Barney McLean
HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS
Participated in Olympic downhill and ski jump; was captain of
U.S. team in 1948.
#30 Dale Douglass
Won three PGA Tour events and 11 Senior tournaments, including
1986 U.S. Senior Open.
#31 Young Corbett II
Knocked out "Terrible" Terry McGovern in 1901 to win world
featherweight title, which he held until '02.
#32 Bridget Turner
Fourth-leading woman scorer and rebounder ever at Colorado, where
she played from 1985 to '87.
#33 Pat Porter
Two-time Olympian at 10,000 meters; won a record eight straight
U.S. cross-country championships between 1982 and '89.
#34 Thurman (Fum) McGraw
Tackle was Colorado State's first consensus All-America, in 1948;
repeated in '49; school's AD from 1976 to '86.
#35 Charles Bresnahan
Only four-time, four-sport letterman in Colorado State history;
All-Rocky Mountain Conference in football in 1920.
#36 Joel Steed
Third-round pick from Colorado has started at nosetackle for
Steelers since 1993; All-Pro in '97.
#37 Davis Phinney
Won a bronze in the 1984 Olympic cycling road race; in '86 became
the first American to win a stage of Tour de France.
#38 Tom Rouen
Punted for Colorado State, Colorado and both Broncos' Super Bowl
winners; engaged to Amy Van Dyken (#4).
#39 Irv Brown
Coached Colorado baseball team; reffed six Final Fours;
commentator on first college football game on ESPN.
#40 Bruce Ford
Won five national titles as a bareback-bronc rider; first rodeo
cowboy to win $1 million in a career.
#41 Chuck Darling
Averaged 25.5 points for Iowa in 1955; member of gold medal
basketball team at '56 Olympics; won Senior National
Championship in discus in '92.
#42 Tippy Martinez
Went 10-3 for world champion Orioles in 1979; saved 115 games in
major league career.
#43 Eddie Dove
Played halfback at Colorado and was second-team All-NFL in 1961
as 49ers safety.
#44 Bob Howsam
Responsible for bringing professional baseball to Colorado as
part of group that formed Denver Bears in 1947; G.M. of
Cincinnati's Big Red Machine.
#45 Greg Myers
Two-time All-America defensive back at Colorado State won Thorpe
Award in 1995.
#46 Adam Berry
Won national collegiate and AAU high jump championships in 1941
before war injury ended his career.
#47 Art Unger
Won three letters in each of three sports at Colorado in 1930s;
played on two AAU national champion basketball teams.
#48 Cullen Bryant
Played defensive back at Colorado but rushed for 106 yards for
Rams in 1979 NFC Championship Game.
#49 Gordy Wren
First American to break 300 feet in ski jump; also first person
to make both Alpine and Nordic U.S. Olympic teams, in 1948.
#50 Greeley Timothy
Holds record unlikely to ever fall: 16 drop-kicked extra points
in one game for Greeley High.