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.
Most homers by AL righthanded hitter (573); fifth alltime
overall; 13 All-Star Games with Twins; 1969 AL MVP.
Starred as tackle and kicker at Idaho; led power sweeps that
helped Packers to five NFL titles including wins in first two
Super Bowls; four-time All-Pro guard.
Earned gold in Super G at 1998 Olympics, downhill silver in '94;
only American to win World Cup downhill title ('96).
One of this generation's top jockeys; has won six Triple Crown
races, including 1997 Derby and Preakness.
Won twice in Pirates' 1960 World Series defeat of Yankees; got Cy
Young Award that year.
Four-sport high school star was safety-blitzing terror with
Cardinals from 1960 to '72; 52 interceptions, eight Pro Bowls.
Third in 1996 Heisman race, at Arizona State; comeback specialist
led '98 Cardinals to first postseason win since '47.
Three-time state wrestling champ at Idaho Falls High in early
1960s; 56-1 record at BYU; won gold at '67 Pan Am Games.
Anchored Idaho offensive line with Jerry Kramer in 1950s; made
three Pro Bowls as linebacker with Lions.
Set Idaho State record for all-purpose yards (5,413) in 1980s;
holds Steelers season mark for catches by a running back (50).
Set Division I-AA record with 10 straight 300-yard passing games
at Idaho in 1989; now with Patriots, his fourth team.
In 1964 won 24 games and was NL Comeback Player of the
Year with Cubs; had 194 victories in 14 seasons in majors.
Two-time junior college defensive player of the year at Ricks
College; Outland Trophy winner at BYU in 1986.
Three-time state girls' basketball player of the year at Moscow
High; won NCAA title with Texas in 1986, Olympic gold in '88.
Football and track All-America at Moscow High; Giants offensive
tackle from 1987 to '95; won Super Bowl ring in '90.
Won four state wrestling titles and went 123-0 at Idaho Falls
High in 1980s; finished second in 142-pound class at NCAA
championships in '92.
Won record eight world calf roping titles and three world
all-around championships (1963, '64, '65).
All-America defensive end at USC in 1972; spent seven seasons
Pitched for five teams in nine seasons in majors; had
career-high 12 saves for NL champion Dodgers in 1977.
Boise State walk-on was two-time Division I-AA All-America
defensive tackle; led Broncos to 1980 divisional national title.
Boise State quarterback in 1976 and '77; world all-around rodeo
champion in '84.
Won NCAA high jump championship as junior at Idaho State in 1988;
member of '92 Olympic team.
Idaho State fixture from 1948 to '86; school's winningest
football and baseball coach; athletic director from '79 to '86.
Jockey won 143 races in 1926; won or placed in 2,783 of 4,967
starts from '19 to '31.
Won 1996 NCAA heptathlon title; All-America in nine track events
at Purdue; averaged 11.4 points for Boilermakers' basketball team
Has 13 top five finishes on Indy Racing League circuit; finished
fourth in 1999 point standings.
Set Boise State record for career punt return yards (1,147); had
13 interceptions with Steelers and Buccaneers from 1982 to '87.
Football and basketball star at Soda Springs High; spent six
seasons in NFL; best year was 1986 when he passed for 2,007
yards with Falcons.
Left Montana in 1986 with single-season records in passing yards
(3,056) and TDs (30).
All-Big Sky safety at Boise State in 1974; had five
interceptions in four-year career with four NFL teams.
All-America wideout at Boise State in 1980, '81; still holds
Broncos' single-season mark for receiving yards (1,101).
Set then Big Sky career rushing record (4,475) at Boise State
from 1978 to '80; played five seasons with CFL's Toronto
Argonauts and NFL's Jets.
Won three state amateur golf titles, in 1956, '60 and '61.
Won World Indoor Archery Championship in 1998; has been ranked
No. 1 in world eight times since '89; holds every 18-meter world
Left BYU in 1990 as career leader in three-pointers (141); played
briefly with Jazz.
Led nation in rushing (1,329 yards) for Idaho in 1966; played two
seasons with Redskins before leg injury ended career.
Idaho State's alltime leading rebounder and second-leading
scorer; played in Italy, CBA and NBA from 1982 to '86.
Boise State track coach for 23 of last 24 years; coached 11
All-Americas; three-time NCAA district coach of the year.
John L. Smith
All-Big Sky quarterback at Weber State in 1971; coached Idaho to
three Division I-AA top 10 finishes from '89 to '94.
Starred at center for BYU basketball team; member of 1984 Olympic
Football star and state wrestling champ at Skyline High;
defensive lineman for three NFL teams from 1981 to '87.
Won national half-mile title at Idaho in 1909; ran 800 meters at
'12 Olympics; had 488-195 record as Washington hoops coach from
'21 to '47.
At Idaho State won NCAA heavyweight boxing title in 1957 and '59.
All-America wide receiver at Idaho in 1992; played for Scottish
Claymores of NFL Europe in '98; receiver with Buccaneers and
Vikings in '99.
All-America quarterback at Idaho in 1983 was second player in
NCAA history to pass for more than 10,000 yards; set 12 Division
All-Big Sky tight end at Idaho in 1984 and '85.
Won 1953 NCAA boxing championship in 119-pound division.
NCAA indoor women's tennis champion at UCLA in 1995; turned
professional same year; finished '99 as world's 84th-ranked pro.
All-America guard at Idaho in 1957-58; his 20.4 ppg that season
was a Vandals record.
Leading apprentice jockey in 1982; still successful rider today,
though not the same after 1988 accident in which his horse
trampled a fellow jockey to death.