The 50 Greatest Sports Figures From Iowa

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
Dan Gable
WATERLOO
Won 1972 Olympic freestyle wrestling gold medal (149.5 pounds);
coached Iowa to nine straight NCAA titles, 15 in all.

#2
Bob Feller
VAN METER
Led AL in strikeouts seven times, tossed three no-hitters; first
to fan 18 in a game; won 266 games for Indians (1936 to '56).

#3
Nile Kinnick
ADEL
Won Heisman Trophy at Iowa in 1939, for a season in which he had
a hand in 107 of Hawkeyes' 130 points.

#4
Elmer Layden
DAVENPORT
One of Notre Dame's Four Horsemen; coached Irish from 1934 to
'40; first NFL commissioner ('41 to '46).

#5
Jay Berwanger
DUBUQUE
All-purpose player at Chicago won inaugural Heisman, in 1935; top
pick in first NFL draft but opted for business career.

#6
Roger Craig
DAVENPORT
First NFL player with 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards
receiving in same season, with 49ers in 1985; had 8,189 career
rushing yards.

#7
Fred (Cap) Clarke
DES MOINES
Batted .351 and slugged major-league-best .532 for NL champion
Pirates in 1903; had 2,672 career hits.

#8
Raef LaFrentz
MONONA
No. 2 alltime scorer and rebounder at Kansas; first-round pick by
Nuggets in 1998.

#9
Jim Zalesky
SHUEYVILLE
Won 89 consecutive wrestling matches and three straight NCAA
titles at Iowa under Gable, whom he succeeded as coach in 1998.

#10
Don Perkins
WATERLOO
Four-time All-Pro was NFL's sixth alltime rusher (6,217 yards)
when he retired in 1968.

#11
Fred Hoiberg
AMES
State's Mr. Basketball in senior year; averaged 20.2 points at
Iowa State in 1993-94; so popular in hometown he became known as
the Mayor.

#12
Jack Fleck
DAVENPORT
Upset Ben Hogan in 18-hole playoff to win 1955 U.S. Open; won two
other PGA events.

#13
Urban (Red) Faber
CASCADE
Won 69 games for White Sox from 1920 to '22; finished with 254
major league wins and 273 complete games.

#14
Gary Thompson
ROLAND
All-America guard at Iowa State in 1957; averaged 18.7 points
in his career, becoming Cyclones' first 1,000-point scorer.

#15
Aubrey Devine
DES MOINES
All-America quarterback at Iowa in 1921; his dropkick field goal
beat Notre Dame 10-7, ending Irish's 20-game winning streak.

#16
Terry and Tom Brands
SHELDON
Identical twins each won a world wrestling championship in 1993;
Tom also won gold in featherweight (136.5 pounds) at '96 Olympics.

#17
Bryce Paup
SCRANTON
Pass-rushing linebacker led NFL with 17 1/2 sacks in 1995 for the
Bills after starring at Northern Iowa.

#18
Mack Garner
CENTERVILLE
Won 1934 Kentucky Derby on Cavalcade; two-time winner of the
Belmont Stakes.

#19
Bing Miller
CHENEY
Rightfielder hit .311 in 16 major league seasons; had
game-winning double for A's in clinching Game 5 of 1929 World
Series.

#20
Gordon Locke
DENISON
All-America fullback at Iowa in 1922; named to school's alltime
team as a defensive back in '89.

#21
Harold Nichols
CRESCO
Won six NCAA wrestling titles as Iowa State coach from 1965 to
'77; 493-93-14 in 36 years as a college coach.

#22
Hal Trosky
NORWAY
Hit .343 with 42 homers and a then club-record 162 RBIs for
Indians in 1936; .302 hitter in 11 seasons.

#23
Dan McGugin
TINGLEY
Lineman at Drake and Michigan; coached Vanderbilt to a
197-55-19 record; his 1904 team outscored opponents 474-4.

#24
Denise Long
UNION
Led Union-Whitten High to 1968 state girls' basketball title by
averaging 62.8 points; picked by NBA Warriors in '69 draft but
never played.

#25
Bill Logan
KEOKUK
Leading scorer for Iowa's 1956 national runner-up basketball
team; twice named All-Big Ten.

#26
Dave Bancroft
SIOUX CITY
Hit .300 or higher five times and was the best fielding
shortstop in the game in the 1920s.

#27
Frank Gotch
HUMBOLDT
Premier performer when pro wrestling was a real sport; held title
from 1906 to '13.

#28
Randy Duncan
DES MOINES
Big Ten MVP and Walter Camp Trophy winner at quarterback in 1958
when Hawkeyes won Rose Bowl.

#29
Reggie Roby
WATERLOO
Broke 32-year-old NCAA punting record in 1981 with 49.8-yard
average for Iowa; made Pro Bowl three times.

#30
Lynne Lorenzen
VENTURA
Set national high school basketball record with 6,736 points for
Ventura High; hit 28 of 32 shots in school's 1987 state title
game win.

#31
Doreen Wilbur
JEFFERSON
Won archery gold medal at 1972 Olympics with world-record 2,424
points.

#32
Hayden Fry
IOWA CITY
Led Iowa to 14 bowl games--including three trips to the Rose--in
20 years as coach before retiring after 1998 season; 143-89-6
record overall.

#33
Tim Dwight
IOWA CITY
Alltime leader in receiving yards at Iowa; with Falcons,
returned kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown in Super Bowl XXXIII.

#34
Bucky O'Connor
IOWA CITY
Coached Iowa to Final Four in 1955 and '56; was 114-59 in eight
seasons.

#35
Glen Brand
CLARION
Two-time All-America wrestler at Iowa State; won last 35
matches; took middleweight (174 pounds) gold at 1948 Olympics.

#36
Forest Evashevski
IOWA CITY
Coached Hawkeyes to their first two Rose Bowl wins, in 1957 and
'59.

#37
Earl Whitehill
CEDAR RAPIDS
Won 218 games in 17-year major league career; went 22-8 in 1933
for pennant-winning Senators.

#38
Murray Wier
MUSCATINE
As a senior at Iowa in 1948, averaged 21.0 points and was named
All-America; played two seasons with Tri-Cities, including one
year in NBA.

#39
Ed Podolak
ATLANTIC
At Iowa, set school single-game rushing record of 286 yards,
which stood from 1968 to '97; ran for 4,451 yards in nine
seasons with Chiefs.

#40
Zoe Ann Olsen
COUNCIL BLUFFS
Won silver medal in springboard diving at 1948 Olympics.

#41
Maury John
DES MOINES
Coached Drake to 1969 Final Four before losing in semifinals to
Lew Alcindor's UCLA team by three points.

#42
Gerald Leeman
OSAGE
Three-time state high school wrestling champ won 1940 AAU
national championship; took silver in '48 Olympics.

#43
Judy Kimball
SIOUX CITY
Won 1958 state amateur golf title and three pro tournaments,
including '62 LPGA Championship.

#44
F. Morgan Taylor
SIOUX CITY
Former world-record holder in 400-meter hurdles; won gold at
1924 Olympics, bronze in '28 and '32 Games.

#45
Eddie Anderson
MASON CITY
Notre Dame end from 1918 to '21 and All-America as a senior;
coached for 39 years, including eight at Iowa.

#46
Kenny Ploen
CLINTON
Iowa quarterback was MVP of 1957 Rose Bowl, in which he completed
nine of 10 passes and ran 49 yards for a touchdown.

#47
Paul Moon
DAVENPORT
Won 523 games and record seven state championships as basketball
coach at Davenport High from 1928 to '58.

#48
Mike Busch
DONAHUE
All-America tight end at Iowa State in 1989 went on to play two
seasons as a third baseman with Dodgers.

#49
Marv Cook
WEST BRANCH
Hawkeyes tight end went to Pro Bowl in 1991 after catching 82
passes for Patriots.

#50
J.L. Wilkinson
DES MOINES
Night baseball pioneer in 1930; founded Kansas City Monarchs,
who won 10 Negro league pennants and sent 27 players to the
majors.

COLOR PHOTO: HEINZ KLUETMEIER #1 Dan Gable

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