The 50 Greatest Sports Figures From Minnesota

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
Bronko Nagurski
INTERNATIONAL FALLS
All-America tackle for Gophers in 1929; All-Pro fullback led
Bears to three NFL titles.

#2
Dave Winfield
ST. PAUL
Forward on Gophers' 1971-72 Big Ten basketball champions; 1,833
RBIs in 22-year career in majors; drafted by Hawks and Vikings.

#3
Kevin McHale
HIBBING
Averaged 15.2 points and 8.5 rebounds at Minnesota; won three NBA
titles in 13 seasons with Celtics (1980-93); named one of NBA's
50 Greatest.

#4
Neal Broten
ROSEAU
At Minnesota, won NCAA hockey title in 1979 and Hobey Baker Award
in '81; Olympic gold in '80; led North Stars to Stanley Cup
finals in '91.

#5
Patty Berg
MINNEAPOLIS
One of LPGA's founders and greatest players; in 1946 won
inaugural U.S. Women's Open.

#6
Bud Wilkinson
MINNEAPOLIS
Played guard and halfback for Minnesota's national title teams
in 1934, '35 and '36; coached Oklahoma to record 47 straight wins.

#7
Paul Molitor
ST. PAUL
Infielder is eighth alltime in hits (3,319); 1993 World Series
MVP with Blue Jays.

#8
Herb Brooks
ST. PAUL
Miracle on Ice coach also guided Minnesota to three NCAA titles
in the 1970s; now coach of the Penguins.

#9
Kent Hrbek
BLOOMINGTON
First baseman ranks among Twins' career leaders in games played,
hits, home runs and RBIs; won World Series rings in 1987 and '91.

#10
Tom Lehman
ALEXANDRIA
Won British Open and was PGA's player of the year in 1996; helped
U.S. win '99 Ryder Cup.

#11
Vern Mikkelsen
ASKOV
Basketball star at Askov High and Hamline teamed with George
Mikan to lead Lakers to four titles in the 1950s.

#12
Jack Morris
ST. PAUL
Five-time All-Star had 254-186 record; two wins for Twins in 1991
World Series, with 10-inning shutout in Game 7; most victories
(162) in '80s.

#13
Bill and Roger Christian
WARROAD
Brothers led U.S. to hockey gold at 1960 Olympics; Bill's son,
Dave, did same in '80 before playing in NHL.

#14
Bruce Smith
FARIBAULT
Led Gophers to back-to-back national titles in '40 and '41; only
Minnesotan to win Heisman Trophy, in 1941.

#15
Phil Housley
ST. PAUL
Flames defenseman is six-time All-Star; NHL's points leader among
U.S.-born players.

#16
Sid Gillman
MINNEAPOLIS
Receiver for North High in 1930; longtime pro coach and
passing-game innovator took Chargers to AFL title in '63.

#17
John Mayasich
EVELETH
Played on four state championship hockey teams at Eveleth High;
three-time All-America at Minnesota; won gold with 1960 Olympic
team.

#18
John Gagliardi
COLLEGEVILLE
Coached college football for 51 years--47 at St. John's--and had
364 career wins, second alltime.

#19
Cindy Nelson
LUTSEN
First U.S. skier to win World Cup downhill, in 1974; U.S. Alpine
skier of the year '75, '76, '78, '79; won bronze at '76 Games.

#20
Karl Mecklenburg
EDINA
Broncos linebacker was Pro Bowl pick six times; 79 sacks, second
in franchise history.

#21
John Kundla
MINNEAPOLIS
Scholarly coach for Lakers won six titles in seven years
(1948-54); later coached at Minnesota from '59 to '68.

#22
Reed Larson
MINNEAPOLIS
Played for Minnesota's 1976 NCAA hockey championship team;
high-scoring Red Wings defenseman from 1977 to '86.

#23
John Roethlisberger
AFTON
Won four national individual all-around gymnastics titles, in
1990, '92, '93 and '95.

#24
Vern Gagne
ROBBINSDALE
NCAA wrestling titles at Minnesota in 1948 and '49; had colorful
pro wrestling career--won tag-team title with Nagurski.

#25
Gino Cappelletti
KEEWATIN
Gophers kicker from 1952 to '54; placekicker-receiver for
Patriots set AFL records for career points (1,100), field goals
(170) and PATs (330).

#26
Chief Bender
WHITE EARTH RESERVATION
Righthander went 23-5 and threw a no-hitter in 1910; 208-112
record in majors; in baseball's Hall of Fame.

#27
Jerry Koosman
CHASKA
NL Rookie of the Year runner-up in 1968; 222-209 with 3.36 ERA
in 19 seasons; won World Series with '69 Mets.

#28
Amy Peterson
MAPLEWOOD
Speed skater has won more Olympic medals (one silver in 1992,
two bronze in '94) than any other Minnesotan.

#29
Ed Widseth
CROOKSTON
Won three straight NCAA football championships with Gophers from
1934 to '36; All-Pro tackle for Giants from '37 to '40.

#30
Mike Ramsey
MINNEAPOLIS
Led Gophers to 1979 NCAA hockey title; won '80 Olympic gold;
18-year NHL defenseman.

#31
Paul Giel
WINONA
Two-time All-America halfback for Gophers was Heisman runner-up
in 1953; pitched in majors for six years.

#32
Whitey Skoog
BRAINERD
Guard for three Lakers' title teams in 1950s.

#33
Burdette Haldorson
AUSTIN
All-America center at Colorado twice led league in scoring; won
basketball gold medals at 1956 and '60 Olympics.

#34
John Mariucci
EVELETH
Known as the Godfather of Hockey in state; had 215-148-18 record
as Gophers coach for 15 years; played five seasons with Black
Hawks.

#35
Jim Langer
ROYALTON
Five-time All-Pro center played every offensive down during the
Dolphins' perfect season in 1972.

#36
Jean Havlish
ST. PAUL
Shortstop for Fort Wayne (Ind.) Daisies of women's pro baseball
league in the 1950s; Hall of Fame bowler.

#37
Paul Holmgren
ST. PAUL
Rugged winger for Flyers in 1980s; first U.S.-born player to get
hat trick in Stanley Cup finals.

#38
Biggie Munn
ANOKA
Track and football star at Minnesota from 1929 to '31; coached
Michigan State to '52 national football title.

#39
Bernie Bierman
LITCHFIELD
Coached Minnesota to five national football titles between 1932
and '41; 93-35-6 record in 16 seasons.

#40
Mark Olberding
MELROSE
Led Melrose High to two Class A basketball titles; jumped to ABA
after freshman year at Minnesota; played 12 years as a pro
(1975-87).

#41
John McCartan
ST. PAUL
Hit .438 in senior season at Minnesota; won gold as goalie for
1960 Olympic hockey team.

#42
Walt Kiesling
ST. PAUL
One of football's first great pulling guards; won NFL titles
with 1934 Bears and '36 Packers.

#43
Briana Scurry
DAYTON
All-state in basketball and national goalie of the year as
senior at Anoka High; goalie on 1996 Olympics and '99 World Cup
championship teams.

#44
Terry Steinbach
NEW ULM
Set American League record for most home runs by catcher (34) in
1996; won '89 World Series ring with A's.

#45
Tommy Gibbons
ST. PAUL
One of boxing's greatest nonchampions; lost 15-round decision to
Jack Dempsey in 1923; career record of 57-4-1.

#46
Khalid El-Amin
MINNEAPOLIS
Led North High to three straight state basketball titles; point
guard for UConn's 1999 NCAA champions.

#47
Jeanne Arth
ST. PAUL
Teamed with Darlene Hard to win 1959 Wimbledon doubles
championship.

#48
Fortune Gordien
MINNEAPOLIS
Three-time NCAA discus champion won bronze at 1948 Olympics,
silver in '56; held world record from '49 to '53, '53 to '59.

#49
Frankie Brimsek
EVELETH
Won Calder and Vezina trophies in 1939; first U.S.-born player
named first-team NHL All-Star.

#50
George Keogan
DETROIT LAKES
Longtime Notre Dame coach was the Rockne of Irish basketball;
327-97 record from 1923 to '43.

B/W PHOTO: AP #1 Bronko Nagurski

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