Search

Alltime Best For Michigan's top 50 homegrown sports figures, go to SI.com/50

Feb. 09, 2004
Feb. 09, 2004

Table of Contents
Feb. 9, 2004

Departments

Alltime Best For Michigan's top 50 homegrown sports figures, go to SI.com/50

Compiled by Bill Syken

Joe Louis, Boxer
Arguably history's greatest heavyweight, the Brown Bomber held
the title from 1937 to '49. Born in Alabama but raised in
Detroit, Louis earned his most storied win in '38 in a
politically charged rematch with Max Schmeling of Germany as
World War II loomed.

This is an article from the Feb. 9, 2004 issue Original Layout

Earvin (Magic) Johnson, Basketball player
The charismatic guard from Lansing led Michigan State to the 1979
national title over Larry Bird's Indiana State team and the Los
Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships. At 6'9" he redefined
the point guard position, and his rivalry with Bird revitalized
the NBA.

Charlie Gehringer, Baseball player
The Tigers' Hall of Famer was a model of consistency, hitting
more than .300 13 times, including a career-high .371 in 1937,
when he was named American League MVP. He led AL second basemen
in assists seven times and in fielding percentage nine times.

Bennie Oosterbaan, Football player
One of two Wolverines (with Anthony Carter) to be an All-America
in football three times (1925 to '27), the receiver from Muskegon
twice earned that same honor in basketball and was All-Big Ten in
baseball. He coached Michigan to the 1948 national football
title.

Hal Newhouser, Baseball player
Playing for his hometown Tigers, he became the only pitcher to
win consecutive MVP awards, in 1944, when he went 29-9, and '45,
when he was 25-9 with a career-best 1.81 ERA. He won two games in
the 1945 World Series against the Chicago Cubs, including Game 7.

Dave DeBusschere, Basketball player
The 6'6" forward was a seven-time All-Star with his hometown
Pistons and the New York Knicks and played for two title teams in
New York. He was a three-time basketball All-America at the
University of Detroit and pitched for two seasons for the Chicago
White Sox.

B/W PHOTO: BETTMAN/CORBIS (LOUIS; NEWHOUSER)COLOR PHOTO: BETTMAN/CORBIS (LOUIS; NEWHOUSER)COLOR PHOTO: JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (MAGIC)B/W PHOTO: CORBIS (GEHRINGER)B/W PHOTO: HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES (DEBUSSCHERE)B/W PHOTO