Jim Brown, Football player
The punishing Cleveland Browns running back is from Manhasset and
was a two-time NFL MVP and led the league in rushing in eight of
his nine seasons before retiring in his prime to pursue a movie
career. He was an All-America in football and lacrosse at
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Basketball player
The NBA's alltime leading scorer won three NCAA and six pro
titles. The New York City native was named NBA MVP a record six
times, and his trademark skyhook was as unstoppable a move as the
sport has seen.
Sugar Ray Robinson, Boxer
The five-time middleweight champion from New York City is
considered by many the best pound-for-pound fighter ever. He won
his first 40 bouts before losing in 1945 to Jake LaMotta; he
didn't lose again for another 6 1/2 years.
Lou Gehrig, Baseball player
The New York City native, Columbia alum and Yankees Hall of Fame
first baseman won two MVP awards and the 1934 Triple Crown, and
hit a record 23 grand slams. The Iron Horse's streak of 2,130
consecutive games was ended by the disease that now bears his
May 30, 2004
Julius Erving, Basketball player
The forward from Hempstead was the Michael Jordan of the ABA,
leading the New York Nets to two league titles and thrilling fans
with spectacular dunks. In the NBA, Dr. J led the Philadelphia
76ers to four Finals and the 1982-83 title.
Sandy Koufax, Baseball player
The Brooklynite's brilliant run from 1962 to '66, in which he won
a record five consecutive ERA titles and went 111-34, set a
standard for pitching excellence. He had a 0.95 ERA in four World
Series and won three Cy Young Awards before arthritis led to his
retirement at age 31.