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.
All-America tackle for Gophers in 1929; All-Pro fullback led
Bears to three NFL titles.
Forward on Gophers' 1971-72 Big Ten basketball champions; 1,833
RBIs in 22-year career in majors; drafted by Hawks and Vikings.
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
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.
One of LPGA's founders and greatest players; in 1946 won
inaugural U.S. Women's Open.
Played guard and halfback for Minnesota's national title teams
in 1934, '35 and '36; coached Oklahoma to record 47 straight wins.
Infielder is eighth alltime in hits (3,319); 1993 World Series
MVP with Blue Jays.
Miracle on Ice coach also guided Minnesota to three NCAA titles
in the 1970s; now coach of the Penguins.
First baseman ranks among Twins' career leaders in games played,
hits, home runs and RBIs; won World Series rings in 1987 and '91.
Won British Open and was PGA's player of the year in 1996; helped
U.S. win '99 Ryder Cup.
Basketball star at Askov High and Hamline teamed with George
Mikan to lead Lakers to four titles in the 1950s.
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.
Bill and Roger Christian
Brothers led U.S. to hockey gold at 1960 Olympics; Bill's son,
Dave, did same in '80 before playing in NHL.
Led Gophers to back-to-back national titles in '40 and '41; only
Minnesotan to win Heisman Trophy, in 1941.
Flames defenseman is six-time All-Star; NHL's points leader among
Receiver for North High in 1930; longtime pro coach and
passing-game innovator took Chargers to AFL title in '63.
Played on four state championship hockey teams at Eveleth High;
three-time All-America at Minnesota; won gold with 1960 Olympic
Coached college football for 51 years--47 at St. John's--and had
364 career wins, second alltime.
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.
Broncos linebacker was Pro Bowl pick six times; 79 sacks, second
in franchise history.
Scholarly coach for Lakers won six titles in seven years
(1948-54); later coached at Minnesota from '59 to '68.
Played for Minnesota's 1976 NCAA hockey championship team;
high-scoring Red Wings defenseman from 1977 to '86.
Won four national individual all-around gymnastics titles, in
1990, '92, '93 and '95.
NCAA wrestling titles at Minnesota in 1948 and '49; had colorful
pro wrestling career--won tag-team title with Nagurski.
Gophers kicker from 1952 to '54; placekicker-receiver for
Patriots set AFL records for career points (1,100), field goals
(170) and PATs (330).
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.
NL Rookie of the Year runner-up in 1968; 222-209 with 3.36 ERA
in 19 seasons; won World Series with '69 Mets.
Speed skater has won more Olympic medals (one silver in 1992,
two bronze in '94) than any other Minnesotan.
Won three straight NCAA football championships with Gophers from
1934 to '36; All-Pro tackle for Giants from '37 to '40.
Led Gophers to 1979 NCAA hockey title; won '80 Olympic gold;
18-year NHL defenseman.
Two-time All-America halfback for Gophers was Heisman runner-up
in 1953; pitched in majors for six years.
Guard for three Lakers' title teams in 1950s.
All-America center at Colorado twice led league in scoring; won
basketball gold medals at 1956 and '60 Olympics.
Known as the Godfather of Hockey in state; had 215-148-18 record
as Gophers coach for 15 years; played five seasons with Black
Five-time All-Pro center played every offensive down during the
Dolphins' perfect season in 1972.
Shortstop for Fort Wayne (Ind.) Daisies of women's pro baseball
league in the 1950s; Hall of Fame bowler.
Rugged winger for Flyers in 1980s; first U.S.-born player to get
hat trick in Stanley Cup finals.
Track and football star at Minnesota from 1929 to '31; coached
Michigan State to '52 national football title.
Coached Minnesota to five national football titles between 1932
and '41; 93-35-6 record in 16 seasons.
Led Melrose High to two Class A basketball titles; jumped to ABA
after freshman year at Minnesota; played 12 years as a pro
Hit .438 in senior season at Minnesota; won gold as goalie for
1960 Olympic hockey team.
One of football's first great pulling guards; won NFL titles
with 1934 Bears and '36 Packers.
All-state in basketball and national goalie of the year as
senior at Anoka High; goalie on 1996 Olympics and '99 World Cup
Set American League record for most home runs by catcher (34) in
1996; won '89 World Series ring with A's.
One of boxing's greatest nonchampions; lost 15-round decision to
Jack Dempsey in 1923; career record of 57-4-1.
Led North High to three straight state basketball titles; point
guard for UConn's 1999 NCAA champions.
Teamed with Darlene Hard to win 1959 Wimbledon doubles
Three-time NCAA discus champion won bronze at 1948 Olympics,
silver in '56; held world record from '49 to '53, '53 to '59.
Won Calder and Vezina trophies in 1939; first U.S.-born player
named first-team NHL All-Star.
Longtime Notre Dame coach was the Rockne of Irish basketball;
327-97 record from 1923 to '43.
B/W PHOTO: AP #1 Bronko Nagurski