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.
Four-time 20-game winner with the Orioles; tied then AL record
with 17 consecutive wins in 1968-69.
Rodeo all-around world champion in 1997; saddle bronc winner in
'93, '94, '95 and again in '97 and '98.
One of the greatest U.S. rifle shooters; won two Olympic gold
medals, in small-bore (1964) and free rifle ('72), and a silver
in small bore ('64).
Four-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman for Cowboys from 1975 to '83.
Two-time All-Big Sky Conference at Montana State; currently a
starting linebacker for Giants.
No high school team, but played American Legion ball and earned
scholarship to Stanford; set three Cardinal records; pitched for
Orioles and Pirates from 1987 to '94.
Led C.M. Russell High to 1992 state title; took Washington State
to '97 Rose Bowl; second pick overall by Chargers in '98.
Sullivan Award winner in 1940 was two-time NCAA two-mile champion
for Notre Dame.
NCAA 137-pound wrestling champion in 1966; Olympic bronze
medalist in '76.
Rose from obscurity to win 1993 U.S. figure skating
championship, won again the following year.
All-America safety at Montana has spent 10 seasons in NFL;
currently with Eagles.
Two-time All-America at Montana threw for 11,080 yards and 96
TDs; led Grizzlies to Division I-AA title in 1995.
Alltime leading scorer (2,172 points), male or female, in
Montana basketball history; 1991-92 All-America; holds nine Big
Robert Craig (Evel) Knievel
Bombastic daredevil broke 35 bones attempting to jump almost
anything on his motorcycle, including Idaho's mile-wide Snake
NCAA men's champion in 10,000 (1990) and 5,000 meters ('91) at
Standout for Montana; was hard-nosed forward for six NBA teams;
best season was 1988-89, when he averaged 12.7 points and 7.6
Division I-AA All-America left Montana in 1984 as school's
alltime leading receiver.
World Boxing Council's first cruiserweight champion, in 1980; '83
International Boxing Federation cruiser champion.
Standout center at Minnesota averaged 14.5 points; played for
Lakers from 1954 to '57.
Won three national rodeo titles in 1930s and '40s; first
inductee into Cowgirl Hall of Fame, in '75; entered National
Cowboy Hall of Fame in '83.
Three-time Division I-AA All-America linebacker at Montana
State; head coach of Bobcats from 1971 to '77.
Has earned more than $1 million on LPGA tour--the second most by a
player who has never won a tournament.
All-America halfback at Montana; played for the Cardinals from
1938 to '42, rushing for 233 yards and four touchdowns.
Nephew of Alice Greenough (#20) was 1993 world champion bareback
All-America center iceman at North Dakota in 1965-66; member of
U.S. team in '67 world championships.
Montana defensive tackle had 11-year career (1966-76) with
Vikings, Saints, Oilers and Falcons.
(Wild) Bill Kelly
All-America quarterback and halfback at Montana from 1924 to
'26; scored 31 career touchdowns; also lettered in baseball and
All-America center averaged 21.7 points and 14.4 rebounds in
1967-68 at Duke; spent one season in ABA with Pacers.
Won gold medal in aerial skiing at 1998 Olympics.
Three-time All-Big Sky in basketball at Montana from 1984 to
'88; voted Little Sullivan Award winner in '88 as best female
athlete in state; played professionally in France in 1988-89.
Sprinter placed sixth in 200 meters at 1968 Olympics.
All-America basketball guard at Montana State; school's alltime
winningest coach in sport (283-198, 1936-47, '48-54).
Two-time track and field All-America at Montana was 1950 NCAA
Speed skater was World Cup champion at 5,000 meters in 1986.
Basketball and football standout at Montana State in 1920s;
coached Bobcats' basketball team in '47-48; school's arena named
Won national senior men's figure skating championship in 1971.
All-state football player at Great Falls High in 1978 later
became four-time Montana circuit steer-wrestling champion.
Top all-around cowboy in 1950 and '53; won world titles in steer
wrestling and bronc riding.
Utah State forward was averaging 33.7 points in 1964-65 when he
stopped to help a car-accident victim and was electrocuted by a
National Golden Gloves champion at 139 pounds in 1987; light
welterweight on '88 Olympic team.
Football and track standout at Montana placed second in 100- and
200-yard dashes at 1925 NCAA championships.
Two-time state high school (1986-87) and amateur ('91-92)
champion; joined LPGA tour in 1996.
Three-time all-conference basketball player at Montana State;
honorable mention All-America in 1992; team's fourth-leading
Sprinter and hurdler at Montana in late 1980s holds nine school
records; first Lady Griz to break 60 seconds in 400-meter
Big Sky player of the year at Montana State in 1993; played
forward for WNBA's Charlotte Sting in '99.
Won top all-around cowboy title in 1961.
Two-time All-Skyline Conference quarterback and defensive back
at Montana in 1959 and '60; coached CFL's Toronto Argonauts to
'83 Grey Cup.
NCAA two-mile champion at Montana in 1926.
Montana State basketball center elected to Big Sky's
25th-anniversary team in 1988.
Elvis Old Bull
CROW INDIAN RESERVATION
Guard led Lodge Grass High to consecutive Class B state
basketball titles in 1988, '89, '90; was state tournament MVP
COLOR PHOTO: JAMES DRAKE #1 Dave McNally