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-state in basketball at Omaha Tech; played with Globetrotters;
won 251 games, two Cy Youngs for Cardinals.
State long jump record holder; two-time football All-America at
Kansas; led NFL in rushing in 1966 and '69 with Bears.
Grover Cleveland Alexander
Three-time major league 30-game winner (1915, '16, '17); led
National League in wins six times and ERA five times.
All-state in football and basketball at Hastings High; coached
Nebraska football team to three national titles from 1973 to '97.
Heisman Trophy-winning wingback led Nebraska to 1970 and '71
Retired in 1917 with major league record 312 career triples; had
.309 batting average, 2,961 hits and 366 stolen bases with Reds
Four-time NL All-Star; won league batting titles with Phillies in
1955 and '58.
Two-time All-America at Nebraska; Knute Rockne called him
"greatest tackle I ever saw."
All-America in basketball at Kansas State in 1958 and '59; led
Wildcats to two Big Eight titles; No. 1 pick of Royals.
Member of gold-medal-winning 1984 U.S. men's gymnastics team; led
Nebraska to four straight NCAA crowns; won seven individual NCAA
Indians righthander was All-Star from 1934 to '37; won 223 games.
Two-time All-America center at Nebraska (1981, '82); only man to
win Outland Trophy twice.
Star of Omaha Tech 1963 state championship basketball team;
four-time ABA All-Star.
Winner of 1916 state women's golf title; women's singles and
doubles tennis champion at Heidelberg College in 1900; founded
Nebraska women's basketball team.
Hit .297 with 138 stolen bases in majors (1913 to '29); managed
Cardinals to three pennants and World Series titles in '42 and
Halfback at Nebraska; three-time Pro Bowl cornerback with
Cardinals and Redskins started 212 straight games.
Class B all-state center on 1957 Lexington High football team;
six Pro Bowls with Vikings.
Led NL in strikeouts from 1922 to '28, in ERA three times, and in
wins and complete games twice; won 197 games.
All-America fullback at Nebraska in 1933; coached Kansas to two
Big Six titles; New York Jets' director of player personnel from
'63 to '68.
Intercepted 20 passes for Packers from 1939 to '47, including two
for TDs in '45; played on two NFL champions.
Played eight-man football at Sterling High; won 1983 Lombardi and
Outland trophies as offensive guard at Nebraska.
Has nine PGA Tour wins; 1989 British Open winner.
All-America defensive end and halfback at Nebraska; played for
1921 NFL champion Decatur Staleys; coached NFL's Canton-Cleveland
team to three league titles.
All-state QB at Gothenburg High in 1981; set state pole vault
record; tight end for Cardinals and Cowboys from '85 to '95.
Won multiple state high school gold medals in the 880 and mile
from 1935 to '37; set world indoor mile best three times.
All-conference halfback at Nebraska in 1927; led NFL in scoring
for '33 Portsmouth Spartans.
Offensive guard played team-record 207 games with Jets from 1967
to '81; member of Super Bowl III champions.
All-state in basketball at Weston High; led Nebraska to 1950
conference title; spent 12 seasons as major league outfielder;
State high school champion in 1974 and '78; has won six LPGA
events in 16 years on tour.
Set world records at seven distances, from 800 to 1,500 meters,
in the 1920s.
Diamondbacks reliever threw four no-hitters at Northwest High,
won 27 games without a loss; 1989 AL Rookie of the Year.
Scored 34 touchdowns as running back at Grand Island High and was
state high jump champion; 49ers fullback from 1986 to '93.
Averaged 38.6 points as a senior at Elm Creek High in 1927;
scored 80 in game against Miller High.
Led Broncos with 14 TD passes as rookie in 1968; led AFC with 57
receptions for Bills in '70.
Eugene (Hoppy) McCue
Was all-state three times in basketball and all-state twice in
football at Arapahoe High from 1948 to '51; also won 11
individual track titles.
All-Star outfielder batted .296 in 14-year career (1939 to '52);
played in five World Series, with Cardinals and Yankees.
All-state in football at Broken Bow High; earned All-League
honors as cornerback with Raiders in 1967 and '68.
Set state meet record in shot put (62'11 1/2") in 1982 at
Central High; two-time All-America linebacker at Iowa.
State rodeo champion at Broken Bow High in 1970; World All-Around
Rodeo champion in '80.
Rode Ponder to 1949 Kentucky Derby win; 10 days later rode
winners in first six races.
Led Nebraska basketball team in scoring in 1996; spent three
summers as Class A outfielder in Marlins system; now plays guard
All-state football player at Wolbach High; won national high
school discus title in 1937 with a throw of 142'4".
Jack Van Berg
First thoroughbred trainer to get 5,000 wins, in 1987; led nation
in victories eight times.
Carol Moseke Frost
Four-time National AAU discus champion; won a gold medal at the
1968 Pan Am Games.
Expos closer saved 84 games from 1987 to '90; retired with a
49-33 record, 2.72 ERA and 102 saves.
In 1997, Omaha QB was first player in Division II history to rush
and pass for 1,000 yards in single season; accomplished feat
again in '98.
NAIA All-America in football and basketball at Kearney State;
drafted by Steelers and Bullets in 1975.
Hitter for silver-medal-winning 1984 U.S. Olympic volleyball team
was also member of '82 bronze-medal-winning team at world
Track and football star is Omaha's eighth alltime leading rusher
with 2,033 yards from 1960 to '63; member of '62 U.S. national
Scored then girls basketball state-record 1,492 points for
Platteview from 1976 to '79.
COLOR PHOTO: HEINZ KLUETMEIER #5 Johnny Rodgers