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
NFL Rookie of the Year led Packers in receiving seven times from
1959 to '69; won two Super Bowl rings with Green Bay.
Won silver medal in hammer throw at 1996 Olympics; first
American to medal in the event in 40 years.
Two-time world champion shot-putter took silver medal in 1996
Olympics; won '98 Jesse Owens Award.
Two-time All-America guard at Wyoming is considered basketball's
first true jump shooter; led Cowboys to 1943 national title.
Was 20-9 as Reds rookie in 1985; threw perfect game against
Dodgers in 1988.
Colts fullback ran for 2,668 yards and 22 TDs over nine NFL
seasons from 1961 to '70.
All-America Wyoming tailback led NCAA in rushing in 1956 (1,104
yards); also set school single-season record for rushing TDs (13).
Matched world discus record in 1960 with 196'6 3/4" throw;
got silver medal at '60 Games.
Lettered three times in both basketball and tennis at Wyoming
from 1940 to '42; radio voice of Yankees and Red Sox from '49 to
Batted .254 in 12 major league seasons; outfielder for 1995 world
champion Braves; career-high 107 RBIs for Orioles in '92.
Won women's combined title at 1967 National Alpine championship;
North American women's champion in '71.
Weber State forward (1976 to '80) set Big Sky Conference career
Passed for 1,313 yards as Wyoming senior in 1965; quarterbacked
Edmonton Eskimos to eight Grey Cup berths, five titles.
Five-time world bareback rodeo champion; two-time Professional
Rodeo Cowboys Association champion.
Two-time All-America forward at Utah was member of 1947
NIT champions; played with Warriors from '49 to '52.
Three-time all-state in football and basketball at Laramie High,
held state 120-yard high hurdles mark; coached Cheyenne Central
to five Class 4A state titles in basketball from 1973 to '89.
All-America receiver at Wyoming led nation with 47 catches for
725 yards in 1951.
World bareback riding champion won titles in 1988, '89, '94 and
In 1989 led NCAA Division I with 101 runs for College World
Series champion Wichita State; hit career-high 20 home runs for
Expos in '97.
Two-time All-America guard at Colorado; named to 1972 NFL
All-Rookie team, with Falcons.
Won in his PGA Tour debut (1988 Western Open); won '87 British
Columbia Open and '88 Victorian Open.
Greco-Roman heavyweight won U.S. Nationals in 1995 and '97; lost
in finals in '99.
In 1988, world's top free rock climber completed first free
ascent of El Capitan's Salathe Wall, a 3,000-foot climb.
Won gold medal in four-man bobsled at 1999 America's Cup; won
silver in two-man; first rookie to place in top 10 at world
Member of 1996 U.S. Olympic wrestling team qualified for four of
last five world championship teams.
Three-year All-WAC offensive tackle at Wyoming was starter on
expansion 1976 Seahawks.
Three-time Wyoming soccer player of the year at Cheyenne East
High; led nation with 0.26 goals-against average with Evansville
Only athlete to captain Wyoming's baseball, basketball and
football teams; state's governor from 1954 to '58.
At Cheyenne East High set state track records in 200 meters
(24.26) and 400 (54.78) in 1990.
Set state swimming records in 200-yard freestyle and 500 free at
Laramie High; second in 200-yard breaststroke at 1988 NCAAs.
Junior national cross-country ski champ in 1980, '81; part of
U.S. national team from '79 to '83.
Wyoming forward averaged 16.7 points from 1968 to '70,
eighth-best in Cowboys' history.
Walk-on defensive end had six sacks and an interception in
1988 Wyoming victory over BYU; spent two seasons in World League
with N.Y./N.J. Knights.
Led Wyoming basketball team in scoring from 1947 to '50;
All-America in '50; played nine games with Lakers in '51-52.
Won Class A super heavyweight title at 1995 Colorado Golden
Gloves; alternate on '96 U.S. Olympic boxing team.
BYU All-America placed fifth in 150-pound class at 1972 NCAA
wrestling championships; was 23-2 as a college senior.
Wyoming's last three-sport letterman (football, basketball,
baseball), from 1947 to '50.
Three-time All-America wrestler at Wyoming at 167 pounds; was
1960 NCAA champion.
All-America at Santa Clara threw no-hitter in final collegiate
start, in 1967; no wins, but did have 2.70 ERA in three seasons
Second in Big Eight in catches (33) at Nebraska in 1974;
23 catches in five NFL seasons with Patriots.
Spent five seasons in majors, winning career-high 12 games with
Browns in 1941; retired in '42 with 30-52 record.
Passed for 605 yards as Wyoming quarterback in 1970; had 70
receptions and 1,232 yards as receiver in '71 and '72.
Two-time all-state defensive end and punter at Hot Springs High;
NFL punter had best year with Rams in '92, when he averaged 41.1
All-state in football, basketball and track at Rock Springs
High; led Wyoming with 10.5 ppg in 1941; 179 wins as Cowboys
hoops coach (1960 to '73).
Second-team All-WAC defensive tackle at Wyoming; played
with Falcons from 1995 to '98.
Harlon Hill winner in 1999, runner-up in '98; quarterbacked
Northern Colorado to three Division II playoffs.
Set Jamestown (N.Dak.) College record with 17 sacks in 1998; now
Has competed in five consecutive National Finals Rodeos; world's
second-ranked bareback rider in 1998.
Set Augustana (S.Dak.) College records with 24'11 3/4" long
jump and 10.8 for 100 meters.
Three-sport standout at Kelly Walsh High led Wyoming in
receiving in 1984 and '85; caught 88-yard TD pass in '84 upset
of Air Force.
B/W PHOTO: JAMES DRAKE #1 Boyd Dowler