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Western Pennsylvania's Top 100 sports figures of the 20th Century

Sunday, January 02, 2000

As selected by the Post-Gazette sports staff

A

Al Abrams, journalist and promoter

As sports editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he founded The Dapper Dan Club in 1936. Through the years Dapper Dan promoted various athletic events and raised thousands of dollars as the charitable arm of the newspaper.


Kurt Angle, wrestling

Super heavyweight wrestler from Mt. Lebanon High and Clarion College, Won gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. After a brief career as a television sportscaster in Pittsburgh he went into professional wrestling in 1999.


Walter "Pete" Antimarino, football

Started from scratch as Gateway High's first football coach, building the east suburban school into a perennial WPIAL power. He won three WPIAL titles outright and shared two others.


LaVar Arrington, football

Perhaps the best athlete to ever play linebacker at Penn State. A two-time All-America, he won in 1999 as a junior the Butkus Award as the nation's best college linebacker and the Bednarik Trophy as the best defensive player. Started career as a human highlight film at North Hills High, where he excelled in football, basketball and track.

B


Tom Barrasso, hockey

Considered the best goaltender in Penguins history. An indispensable player on the Penguins' two Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992.


Bruce Baumgartner, wrestling

A four-time Olympic medalist, including two gold medals at the 1984 Los Angeles games. Won 17 consecutive national titles and went on to coach at Edinboro University.


George Blanda, football

Native of Youngwood, he was truely pro football's ageless wonder. Drafted in the 12th round out of Kentucky in 1949, Blanda played 26 years as quarterback/kicker for four AFL and NFL teams, Chicago Bears (1949-58), Baltimore Colts (1959), Houston Oilers (1966-66) and Oakland Raiders (1967-75). Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981.


Mel Blount, football

Steelers Hall of Fame cornerback, 1970-83. He revolutionized corner play with his size (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) and intimidating bump-and-run style, prompting the NFL to change coverage rules. Played for the Steelers' four Super Bowl championship teams and in five Pro Bowls. Intercepted 57 passes, a club record.


Barry Bonds, baseball

A rare blend of power, speed and defensive ability, Bonds won two of his three National League MVP awards (1990 and 1992) while patrolling left field for the Pirates from 1986-92. Hit 33 home runs and stole 52 bases in 1990, only the second player to post 30-50 marks in major-league history. In 1998 he became the first player in history to reach the 400 mark in career home runs and stolen bases. Has played for the San Francisco Giants since 1993. A certain Hall of Famer.


Terry Bradshaw, football

The first overall choice in the 1970 free agent draft out of tiny Louisiana Tech, he quarterbacked the Steelers to four Super Bowl championships and was MVP of Super Bowls XIII and XIV. A Hall of Famer, Bradshaw holds club records for attempts (3,901), completions (2,025), touchdowns (212) and passing yards (27,989). After retiring following the 1983 season, he became a successful pro football studio analysis for Fox Sports.


Joe L. Brown, baseball

One of the most respected baseball executives in baseball during his 21 years as general manager of the Pirates, 1956-76. During his tenure the Pirates went from perennial cellar-dwellers to world champions in 1960. His Pirates also won the 1971 World Series and five division pennants in the 1970s. His late father was noted Hollywood film star and comedian Joe E. Brown.

C


Swintayla Cash, basketball

All-America at McKeesport High, where she averaged 30 points and nearly 17 rebounds a game. Also lettered in track. Started 14 of 22 games for perennial power University of Connecticut in her freshman year, 1998-99.


John Cappelletti, football

Consensus All-America at Penn State and winner of the school's only Heisman Trophy in 1973. Played professionally for the Los Angeles Rams and San Diego Chargers, retiring in 1983. Elected to the college Football Hall of Fame in 1993. Will be forever remembered for his emotional acceptance speech at the Heisman award ceremony, where he dedicated the trophy to his terminally ill younger brother, Joey.


Sam Clancy, basketball and football

Excelled on the court at Fifth Avenue High and its successor, Brashear. Then went on to a great basketball career at the University of Pittsburgh. His Fifth Avenue team won the 1976 PIAA Class AA championship. The 6-foot-6 forward was the nation's leading rebounder during his four seasons at Pittsburgh, 1977-81. Played professional football for 11 seasons with three teams in the USFL and NFL.


Fred Clarke, baseball

Finished his 16-year Hall-of-Fame career as the Pirates' outfielder/manager in 1915 with a .315 batting average and 2,703 hits. Managed and played in two World Series, beating Ty Cobb and the Detroit Tigers in 1909. His 1902 and 1909 clubs won 103 and 110 games respectively, the most in Pirates' history.


Roberto Clemente, baseball

Pirates outfielder, 1955-72. A native of Puerto Rico, he was selected by Pittsburgh in the 1954 minor-league players draft from the Brooklyn Dodgers. A spectacular fielder with a exceptionally strong throwing arm, he finished his 18-year career with a .317 batting average and 3,000 hits. He won four National League batting titles, 12 Gold Glove Awards for fielding, hit safely in all seven games of the 1960 and 1971 World Series, was MVP of the '71 Series, a 12-time All-Star and NL MVP in 1966. He died on New Year's Eve 1971 when his airplane loaded with supplies for earthquake-stricken Nicaragua crashed into San Juan harbor shortly during after takeoff. Given a special exemption, he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1973.


Billy Conn, boxing

The original Pittsburgh Kid was one of the greatest light heavyweight champions in boxing history, winning the championship in 1939. For his career (1935-48), Conn won 63 of 76 bouts. He will forever be remembered for his near-upset of heavyweight champion Joe Louis in 1941.


Chuck Cooper, basketball

The first African American to be drafted into the National Basketball Association, selected by Boston in 1950. At Duquesne University, he was an All-America, played on two NIT teams and was the Dukes' captain his senior year. At Pittsburgh's Westinghouse High, he twice won all-city basketball honors.


Myron Cope, journalist and radio personality

Legendary Pittsburgh sports writer, Steelers' radio analyst and talk-show host. A graduate of Allderdice High and the University of Pittsburgh, he began his newspaper career in Erie before moving to the Post-Gazette in the 1950s. A prominent writer for Sports Illustrated and other national publications in the 1960s, he preferred to remain in Pittsburgh rather than accept lucrative offers to move to New York City. Despite no training and a high-pitched voice, he left the security of sports writing in the early 1970s to become one of the city's pioneer sports radio talk show hosts. He was an instant success and his Myron Cope Show on WTAE became the No. 1 sports talk show in Pittsburgh for more than 20 years. Has been the color analyst on the Steelers' radio network since 1972.


Bill Cowher, football

Steelers head coach, 1992-present. Native of Crafton, joined the legendary Paul Brown with six consecutive trips to the playoffs in his first six seasons as an NFL coach. Entering the 1999 season, he was second behind Chuck Noll with 76 career wins and his .618 winning percentage was the highest in Steelers' history. Coached the Steelers to their fifth Super Bowl in 1995 and his 1994 and 1997 teams fell one game short of the Super Bowl. Played at North Carolina State and professionally with the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles.

D


Dermontti Dawson, football

Steelers center, 1988-present. Drafted as a guard out of college, he stepped into the large shoes left behind by retired Hall of Famer Mike Webster and filled them capably. Played in seven Pro Bowls and started 170 consecutive games, the streak snapped in 1999 because of a leg injury.


Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., hockey/football

Penguins owner, 1988-1991. The Youngstown, Ohio, developer said he lost $25 million on the Penguins but he finally turned the struggling club around. He set the stage for on-ice success by drafting teen-age phenom Mario Lemieux and hiring Craig Patrick to direct hockey operations. He sold the team just months after the Penguins won their first Stanley Cup in 1991. DeBartolo, who died in 1994, also operated the Civic Arena and owned the short-lived Pittsburgh Spirit indoor soccer team and the Pittsburgh Maulers of the United States Football League.


Pete Dimperio, football

Westinghouse High coach, 1946-1966. Dimperio's teams won 17 City League championships in 21 seasons, posting an incredible, 118-5-1 record in league play (158-26-1 overall). His Bulldog teams ran the single-wing formation and the same handful of plays year after year, but his players were so well-schooled and disciplined they were all but unstoppable.


Mike Ditka, football

A legend at Aliquippa High, "Iron Mike" was a fiery tight end and defensive lineman for Pittsburgh from 1958-60. He led the Panthers in receiving his three seasons and was an All-America his senior year. He went on to a Hall-of Fame career as a tight end for the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys He coached the 1985 Bears to victory in Super Bowl XX and is now head coach of the New Orleans Saints.


Tony Dorsett, football

By the time this Hopewell High product finished his college football career at the University of Pittsburgh in 1976, he had broken or tied 18 NCAA rushing records. His career rushing mark of 6,082 yards stood as an NCAA record for 22 years. He is the only Panther to win a Heisman Trophy, earning that honor in 1976 while leading Pittsburgh to a national championship. He was perhaps the greatest player in the modern era (after 1950) of Panthers football. He went on to play for the Dallas Cowboys and was second on the NFL career-rushing list with 12,739 yards when he retired in 1987. He is enshrined in the pro and college football halls of fame and last month was named to the Walter Camp all-century college team.


Barney Dreyfuss, baseball

Pirates owner, 1900-1932. Dreyfuss gained control of the Pirates when his Louisville franchise went out of business. He brought 14 players from Louisville to the Pirates, including future Hall of Famers Honus Wagner and Fred Clarke. Dreyfuss' teams won six National League pennants and two world championships. He is credited with starting the World Series in 1903 when he challenged Boston, the American League champs, to a playoff.


Kenny Durrett, basketball

E, F

Played during the golden era of high school basketball in Western Pennsylvania, leading Schenley to three consecutive City League crowns from 1965-67 as well as the PIAA Class A championship in 1966. Went on to LaSalle, where he led the Explorers in scoring for three consecutive years. His professional career was cut short by a knee injury.


ElRoy Face, baseball

Pirates pitcher, 1953, 1955-68. A closer in an era when there was little glamour in bullpen work, Face set the Major League mark for season win percentage when he was 18-1 (.947) in 1959. He won 10 games and saved 24 when the Pirates won the world championship in 1960 and pitched in all four wins over the Yankees in the World Series.


Bill Fralic, football

A Penn Hills High graduate, he was a three-time All-America offensive tackle at Pittsburgh, 1982-84. A devastating blocker, he played for the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL and was named All-Pro four times.


Frank Fuhrer, golf

The Fox Chapel businessman has done more to promote and finance local golf than any other person in Western Pennsylvania. He was responsible for founding the Family House Invitational in the 1980s and building it into the biggest and richest two-day exhibition on the PGA Tour. He now helps to fund purses for several local events, including the Pittsburgh Open, which has a $100,000 purse and a $20,000 first prize. Owned the Pittsburgh Triangles of the World Team Tennis league from 1974-76.

G


John Galbreath, baseball

The Pirates struggled for several years after the real estate tycoon bought them in 1946, but that changed after Galbreath hired Joe L. Brown as his general manager in 1956. The Pirates won a World Series championship in 1960 and became one of the game's dominant teams in the 1970s, winning two more world titles in 1971 and 1979. The team's fortunes on the field and at the gate sagged in the 1980s, and Galbreath and his family sold the club in 1985 to a public-private group that promised to keep the team in Pittsburgh for $22 million, far less than the Galbreaths' asking price of $35 million. Galbreath, who died in 1988, also owned Darby Dan Farm near Columbus, Ohio, which produced two Kentucky Derby winners, Chateaugay and Proud Clarion.


Chip Ganassi, auto racing

Ganassi drove in five Indianapolis 500s in the 1980s, but has enjoyed his greatest success since retiring as a CART driver in 1987. Ganassi owns Target/Chip Ganassi Racing and has guided his team to an unprecedented four consecutive CART championships. Ganassi, a Duquesne University graduate who grew up in Fox Chapel, won the '99 title with a rookie driver, Juan Montoya. Ganassi also is a part owner of the Pirates.


Josh Gibson, baseball

Gibson was the legendary power-hitting catcher for the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords, a man who awed many of the white major leaguers who saw him play in the Negro Leagues from 1930-46. The Sporting News once reported that a Gibson home run hit the top of the wall encircling the bleachers in Yankee Stadium, 580 feet from home plate. Gibson is enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and his plaque credits him with hitting nearly 800 home runs. His skills as a catcher weren't polished, but he controlled baserunners with his powerful throwing arm. Gibson died of a stroke in January, 1947, three months before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball.


Marshall Goldberg, football

Goldberg, a West Virginia native, was recruited by Pitt Coach Jock Sutherland and became part of the Panthers "Dream Backfield." Pitt posted a 25-3-2 record in Goldberg's three seasons and won national championships in 1936 and 1937. Goldberg held Pitt's career rushing mark for 36 years until it was broken by Tony Dorsett. Goldberg had a nine-year NFL career with the Chicago Cardinals.


Don Graham, basketball

Graham was the North Catholic boys' basketball coach for 51 years. He retired last year with the most wins in state history, having compiled an 801-436. He won 10 WPIAL section titles and a state Catholic school championship.@0-names = Harry Greb, boxing

Native Pittsburgher who many consider the city's greatest fighter. Light and middleweight champion in 1920s, he's credited with 178 consecutive fights without a loss from 1916-23. Won 260 of 299 career fights from 1913-26, according to the Boxing Register.


Hugh Green, football

Pitt's number 99 flew all over the field from his stand-up defensive end spot to make plays. He started all but one game in his four-year college career, 1977-80 as the Panthers posted a record of 39-8-1. The university retired his number during his last game at Pitt Stadium. Green had an 11-year career as an NFL linebacker, playing for Tampa Bay and Miami. He was named to the Pro Bowl twice.


Sihugo Green, basketball

A consensus All-America in 1955 and 1956, the 6-foot-2 guard averaged 19.8 points per game and 11.5 rebounds per game in his three-year career at Duquesne University. Green led the 1955 Dukes team to the NIT title, the only national championship Duquesne has won. He played for nine years in the NBA, finishing as a reserve on the 1966 Boston Celtics championship team.


Joe Greene, football

Fans said "Joe Who?" when the Steelers drafted this defensive tackle from North Texas State in the first round of the 1969 draft., but his acquisition turned out to be a watershed event for the franchise. "Mean" Joe Greene anchored the intimidating Steel Curtain defense for 13 years as the sad-sack Steelers became the NFL dynasty of the 1970s. Greene was named NFL defensive player of the year twice, made 10 Pro Bowl teams and in 1987 was the first of eight members of the those Steelers' Super Bowl teams to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


L.C. Greenwood, football

Another member of the Steel Curtain, Greenwood, a defensive end, lined up next to Greene. A 10th round draft choice from Arkansas AM & N in 1969, the 6-foot-6, 250-pound Greenwood still holds the Steelers' record for quarterback sacks, getting 73.5 during his 13-year career. Greenwood came up big in big games: he batted down three Fran Tarkenton passes in Super Bowl IX and sacked Roger Staubach three times in Super Bowl X.


Ken Griffey Sr., baseball

A baseball, football, basketball and track star at Donora High School, Griffey was signed by the Reds after he graduated in 1969. Griffey, an outfielder, played in the majors for all or parts of 22 seasons, playing in three League Championship Series and two World Series. He had a career batting average of .296 and hit over .300 six times. He ended his career with the Seattle Mariners in 1991, playing on the same team as his son, Ken Griffey Jr.


Dick Groat, baseball/basketball

One of the finest athletes of his time, Groat played shortstop for the Pirates for nine years (1952, 1955-62), sparking the team to a world championship in 1960 when he led the National League in hitting with a .325 average and was named league MVP. Groat posted a .286 average over his 14-year major league career, batting .300 or better four times. Groat, a graduate of Swissvale High School, came to the Pirates after being named All-America in baseball and basketball at Duke University. Groat, a 6-foot guard, led the nation in scoring his senior season, averaging 26 a game. After his rookie season with the Pirates, Groat played basketball for the Ft. Wayne Pistons, scoring nearly 12 points a game. His NBA career lasted only one season, however, because Pirates general manager Branch Rickey made him quit. Groat has been the color commentator on Pitt basketball radio broadcasts for 21 seasons.

H


Jack Ham, football

Ham is one of the reasons Penn State is known as Linebacker U. An outside linebacker, Ham was an All-American in 1970, his senior season. Taken in the second round of the draft by the Steelers in 1971, the Johnstown native was one of the stars of the Steel Curtain defense -- so good, in fact, that middle linebacker Jack Lambert has described Ham as the best player of the Steelers' Super Bowl era. Ham, who retired in 1982, holds the club record for career opponent fumble recoveries (21). He is the only Penn State player enshrined in both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ham works part-time as a color analyst on radio broadcasts of college and professional games.


Franco Harris, football

Harris played at Penn State where he labored in the shadow of Lydell Mitchell for three years, although Harris did rush for 2,002 yards in his college career. The Steelers took him in the first round of the 1972 draft and he became their featured back immediately, rushing for more than 1,000 yards in his rookie season. Harris led the Steelers in rushing for 12 straight seasons, gaining more than 1,000 yards eight times, and is the team's all-time leading rusher with 11,950 yards. Among the marks Harris set during his Hall of Fame career are Super Bowl -- he played in four of them -- rushing records for attempts (101) and yards gained (354). He also holds the NFL record for rushing yards in postseason play, picking up 1,556 in 19 games. Harris' last year with the Steelers was 1983 and he retired after playing briefly with the Seattle Seahawks in 1984. Will be forever remember for his Immaculate Reception pass reception against the Oakland Raiders in 1972.


Connie Hawkins, basketball

His career holds as much mystique as that of any other NBA Hall of Famer. Was not able to play in the NBA until he was 27 because of a 1960 gambling and point-shaving scandal in which he was linked but charged. As a result, the New York City playground legend became a basketball nomad. He toured the world with the Harlem Globetrotters and played for the Pittsburgh Rens and the Pittsburgh Pipers in fledgling leagues. At 19 with the Rens, he was the MVP of the new American Basketball league in 1961-62. In 1967-68 The Hawk led the Pittsburgh Pipers to the American Basketball Association championship. But, it took a lawsuit before he was able to join the NBA in 1969-70 with the Phoenix Suns. His election to the Hall of Fame was due in large to his showmanship. He was the first player to demonstrate the style and flash that were trademarks of later players such as Julius Erving and Michael Jordan.


Leon Hart, football

Native of Turtle Creek, he was a three-time All-America at Notre Dame, 1947-49, winning the Heisman Trophy his senior year. Named last month as a starting defensive lineman on the Walter Camp all-century college team. Played on three NFL championship teams with the Detroit Lions in the 1950s and was named all-pro in 1951.


Korie Hlede, basketball

A virtual unknown when she arrived on the Duquesne University campus from her native Croatia as a freshman in 1994, the 5-foot-9 guard became the most decorated female athlete in school history. A four-time all-conference player, she was named Atlantic 10 rookie of the year in 1985, player of the year in 1998 and was recognized on various All-America teams. Finished her college career with 2,631 points and was the first woman, or man, to score 2,000 points at Duquesne. Drafted by Detroit of the WNBA, she finished second in the 1998 rookie of the year voting.


Don Hennon, basketball

Legendary player at Wampum High and University of Pittsburgh. He set a WPIAL four-year scoring record of 2,376 points at Wampum (1951-55) that endured until 1993. He was an All-America at Pittsburgh in 1958-59 and is still the Panthers' all-time leading scorer with 1,814 points. He passed up the NBA for a career as a surgeon.@0-names = Jaromir Jagr, hockey

A native of the Czech Republic and the captain of the Penguins, Jagr combines a rare blend of speed, power and scoring ability. At the start of the 1999-2000 season, most of his peers in the National Hockey League considered him to be the best player in the world. Was named league MVP in 1999 and has won three scoring titles since joining the league in 1990.

I, J, K


Bob Johnson, hockey

A legendary coach at the University of Wisconsin, he used his vast experience and raw exuberance to prod the talented but undisciplined Penguins to the franchise's first Stanley Cup championship in 1991. Was stricken with brain cancer during the summer of 1991 and died in November of that year.


Ralph Kiner, baseball

Hall of Fame Pirates outfielder. He won or shared the National League home run title in each of the seven years in Pittsburgh, 1946-52, a Major League record. Although the Pirates won more than they lost in only one of those seasons, Kiner was the reason the Pirates set all-time annual home attendance records with over one million fans for four straight seasons, 1947-50.


Roger Kingdom, track

At the University of Pittsburgh he won the NCAA 110-meter high hurdles in 1983. Went on to win two Olympic gold medals in the event (Los Angeles, 1984; Seoul, 1988). In 1989 set a new world record in the 110-meter hurdles (12.92 seconds) which stood for four years.


Chuck Klausing, football

High school and college coach who won more than 300 games over a 46-year career. At Braddock High his team was undefeated WPIAL champions from 1954-59. Also was head coach at Kiski School, Carnegie Mellon University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Was an assistant coach at various colleges, including Pittsburgh and Rutgers. Was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1998.


Billy Knight, basketball

After a prep career at Braddock, he went on to the University of Pittsburgh where he scored 1,731 career points, second only to Don Hennon. Led the 1974 Panthers to the NCAA Eastern Regional Finals, the farthest any Pittsburgh team has gone in the tournament. Known as Mooney to friends and teammates, Knight played 11 seasons in the ABA and NBA, mostly with the Indiana Pacers.


Cary Kolat, wrestling

Legendary high school wrestler at Jefferson-Morgan (Greene County), where he was a four-time state champion (1989-92) and finished with a record of 137-0. A three-time All-America at Penn State and Lock Haven College. A strong candidate to make the U.S. Olympic team in 2000.

L


Jack Lambert, football

A relatively unknown No. 2 draft selection out of Kent State, he became the premier middle linebacker in pro football during his Hall of Fame career with the Steelers, 1974-84. Noted for his intense play, vicious tackling, great range and superior pass defense, he was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year twice, All-Pro seven times and played in nine straight Pro Bowls, which is a Steelers record. Played on all four of the Steelers' Super Bowl-winning teams.


Mike Lange, hockey

Penguins radio/television announcer, 1974-present. Noted for his colorful, often eccentric, colloquialisms. Many of his on-air expressions, such as Michael, Michael motorcycle! How much fried chicken can you eat? and Let's go hunt moose on a Harley!, became so popular that they appeared on t-shirts worn by Penguins fans.


Mario Lemieux, hockey

Hall of Fame player with the Penguins, he is credited with saving major league hockey in Pittsburgh when he purchased the Penguins out of bankruptcy in 1999. Received a special exemption and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame the year after his retirement in 1997. Captained both Penguins Stanley Cup champion teams, 1991-92. Despite a chronic back problem and a bout with cancer, he was perhaps the greatest player in NHL history. Career highlights include three MVP awards, six league scoring titles, Rookie of the Year (1984) and twice was voted MVP of the playoffs. A native of Montreal, he chose to remain in Pittsburgh after retirement.


Maurice Lucas, basketball

The 6-foot-9, 215-pound Pittsburgh native earned a reputation as on of the NBA original enforcers during an eight-team, 14-year professional career which ended in 1988. His crowning professional achievement was serving as Bill Walton's inside muscle on the 1977 Portland Trail Blazers championship team. Grew up in the Hill District and played on the 1971 Schenley High team, considered one of the best prep teams in Pennsylvania history. An outstanding player at Marquette, he left college after his junior year in 1974 to join St. Louis of the ABA.


John Lujack, football

Native of Connellsville, he was a two-time All-America at Notre Dame following two years in the military during World War II. Won the Heisman Trophy in 1947. Played both offense and defense and was voted the top collegiate quarterback of the quarter century by All America Review in 1949. Played four years for the Chicago Bears, 1948-51.

M


Johnny Majors, football

Took over as coach of a downtrodden University of Pittsburgh program in 1973 and in four years won the national championship. Left Pittsburgh in 1977 to return to his alma mater, Tennessee, where he was a star running back in the mid-1950s, finishing second in the 1956 Heisman Trophy voting. Returned to Pittsburgh in 1993 and coached the Panthers until his retirement in 1996. Has remained at the university as a special assistant to the athletic director.


Dan Marino, football

The greatest quarterback in University of Pittsburgh history. His Panther teams finished 11-1 three times and only lost six games in four years, 1979-82. Entering his 17th season with the Miami Dolphins, Marino holds 25 NFL regular-season passing records and is tied for five others. Was a standout quarterback and pitcher/shortstop at Pittsburgh's Central Catholic High. A cinch to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


Bill Mazeroski, baseball

Pirates second baseman best remembered for his home run in the bottom of the ninth inning with won the 1960 World Series against the New York Yankees. His fielding was so acclaimed that American League players stopped to watch him take infield practice prior to the 1959 All-Star game in Pittsburgh. Over a 17-year career with the Pirates he was a seven-time All-Star and won eight Gold Gloves as baseball's best fielding second baseman. Also, holds the major-league record for career double plays by a second baseman (1,706).


Ed McCluskey, basketball

Considered by many the greatest high school coach ever in the state. Had a record of 574-153 at Farrell from 1949-77, winning seven state titles and 11 WPIAL championships. Career record was 698-185.


Sam McDowell, baseball

Nicknamed Sudden Sam because of his blazing fastball, the 6-foot-5 native of Pittsburgh lead the American League in strikeouts five times with Cleveland from 1965-70. Was plagued by wildness and an admitted drinking problem throughout his 15-year career with four major-league teams. Finished his career with Pirates in 1975. Now in recovery, he has assisted numerous major-league players with drinking problems.


Del Miller, harness racing

A Hall of Fame driver, trainer, owner, breeder, seller and founder of The Meadows track in Washington County in the early 1960s. Drove to 2,441 career wins from 1939-90.


Joe Montana, football

A native of Monongahela, he is considered by some to be the greatest quarterback in NFL history. Twice NFL MVP, he led San Francisco to four Super Bowl titles in the 1980s and is the only three-time Super Bowl MVP. Earned a reputation for being impervious to pressure by quarterbacking the 49ers to some of the most exciting late-game comebacks in NFL history. First earned his reputation as the Comeback Kid as quarterback of Notre Dame's National campionship team in 1977. At Ringgold High, he excelled in basketball and football.


Danny Murtaugh, baseball

Pirates player from 1948-51, he also managed Pittsburgh four different times from 1957-76. One of the most successful managers in Pirates history, winning two World Series (1960 and 1971). Also won four Eastern Division championships. Named The Sporting News manager of the year in 1960 and 1970.


Stan Musial, baseball

Donora native and Hall of Fame outfielder/first baseman with St. Louis Cardinals, 1941-63. A three-time National League MVP and seven-time batting champion, he held 17 Major League, 29 National League and nine All-Star game records upon his retirement. Finished his career with 3,630 hits and an average of .331.Was nicknamed "The Man" by Brooklyn fans because of how well he hit against the Dodgers.

N, O, P


Joe Namath, football

Made trip to football immortality via Beaver Falls High School, University of Alabama and New York Jets. Nicknamed Broadway Joe during his days in New York because of his flair on and off the field. Is best remembered for guaranteeing the upstart Jets would beat the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in 1969. The Jets' 16-7 victory gave the upstart American Football League instant credibility. Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame, 1985.


Norm Nixon, basketball

A 6-foot-2 guard, Nixon played for four years at Duquesne University and was team captain his junior and senior seasons. He led the Dukes to their last NCAA tournament appearance his senior year. He is fourth on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,805 points and averaged 17.4 points per game. Nixon went on to have a stellar career in the NBA. He played for 10 years with the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, scoring 15.7 points per game (12,065 career points) and playing in three All-Star games. He played on two Lakers championship teams in 1980 and 1982.


Chuck Noll, football

Steelers coach from 1969-1991. Only NFL coach to win four Super Bowls (1974-75; 1978-79). Winningest coach in Steelers' history with 209 victories. Built a consistent winner via the player draft and in 1972 won the first post-season game in the Steelers' 40-year history. His first two No. 1 selections were Joe Greene (1969) and Terry Bradshaw (1970). His teams in the 1970s achieved a level of success unprecedented in professional football. Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame, 1993.


Arnold Palmer, golf

A native of Latrobe, his four Masters victories during the infancy of televised golf in the 1960s, coupled with a daring, come-from-behind style of play, made him the most popular professional golfer of all time. The huge gallaries which followed him at tournaments for three decades were known as Arnie's Army. Won 60 Tour events, including his Masters victories, two British Opens and one U.S. Open title.


Joe Paterno, football

Penn State head coach, 1966-present. One of the most honored college coaches of all time. His teams have won two national championships, 1982 & 1986, and finished undefeated three other seasons, 1968-69 and 1994. Has won more bowl games (20) than any other Division I coach and needs just seven victories to break Alabama Coach Bear Bryant's record of 323 career victories. During his 50 years on the Penn State staff, he and his wife, Sue, have donated more than $4 million to the university.


Craig Patrick, hockey

Penguins general manager, 1989-present. A role player with several professional teams, he is generally recognized as one of the best general managers in the the National Hockey League. His astute trades paved the way to Pittsburgh's two Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and 1992. Twice interim coach of the Penguins, he added the duties of chief executive officer in 1999. Captain of the University Denver's 1969 National Championship team and was assistant general manager and an integral part of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team which won the gold medal at Lake Placid.


Bob Prince, baseball

Pirates broadcaster, 1948-75. Parlayed a raspy voice, baseball savvy, shameless partisanship, a delightful sense of humor and an an eccentric personality to become a Pittsburgh institution. Known as "The Gunner" for his rapid-fire delivery, he was the 1986 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, awarded annually by the Baseball Hall of Fame to a broadcaster for major contributions to the sport.. His firing in 1975 resulted in public protests and was a major public-relations blunder for the Pirates and KDKA, the flagship radio station.

Q, R, S


Mike Reid, football

Penn State defensive tackle, 1966, 68-69. Native of Altoona, was a unanimous All-America and won the Outland Trophy as the nation's outstanding interior lineman in 1969. Was an All-Pro tackle with the Cincinnati Bengals (1970-74). Retired from football prematurely to become a professional musician and songwriter. Inducted into National Football Foundation College Foootball Hall of Fame in 1987.


Charles "Buzz" Ridl, basketball

Posted an impressive .704 winning percentage in 12 seasons as coach at Westminster College. His 1962 Titans were voted No. 1 small-college team in the nation. Also athletic director at Westminster. Coached the University of Pittsburgh for seven years. His 1974 Panthers, lead by Billy Knight, finished 25-4 and lost in the NCAA Eastern Regional Final. His career record was 313-174, including 97-83 at Pittsburgh despite a 4-20 record his first season.


Art Rooney Sr., football

Steelers founder and owner, 1933-88. Native of Pittsburgh's North Side, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1964 for his contributions to the growth of the National Football League and the Steelers. Know as The Chief to friends and the media, he was one of the most respected founders of the National Football League. An exceptional all-around athlete, he was also and astute gambler who specialized in the horses. Legend has it that he won enough during one particularly good day at New York's Saratoga race track in the 1930s to purchase the Steelers.


Dan Rooney, football

Steelers' owner, 1960s-present. Son of Art Sr. Assumed day-to-day control of the Steelers in the 1960s and is credited with making the most important decision in franchise history -- the hiring of Chuck Noll as head coach in 1969. Like his father, Dan over the past 30 years has become one of the NFL's most respected owners and leaders. Has served and headed a number of key league committees dealing with labor negotiations, expansion and merchandise.


Rosey Rowswell, baseball

Pioneer Pirates radio broadcaster, 1936-54. Teamed with Jack Craddock as the Pirates' first broadcast team. During the early years, he would read a Western Union ticker account of the game at the WWSW studio, the recreate the action, complete with sound effects. Known for his colorful colloquialisms. When a Pirate hit a home run Rowswell would shout "raise the window Aunt Minnie!" This was followed by the sound of breaking glass.


Bruno Sammartino, wrestling

Professional wrestler, from 1959-80s. Longtime resident of Pittsburgh, he had a huge following in the tri-state area but was even more of a favorite in New York City, where he sold out the old Madison Square Garden many times. First came to the eye of the general public in Pittsburgh as a regular performer on WIIC-TV's Studio Wrestling in the early 1960s.


Joe Schmidt, football

All-America linebacker at Pittsburgh in early 1950s. A native of Pittsburgh, he had a Hall of Fame career with the Detroit Lions, playing in 10 Pro Bowls in 13 years. Was head coach of the Lions from 1967-72, leading Detroit to its only playoff appearance of the 1970s.


Carol Semple-Thompson, golf

Thompson has been an outstanding amateur golfer for three decades. Thompson has won the U.S. Women's Amateur and British Women's Amateur championships, and this year won the U.S. Women's Senior Amateur title in her first attempt, making her only the fourth player in golf history to win three United States Golf Association titles (U.S. Womens Amateur, U.S. Mid-Amateur, U.S. Senior Amateur). The only other players to accomplish the three-title feat are Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Joanne Carner.


Suzie McConnell Serio, basketball

There is evidence that McConnell Serio may be the prototype point guard. In her four year-career at Penn State, she had 1,307 assists. That's the most assists ever by a college basketball player, woman or man. McConnell Serio was an All-American at Penn State and averaged 15 points a game in addition to dishing out all those chances to others. After her senior year in 1988, she joined the U.S. Olympic team. McConnell Serio directed the office and scored 8.4 points a game as the Americans won the gold medal. Four years later, the Seton-LaSalle graduate was an Olympic point guard again as the United States took the bronze in Barcelona. After having four children and starting a successful run as basketball coach at Oakland Catholic High School, she decided to get in shape and play in the WNBA in 1998. The 32-year-old rookie won newcomer of the year honors as she led the Cleveland Rockers to the playoffs. McConnell Serio plans to return to the Rockers next season after foot surgery for a stress fracture.


Jackie Sherrill, football

Head coach at University of Pittsburgh, 1977-81,where his last three teams posted 11-1 records. His 1980 team, which lost only at Florida State, 36-22, in a driving rain storm, is considered by many to be the best in school history. The Sporting News selected the 1980 team as the 12th-best in college football history. The Panthers' 1976 National Championship team was ranked 17th best. Played for Bear Bryant at Alabama, Sherrill left Pittsburgh for Texas A & M. Is now the head coach at Mississippi State.


John Stallworth, football

Steelers wide receiver, 1974-87. An unhearalded No. 4 draft choice out of tiny Alabama A & M, Stallworth is the Steelers' leading receiver in career receptions, 537; yards receiving, 8,723; 100-yard receiving games, 25; and touchdowns, 63. Known for his ability to run with the football after making a chatch. Played on all four Steelers' Super Bowl winning teams.


Willie Stargell, baseball

Pirates outfielder/first baseman, 1962-82. Inducted to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1988. The Pirates' all-time leader in home runs, runs batted in, and extra-base hits, he was a seven-time All-Star pick and the National League's co-MVP and MVP of the World Series in 1979.


Maurice Stokes, basketball

Gained fame as a phenomenal high school player at Pittsburgh's Westinghouse, graduating in 1951. Achieved college stardom at St. Francis, Pa., where he's still the second leading scorer with 2,282 points. The 6-foot-7, 270-pound Stokes played three years in the NBA and was rookie of the year in 1956 with the Rochester Royals. His career was cut short by a head injury suffered during the final game of the 1958 season. The injury resulted in a form of sleeping sickness that left him paralyzed until his death at age 36 in 1970.


Lynn Swann, football

Steelers wide receiver, 1974-82. Steelers' No. 1 draft selection following an All-America career at Southern California. Played on all four of the Steeler's Super-Bowl winning teams. His acrobatic catches are among the most memorable in Super Bowl history. Retired prematurely because of concussions to pursue a career in television broadcasting.

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Pie Traynor, baseball

Pirates third baseman, 1920-35, 37; and manager, 1934-39. Fall of Famer and considered the best third baseman in baseball history. Played on the 1925 team which beat Walter Johnson and the Washington Senators in the World Series. Was introduced to another generation of Pirates fans via his television commercials in the early 1960s.


Jack Twyman, basketball

After failing three times to make his high school team at Pittsburgh's Central Catholic in the late 1940s, he went on to become a star at the University of Cincinnati and averaged 19 points a game in an 11-year NBA career with the Rochester/Cincinnati Royals. Joined the Royals in 1956. Although not great friends, he became the legal guardian of teammate Maurice Stokes after Stokes suffered a head injury in 1958 and was left paralyzed the final 12 years of his life.


John Unitas, football

Native of Mount Washington, quarterbacked the Baltimore Colts to the World Championship in 1958 and '59. A Pittsburgh native who played at St. Justin's High, he was cut by the Steelers in training camp after being drafted in the ninth round out of Louisville in 1956. A three-time league MVP with the Colts, he is considered one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. Quarterbacked the Colts in what is considered the greatest game in NFL history, the 1958 championship game which Baltimore won in overtime over the New York Giants.

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Honus Wagner, baseball

Pirates shortstop, 1900-17, and coach. Native of Carnegie, he is considered perhaps the greatest shortstop in baseball history. Nicknamed "The Flying Dutchman," he played in two World Series with the Pirates, won eight National League batting championships and was one of five players originally elected to the Hall of Fame in 1936. Ranks among the Pirates' top 10 in 11 offensive categories.


Joe Walton, football

Two-time All-America receiver at Pittsburgh (1955-56), he played in the NFL for seven years with Washington and the New York Giants, retiring after the 1963 season. A native of Beaver Falls, he was head coach of the New York Jets for seven years, 1983-89. He was an assistant with several NFL teams, including the Steelers as offensive coordinator from 1990-91. In 1994 he became the first football coach at Robert Morris College. In six years, his Colonials have won four consecutive Northeast Conference championships.


Lloyd Waner, baseball

Pirates' Hall of Fame outfielder, 1927-41, 44-45. Nicknamed "Little Poison," this Oklahoma native teamed with older brother Paul to form one of baseball's most feared outfield duos in the 1920s and 30s. Finished with a .316 career batting average.


Paul Waner, baseball

Pirates Hall of Fame outfielder, 1926-40. "Big Poison" finished his career with a .333 batting average and 3,152 hits. He amassed more hits (1,959) in the 1930s than anyone in baseball.


Mike Webster, football

An unknown fifth-round draft selection by the Steelers in 1974, he became perhaps the greatest center in NFL history. Played 17 seasons, the last two with Kansas City. Extremely strong and durable, he started 150 consecutive games and missed only four games in his first 16 years. The Steelers' captain for nine season, he played on all four Super Bowl championship teams and played in nine Pro Bowls.


Rod Woodson, football

Steelers Coach Chuck Noll knew something when he said "I'm in love" shortly after Pittsburgh selected Woodson in the first round of the 1987 players draft. A two-way player at Purdue, Woodson was one of only a handful of active players named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary Team in 1994. The 1993 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, he was an All-Pro cornerback five times and was selected to play in eight Pro Bowls. He returned to the Pro Bowl in 1996 after missing most of the 1995 season with a serious knee injury. Signed with the 49ers as a free agent in 1997, he has played the past two years with Baltimore.


Fritzie Zivic, boxing

One of five boxing brothers from Pittsburgh, turned pro in 1931 at the age of 18. He was notorious for using his head, elbows and thumbs as effectively as his fists. By 1936 he was ranked in the top 10 in the welterweight division. He won the welterweight championship in 1940, defeating Henry Armstrong at Madison Square Garden in New York. He won a rematch against Armstrong in 1941 before losing the title later the same year to Freddie Cochrane. During his career, Zivic fought some of the all-time greats, including Billy Conn, Sugar Ray Robinson and Jake LaMotta. He retired in 1949 with a professional record of 158-64-9.



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