Greatest Athlete in Connecticut History Tournament: Bill Rodgers vs Sidney Wood

(AP Photo)

It’s summertime, and that means it’s time for another SportzEdge ® Bracket-style, 64-team tournament! Feel the excitement!!!

Last year, we changed the course of modern human civilization with the Coolest NCAA Logo Tournament, which became a national phenomenon along the lines of a presidential election, Caitlyn Jenner’s ESPY speech, or DeAndre Jordan changing his mind about where he wants to play basketball.

This year, we decided to take on a question scholars have been debating since the 1800’s, maybe.

Who is the greatest athlete in Connecticut history?

There are plenty of outstanding candidates, from Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, to four-time Boston Marathon champion Bill Rogers, to all-time great featherweight boxer Willie Pep.

The athletes we considered must have grown up in Connecticut, and we counted only their prowess on the playing field, so coaches, executives and contributors like Walter Camp were not considered.

WALTER CAMP REGION

2. Bill Rodgers

Long Distance Runner

Hartford

William “Bill” Rodgers was a star runner who was the former record holder in the marathon (2:09:27). He won a total of 12 marathons in his career, including four victories in the Boston Marathon– three straight from 1978-1980. He ran his last marathon in Boston in 2009 at the age of 61. He finished the race in a little more than four hours, which is incredible at that age.

Rodgers was inducted into the Long Distance Running Hall of Fame in 1999 and the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2000.

(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

15. Sidney Wood

Tennis: 1927-1956

Bridgeport

In 1927, Wood competed in the Wimbledon Championships, making him the youngest player in the Men’s Singles at 15 years and 231 days old, and the Men’s Doubles at 15 years and 234 days old. He won Wimbledon in 1931.

Wood was ranked in the world’s top-10 five times from 1931-1938. He was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1964.

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