t’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.
JIM CALHOUN REGION
4. Andy Robustelli
NFL tackle: 1951-1964
A graduate of tiny Arnold College in Milford (now part of the University of Bridgeport), the Stamford native spent 13 years in the NFL with the L.A. Rams and New York Giants. He was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, and even won the Bert Bell Award as the NFL’s Player of the Year in 1962. Robustelli won championships with the Rams (1951) and Giants (’56) and was inducted into the Pro Football of Fame in 1971. He was honored with the Walter Camp Man of the Year Award in 1988 for his contribution to the community.
13. Brad Ausmus
MLB catcher: 1993-2010
New Haven, Cheshire
The Cheshire High School stand-out played 18 Major League Baseball seasons with four different teams– San Diego Padres, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, and Los Angeles Dodgers. Ausmus was an All-Star in 1999, a three-time Gold Glove Award winner (2001, 2002, and 2006), and won the 2007 Darryl Kile Award for “integrity and courage.”
Ausmus led the league five times in fielding percentage as a catcher, ranks third all-time in putouts as a catcher with 12,839, and ranks seventh in games caught with 1,938.
He’s the current Detroit Tigers manager (2014-present).