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.
VOTING FOR SECOND ROUND ENDS MONDAY AT 3 P.M.
WALTER CAMP REGION
2. Bill Rodgers
Long Distance Runner
1st Round: Defeated 15. Sidney Wood 78% to 22%
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.
10. Charles Nagy
MLB pitcher: 1990-2003
1st Round: Defeated 7. Bill Romanowski 57.15% to 42.86%
The UConn product was the 17th pick in the 1988 amateur draft by the Cleveland Indians. He was a three-time All-Star who played 14 seasons with the Cleveland Indians and the San Diego Padres.
Nagy collected 129 wins in his career, winning 15-plus games in a season six times. He had a career ERA of 4.51 and struck out over 1,200 batters.