Greatest Athlete in Connecticut History Tournament: Jeff Bagwell vs. Mike Katz

(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

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.




2. Jeff Bagwell

MLB (1991-2005)


1st Round: Defeated 15. Chad Dawson 93.88% to 6.12%

The  Hall of Fame candidate is almost undoubtedly the greatest player in Houston Astros history. He hit .297 with 449 home runs in 15 years in Houston. Bagwell grew up in Killingworth, which is a small town in southern Connecticut.

Bagwell played at Xavier High School in Middletown and played college ball at the University of Hartford. He is a four-time All-Star, a three time Silver Slugger award winner and was the 1994 National League MVP.

10. Mike Katz

NFL, Bodybuilding


1st Round: Defeated 7. Vin Baker 76.42% to 23.58%

A co-star in the 1977 documentary Pumping Iron, Katz was a friend and contemporary of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He played college football at Southern Connecticut State University, under legendary head coach Jess Dow, and played under Weeb Ewbank with the New York Jets for a few seasons before becoming one of the great bodybuilders of all-time. Check out the video below:

VOTE ON OTHER SECOND ROUND MATCHUPS!!! provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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