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
3. Jonathan Quick
Los Angeles Kings goaltender
1st Round: Defeated 14. John Bagley 78.82% to 21.18%
The ultra-athletic Quick almost single-handedly lifted the Los Angeles Kings to the Stanley Cup title in 2012, posting 10 shutouts in 18 games. Quick’s .946 saves percentage during the Kings’ run is the best in NHL playoff history. His 1.41 goals against average was equally remarkable.
He earned the Conn Smythe trophy as the Stanley Cup playoffs MVP.
11. Jimmy Piersall
MLB outfielder: 1950-1967
1st Round: Upset 6. Mo Vaughn 55% to 45%
The colorful Piersall won two Gold Gloves in his 17-year major league career, most of which was spent with the Boston Red Sox. In 1956, Piersall led the American League with 40 doubles.
He also hit .291 that year, and was named an A.L. All-Star twice (’54 and ’56). In all, the outfielder finished with a .271 career average, 104 home runs and 594 RBI.
Piersall also famously suffered from manic depression, once ran the bases backwards and “talked” to Babe Ruth’s monument in center field at Yankee Stadium. His story is chronicled in the classic movie “Fear Strikes Out.”