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.
GENO AURIEMMA REGION
5. Lindy Remigino
Track and Field
1st Round: Defeated 12. James Blake 57.66% to 42.34%
Named after Charles Lindburgh, Lindy remains the only Connecticut native to win multiple Olympic gold medals. Remigino was the best in the world in the 100 meters in the 1952 Games in Helsinki, Finland, though not by much. Jamaica’s Herb McKenley crossed the finish line almost at the exact same time as Remigino, and the first four runners were given the same official time of 10.4 seconds, with the fifth and sixth runners coming in at 10.5.
Lindy was granted the gold, and the title of “World’s Fastest Man.”
He also captured gold in the 4 X 100 meter relay.
After his running career, Remigino became a high school track coach at Hartford Public. His Owls teams won a remarkable 31 state titles in his 43-year career.
13. Bobby Valentine
Five MLB Teams.
1st Round: Upset 4. Dwight Freeney 60.64% (3,887 votes) to 39.36% (2,523 votes)
The mercurial manager was once a star-crossed shortstop with the L.A. Dodgers, hitting .260 over nine injury-plagued years in the major leagues from 1969-79. He was also a terrific high school athlete, and had an offer to play football at USC.
The Stamford native managed the New York Mets to the World Series in 2000, and led Japan’s Chiba Lotte Marines to a championship in 2005.
After a failed stint with the Red Sox in 2012, Valentine is back in Connecticut, working as the Athletic Director at Sacred Heart University in Bridgeport.
Unfortunately for Remigino, he faces Valentine who may now be the favorite in this tournament after receiving a ton of support in the first-round– Bobby V. received a first-round-high of 3,887 votes. The Freeney-Valentine matchup tallied almost 6,500 votes– Dwight Freeney received the second-most first-round votes despite the early exit.