Monday, September 17, 2001
The List: Most beloved New York athletes
Page 2 staff
This week, Page 2 lists the 10 most beloved athletes in New York history -- not counting the 400 firefighters, police officers and emergency workers who lost their lives in last Tuesday's terrorist attacks.
Mickey Mantle personified the Yankee Dynasty.
See how our top 10 compared with Page 2 readers' selections for the most beloved athletes who played in the Big Apple. And be sure to vote in the poll to pick Gotham's most beloved athlete ever.
Here's Page 2's list:
1. Mickey Mantle
Aw, shucks. He was the All-American boy from the Heartland, but with an ungodly combination of speed and power.
2. Joe DiMaggio
The Yankee Clipper. Class personified.
3. Lawrence Taylor
No role model, for sure, but he left whatever he had -- which was plenty -- on the field, every play.
Mark Messier helped end the Rangers' Stanley Cup drought in 1994.
4. Mark Messier
Brought the Stanley Cup back to the Garden after 54 years with a rare combination of talent, leadership and New York grit.
5. Walt Frazier
Nothing defines a New Yorker better than cool, and Clyde was about as cool as you can get.
6. Joe Namath
Did we say nothing defines a New Yorker better than cool? We meant, better than in-your-face. And Broadway Joe's Super Bowl guarantee was about as in-your-face as it gets, sportswise.
Don Mattingly will serve as Joe Torre's hitting coach next season.
7. Don Mattingly
One of the rare Yankee greats who didn't win a World Series, but Donnie Baseball was a favorite son at the Stadium.
8. Willie Mays
The "Say Hey Kid" looked like he was having so much fun out there that you couldn't help but smile yourself.
9. Lou Gehrig
The Babe was bigger and better and cast a mighty shadow, but Lou was one of the sweetest men who ever lived. Not to mention an RBI machine.
10. Willis Reed
When he walked out for Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals on one good leg, grown men cried.
Honorable mentions Babe Ruth, Derek Jeter, Mike Piazza, Tom Seaver, Sandy Koufax, Phil Rizzuto, Yogi Berra, Jackie Robinson, Frank Gifford, Earl Monroe, Wayne Gretzky, Sugar Ray Robinson, Angel Cordero