The Power of Cheese: Top Wisconsin-Born Sports Figures (80-61)
Alright, we've seen the bottom 20 of the list, so let's try and work closer to the middle of it.
There may be some surprises to people during this set of 20, and it will only continue to get better with the last three editions.
I always thought that Wisconsin really wasn't a breeding ground for professional athletes and such, but after looking at all these names for the past few weeks, I know that many fine athletes call this Midwest state "home", as do I.
80. John Shinners (Hartford)
Shinners is the lone Hartford representative on this list, and went on to high school in Prairie du Chen.
He was an offensive guard who attended Xavier University and then went as the No. 17 overall pick in 1969 NFL Draft to New Orleans. He would also play for Baltimore Cincinnati in his nine year career.
Shinner appeared in 99 games, playing in both the AFL and NFL, but had no starts.
79. Carl and Marcus Landry (Milwaukee)
Both attended Milwaukee Vincent High School, but Carl (two years older) went off to Purdue, after two years at a junior college, while Marcus stayed close to home and went to Wisconsin.
Carl was drafted in the second round by Seattle, but found his way to the Houston Rockets. He's played in 111 games, averaging 7.5 ppg.
Carl averaged 17.4ppg and 7.1rpg while at Purdue, and ranks second all-time with a 60.2 field goal percentage.
Marcus played 121 games in Madison, averaging 9.2ppg and 4.2rpg. During his senior year at Vincent, he averaged 14.6ppg and over 1bpg.
Marcus' wife is Efueko Osagie-Landry, who played basketball at Marquette.
During his senior year on the Badger squad, the younger Landry was co-captain while carrying the team, was second team All-Big Ten, and managed 12 credits and three kids.
78. Aaron Stecker (Green Bay)
He played high school football at Ashwaubenon (neighboring town of GB), then went off to Western Illinois.
Stecker went undrafted in 1999 and has spent time with the Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints. He was also the 2000 MVP of NFL Europe.
Stecker actually attended Wisconsin in 1995, where he had three 100-yard games, a 100-yard kickoff return for a TD and a 63-yard punt return for a TD. He transferred in 1997 due to the emergence of Ron Dayne.
77. Pat Neshek (Madison)
Neshek left Madison to attend Butler University where he holds a couple of records.
He is the only guy to strike out 18 batters in game. Neshek also holds the record for strikeouts in a season (118) and in his career (260).
He sat out the entire 2009 season because he had to have Tommy John surgery.
Neshek has spent his entire career with the Minnesota Twins since 2006 and has an 11-5 record, with a 2.91 ERA and 142 strikeouts.
76. Jerry Kelly (Madison)
Kelly turned professional in 1989 and has just three PGA victories.
His best finishes in major tournament are a tie for fifth ('07 Masters) and a tie for seventh ('07 U.S. Open).
Kelly was the 1995 Nike Tour Player of the Year, and led the tour in total earnings.
He was also an all-city selection in hockey while attending Madison East, and a lot of that aggressiveness has transferred into his golf game.
75. Paul Menard (Eau Claire)
Paul Menard is the son of John Menard, founder of the Menard's store chains, and his first race was at The Glen in 2003 on the Sprint Cup circuit.
His first NASCAR win actually came in his home state, at the 2006 AT&T 250 on the Nationwide Series, which is held in Milwaukee.
That has been his lone win on the circuit, and he also has two top 10 finishes on the Sprint circuit.
74. Mistie Bass-Williams (Janesville)
Bass led her Janesville Parker HS team to back-to-back WIAA State titles, and was the only woman in the state to be named WIAA Player of the Year three times.
She attended Duke University and was drafted No. 21 in 2006 by the Phoenix Mercury. Bass has also played for Houston and Chicago, and plays in Turkey during the offseason.
Bass is also the daughter of Ernest Evans, otherwise known as Chubby Checker.
73. Eric Hinske (Menasha)
Hinske was nicknamed "Mr. Beautiful" by his teammates from Menasha High School, where he also played basketball and football.
He attended Arkansas and was drafted in the 17th round by the Chicago Cubs. Hinske has also played for Toronto, Boston, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, and is currently with the Yankees.
Since his debut in 2002, Hinske is batting .255 with 111 HR and 418 RBI. He has appeared in two World Series; with Boston when they won in '07, and he made the final out for the losing Tampa Bay in '08.
72. Tuffy Leemans (Superior)
Leemans was drafted in the second round in 1936 (18th overall), and played eight years in the NFL.
He amassed 2,324 yards passing with 25 TD, and 3,142 yards rushing and 17 TD.
Leemans led the league in rushing his rookie year with 830 yards. He also had 422 career receptions, and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1978.
71. Chris Mihm
Mihm starred at the University of Texas, where he is the school's leader in blocks with 264.
He is also first in all other blocking categories and second in rebounds and double-doubles. Mihm was a three-time All-Big 12 first team selection, and made the All-Freshman team.
Mihm has played for Cleveland, Memphis, Boston and the Lakers totaling 436 games, averaging 3.5ppg and 5.3rpg.
He was also the top rated tennis player in Texas when he was 14.
70. Jarrod Washburn (La Crosse)
Washburn attended Wisconsin-Oshkosh where his team when the 1994 Division III title.
He was drafted in the second round by the California Angels, and has also played for Seattle and Detroit.
Washburn's career record is hovering around .500, with a 4.0 ERA and over 1,100 strikeouts. He also has one of the lowest batter's against average in the league.
He's a true pitcher on the mound, by throwing with finesse, rather than power.
69. Jim Montgomery (Madison)
Montgomery was the first person to swim under the 50-second mark in the 100 freestyle.
He also won three gold medals in the 1976 Olympic Games (100 freestyle and with two relay teams), and added a bronze.
Montgomery is the owner and founder of the Dallas Aquatic Masters Club in Texas.
68. Jack Skille (Madison)
Skille won the 1992 WIAA State with his Verona High School team, where he had 99 points that season.
He would go on to attend Wisconsin and led the freshman class with 12 goals and seven assists.
While on the U18 team in 2004-05, Skille had 24 goals and 31 assists (55 points) in 54 games.
Skille scored the game-winning goal for the Badgers against Cornell during their NCAA title season in 2006.
He was drafted No. 7 in '05 by the Chicago Blackhawks, but only has four goals and two assists in the NHL.
67. Michael Bennett (Milwaukee)
Bennett was a track and football at Milwaukee Bradley Tech HS, where he set personal records in the 100m (10.18) and 200m (20.66).
He went on to Wisconsin, gaining 1,592 yards with 10 TD. Bennett would go on to run a 4.28 in the 40m dash at the NFL Combine and a 4.13 on his Pro Day.
Bennett was drafted No. 27 by Minnesota and has spent time with New Orleans, Kansas City and Tampa Bay, and made the 2002 Pro Bowl.
In his NFL career, Bennett has rushed for 3,627 yards with 13 TD and has 1,220 yards receiving with 10 TD.
66. Phil Kessel Jr. (Madison)
Many NHL scouts ranked Kessel as a prospect similar to Sidney Crosby, but he had a less than stellar college career.
He was still drafted No. 5 in 2006 by the Boston Bruins out of the University of Minnesota, where he won the 05-06 WCHA Rookie of the Year.
Kessel has played 22 games with the Bruins, amassing 66 goals and 60 assists.
He has many records to his name, mainly: USA Hockey’s National Development Team's franchise record for most career goals (104); career points (180); single-season record for goals (52, shared with Patrick Kane). Kessel was also the first NHL rookie to be honored with the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
He is tied with Ed Olczyk for the longest point streak by a U.S.-born player in NHL history (18 games). Kessel had 14 goals and 14 assists, 28 points, on that run.
Back in 2006, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, but is now cancer-free.
65. Lavie Dilweg
Couldn't find a picture, but Dilweg was a two-time All-American end at Marquette, and was one of the dominant receivers in all of the NFL, with the Packers.
He played in the league from 1297-34 and was a member of Green Bay's '29, '30 and '31 title teams.
Dilweg was one of the best ends in the league, but numbers were readily available for all his early seasons.
64. Ed Konetchy (La Crosse)
Konetchy played 15 season in the majors and produced some pretty good numbers.
From 1907-21, he had 2,150 hits, led the league in 1B fielding percentage eight times, and has an MLB record of four consecutive seasons with 20 or more triples (09-12).
Konetchy also stole home twice in one game (9/30/1907) and hit two inside the park home runs in one game (8/15/12).
He also had a career batting average of .281 with 992 RBI.
63. Joe Randa (Milwaukee)
Randa was a four-sport athlete at Kettle Moraine HS (baseball, basketball, football and tennis).
He spent 1995-06 in the MLB, playing for Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cincinnati and San Diego. He hit .284 with 123 HR and 739 RBI.
Randa was the third Kansas City Royals hitter to record six hits in a game (Kevin Seitzer and Bob Oliver.
He know hosts "Crunch Time" on Sports Radio 810 WHB in Kansas City.
62. Brad Radke (Eau Claire)
Radke spent 12 years with the Minnesota Twins, where it's said that Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano tailored there curveball after him.
He was one of the best control pitchers in the game, and was once clocked at 56 MPH during one of his pitches.
Radke led the AL in 2001 in K:BB ratio, with his 5.27:1, and was an All Star in 1998.
He has a 148-139 career record, with a 4.22 ERA and 1,467 strikeouts
61. Danica Patrick (Beloit)
That's right fellas, Danica was born a Cheesehead!
She was the first women to win an IRL race, and is in constant controversy over her image and place in the sport.
Now, there's even talks that she might join the boys in NASCAR.
She began racing with go-carts at 10 years of age, and was named the Rookie of the Year in 2005 in the IRL.
Patrick was the most popular driver from 2005-07, and with pics like this, there's no real surprise.
A good one to leave you guys on, huh? Stayed tuned, as I get halfway through the countdown in my next slide show.