Sconnie Nation: Top 100 Wisconsin-born Sports Figures (60-41)
Alright, time for part three of the countdown, where we break into the top half of the sports figures.
In case you're wondering, the city next to their names is the city where they were born, and in many cases, raised as well.
With each passing slide, I hope the quality of athletes and such is getting slightly better. If not, I tried. Ranking all 100 people was definitely the toughest part in this whole project.
So let's continue, starting with No. 60...
60. Jim, Jay, John and Tim Sauter (Necedah)
Jim Sauter is the patriarch of this racing family, as he started in 76 NASCAR races, but had only four top 10 finishes.
His sons Jay, Tim and Johnny (pictured) all followed in his footsteps and have raced on the NASCAR circuit.
Jay has had four wins on the Craftsmen Truck Series and 50 top 10 finishes with 23 top 10's on Nationwide, while Jim has four top 10 finishes in Sprint.
Johnny has three top 10's in Sprint, three wins and 49 top 10's in Nationwide and five top 10's in Craftsmen Truck.
59. Jay Schroeder (Milwaukee)
Schroeder attended Palisades HS in California, where he was a teammate of now famous actor Forest Whitaker, then he moved on to UCLA.
He was drafted in the third round in 1984 by Washington, and also spent time with the L.A. Raiders, Cincinnati and Arizona.
Schroeder played 11 seasons in the NFL, throwing 114 TD and 108 INT for 20,063 yards and a career QB rating of 71.7.
He was also the No. 3 overall pick of the 1979 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays.
58. Andy North (Thorp)
North attended Monona HS, where he was a three-time All-American athlete, and he turned professional in 1972.
He has three PGA Tour victories, but two of those are U.S. Open titles (1978 and again in '85, winning by one stroke).
North is the only golfer to have won two U.S. Open titles without winning 10 PGA events.
In 1993, he joined the ESPN network, and is the go-to guy for anything golf related.
57. Damian Miller (La Crosse)
Miller attended West Sakem HS where he lettered in baseball, basketball and football, then went to NAIA Viterbo Univeristy in his hometown of LaCrosse.
He batted .262 in his career, with 87 HR and 406 RBI, and spent time with Minnesota, Arizona, Oakland, Chicago and Milwaukee.
Miller was apart of the Diamondbacks 2001 World Series championship team, and was an All Star the following year.
The highlight of his career was when he got to play for his home state in the Brewers his final two years in the league.
56. Mark Tauscher (Marshfield)
Tauscher went from the small town of Auburndale to the University of Wisconsin, where after four years, went drafted by his home team the Packers in the seventh round.
He was a three-year varsity starter at Auburndale HS, and made the Badgers as a walk on in 1995. During his senior year, he had the privledge of blocking for Ron Dayne.
Tauscher was let go by Green Bay after the 2008 season, undoubtedly the fan favorite to many, and is currently an unrestricted free agent.
55. Kris Benson (Superior)
I thought you'd like to see a picture of his smoking hot wife Anna, rather than Kris just throwing a baseball.
Your welcome. Now let's see how many people actually read this slide.
Kris Benson was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 MLB Draft to Pittsburgh, and has also pitched for New York (Mets), Texas and Baltimore (note Anna's Orioles cap).
He has amassed a 69-74 record, with a 4.41 ERA and 798 strikeouts since his debut in 1999. He was also a member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic team that took home the bronze.
Benson underwent Tommy John surgery in 2000 and has spent the 2009 season pitching in Triple-A.
I still wonder how a guy from Superior, Wisconsin landed a bombshell in Anna. Oh, a multi-million dollar MLB contract ... never mind then.
54. Christian Steinmetz (Milwaukee)
Steinmetz won the 1902 WIAA basketball title with South Division HS in Milwaukee, and went on to Wisconsin where he was a star.
He was the first collegiate player to score 1,000 points in a season and averaged 25.7 ppg in one season, a record he still held 50 years after graduation.
Other Badgers records that Steinmetz holds are: points in a season (462); points in a game (50); field goals in a game (20); free throws in a season (238); and free throws in a game (26).
He was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1961. Oh, and all this came from a 5-9, 137 pounder.
53. Bruce Weber (Milwaukee)
Weber started his coaching career in 1979, where he a year at Western Kentucky as an assistant. From 1980-98, he was an assistant for Purdue University.
In 1998, he accepted the head coaching position at Southern Illinois University, amassing a 103-54 record. Prior to the 2003 season, he moved on to Illinois.
From 2003-present, Weber has a 152-57 record with the Illini, and an overall record of 255-111.
Weber has led a team into seven NCAA Tournaments, two Big Ten titles and one Midwest Valley title (and a share of another). He has missed one NCAA Tournament while at Illinois and lost to North Carolina in the 2005 title game.
52. Mark Grudzielanek (Milwaukee)
"Grudzy" has a career batting average of .290, with 90 HR and 629 RBI.
He has played for Montreal, the L.A. Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis and Kansas City during his career.
Grudzielanek led the NL in doubles during the 1997 season with 54,a nd hit for the cycle on 4/25/07 with the Cardinals.
He was also the regional skee-ball champion in 1987 in El Paso, Texas.
51. Ginger Beaumont (Rochester)
Beaumont played baseball during the turn of the century from 1899-1910, and was the very first hitter to record an at-bat in a World Series game.
In his 12-year career, Beaumont hit .311, with 1,759 hits and scored 955 runs.
He batted an NL best .357 in 1902 and led the league in hits four different times. He also had six infield hits in a game and was the first player to score six runs in a single game.
There is a baseball field in Burlington, Wisconsin that is named after him.
50. Bob Wickman (Green Bay)
Wickman was a three sport athlete at Oconto Falls HS (baseball, basketball and football), then attended Wisconsin-Whitewater.
From 1992-2007, he has pitched for New York (Yankees), Milwaukee, Cleveland, Atlanta and Arizona.
Wickman is the all-time saves leader in Indians history, and has appeared in 835 career games with a 63-61 record and a 3.57 ERA. He has 267 career saves.
Wickman lost the tip of his index finger on his right hand during a childhood accident, which later gave him incredible sink on his fastball.
49. Jim McIlvaine (Racine)
As a senior at Racine St. Catherine's HS, McIlvaine averaged 22.1ppg, 11.1rpg and 8.1bpg.
He would go on to Marquette University and was drafted in the in the second round of the 1994 NBA Draft to the Washington Bullets.
McIlvaine played from 1994-2001 with Seattle and New Jersey and was a shot blocking specialist. He played 401 games, averaging 2.7ppg, 3.1rpg and had 687 blocks.
He signed a big contract with Seattle, but was a huge disappointment after signing on the dotted line.
48. Fuzzy Thurston (Altoona)
Thurston was a key member of Green Bay's offensive line form 1959-67, and was paired with Jerry Kraemer to form the famous Packers Power Sweep.
He was a fifth rounder in 1956 to Philadelphia and was a member of the 1958 Baltimore Colts NFL title team.
After his career was over, Thurston was asked how he had prepared for the famed Ice Bowl.
He response ... "10 Vodka's."
47. Archie Hahn (Dodgeville)
Hahn was considered as one of the best sprinters of the earliest 20th century.
He won three gold medals at the 1904 Olympic Games, the 60m, 100m and 200m dash.
Hahn would also coach the University of Virginia football to 12 championships in 13 years.
46. Alan Kulwicki (Greenfield)
Kulwicki was the 1986 Rookie of the Year, and amassed 5 wins and 75 top 10's in his career.
He is most famous for his polish victory lap whenever he won a race, and won the 1992 Winston Cup Series, beating out Bill Elliott by 10 points (closest margin of victory)
Alan Kulwicki Day was held back in Wisconsin in January 1993, where the Greenfield HS gym was filled completely with 4,000-5,000 people, and Kulwicki signed autographs for six hours.
No more than six months later, he was killed in an airplane crash while flying to a race in Bristol, Tennessee.
45. Rocky Bleier (Appleton)
Bleier was a 16th round selection in the 1968 NFL Draft, after he was on the 1966 Notre Dame title team, and captain of the 1967 squad.
He played from 1968-80, but missed the entire 1969 season to serve in the Army, where he was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
Bleier played a key role for Pittsburgh in its four Super Bowl appearances. In his 11-year career, Bleier gained 3,865 yards rushing with 23 TDs.
'The Rocky Bleier Story' was a 1980 movie, and the football field at Appleton Xavier HS was renamed after him on 10/12/2007.
44. John Anderson (Waukesha)
Anderson attended Waukesha South HS, and went on to play at the University of Michigan.
He was the second first-round pick by the Packers in 1978 (James Lofton), and played in Green Bay from1978-1989.
After his 12-year career, Anderson was the Packers' all-time team leader in tackles with 1,020, and was tied with Ray Nitschke for the team career mark in interceptions by a linebacker (25).
He was named to the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team and was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1996.
Upon retirement, Anderson became a sportscaster for WITI in Milwaukee. Since 1998, he has taught middle school science and geography at Brookfield Academy in Brookfield, Wisconsin.
43. Eddie Cochems (Sturgeon Bay)
Cochems is claimed to be the father of the forward pass in football, while he coached St. Louis University.
In 1906, his team outscored its opponents 407-11, and 1555-269 in his career.
Cochems amassed a 43-11-3 record while at St. Louis and went unscored upon during the 1902 with North Dakota State (168-0).
42. Pat Richter (Madison)
Richter was a three sport star at Wisconsin, and was an All-American for the Badgers in 1961 and 62.
He was drafted in the 10th round by Denver of the AFL in 1963, but was the No. 7 overall pick in the NFL Draft by Washington, where he played until 1970.
Richter then became the Athletic Director for his alma mater, and was responsible for hiring Barry alvarez as the football coach, who later replaced Richter as AD.
Richter had his No. 88 retired by the Badgers, and there is a bronze statue of him outside Camp Randall Stadium.
41. Tony Kubek (Milwaukee)
Kubek plaqyed with the N.Y. Yankees from 1957-65, where he was th '57 AL Rookie of the Year.
He played on six World Series teams, a three-time WS champ and started 37 games. Kubek hit .266 in his career, amassing 1,109 hits.
Kubek then went into the booth from 68-82 where he broadcasted 12 World Series and 14 League Championship Series.
He entered the Hall of Fame in 2009, when he received the Ford C. Frick Award.