The Greatest Athletes from New England, Part One: Maine
Maine's famous for three things: lobster, LL Bean and pine trees.
Maine's certainly not a powerhouse in sports, but it has had its moments where athletes from the former Massachusetts territory have gone on to the national stage, and eve had a reasonable amount of success there.
This is the first part of a six part series, where I list the top athletes to come from all six New England states. If I've left anyone off this list, leave me a comment.
This article is in no particular order.
Part Two will feature the state of New Hampshire.
Seth Wescott, Snowboarding
Seth Wescott is the only snowboarder ever to win the gold medal in the snowboard-cross event in Olympic history. He won at both the 2006 Torino games and the 2010 Vancouver games.
Wescott is expected to return for the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.
Joan Benoit Samuelson, Running
Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Joan Benoit Samuelson shattered the myth that women couldn't run 26 miles by winning the Boston Marathon in 1983. She set a record time of 2:22:43, a record that was not broken until 1994.
She was the first woman's marathon winner in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and she retired in 1986.
Billy Swift, Baseball
South Portland, Maine
No, he's not related to Taylor Swift.
This relatively unknown baseball player was as steady as they come for the Mariners, Giants and Rockies.
He led the NL with a 2.08 ERA in 1992, and had 21 wins for the Giants the very next year.
Swift was also on the 1984 US Olympic Baseball team.
Bob Stanley, Baseball
Bob Stanley is famous, unfortunately, for delivering the pitch that Mookie Wilson bounced between the legs of Bill Buckner in Game Six of the 1986 World Series.
That one mistake (which was hardly his fault) put a large stain on a great career with the Red Sox.
He led the team in saves with 131 until 2009, when Jonathan Papelbon broke the record.
Jack Coombs, Baseball
Jack Coombs is famous for pitching the entirety of a 24-inning game in 1906, setting an American League record, winning 31 games in 1910, and holds an American League record for 13 shutouts in one season.
Truly, a pitching dynamo.
Cindy Blodgett, Basketball
The All-American guard while attending the University of Maine, Cindy Blodgett is the fifth leading scorer in NCAA woman's history, and the current coach of the University of Maine Black Bears.
She played four seasons in the WNBA before retiring due to injuries.
Mike Bordick, Baseball
Mike Bordick captained two University of Maine baseball teams to the College Baseball World Series, and took over for Cal Ripken on the Baltimore Orioles after Ripken retired, and led the MLB in assists twice.
Eric Weinrich, Hockey
Eric Weinrich was an All-American defense-man on the University of Maine ice hockey team in 1987, and was placed on the 1988 US Olympic hockey team.
He is currently an assistant coach with the Portland Pirates, Maine's AHL team.
Mike Brown, Mixed Martial Arts
Mike Brown's isn't that famous but he's an emerging fighter on the MMA scene, with a career record of 23-5-0.
The 34-year-old now trains out of Florida, but he hasn't forgotten his roots, as he frequently gives interviews to Maine newspapers.
Freddy Parent, Baseball
Freddy Parent was a defensive wizard on the 1903 World Series champion Boston Americans.
He was also a good hitter, breaking up three no hitters in 1903, and saving a perfect game for Cy Young that same season.
He hit a career high .306 in 1901.
Part Two Coming Soon
Part Two of my New England athletic series is coming soon, featuring the State of New Hampshire.