All-Star Athletes: 10 Best Athletes Born In Arizona
Today we continue on our cross country journey to explore the best players each state has to offer. Last week I wasn't able to post as many of these as I wanted because of Internet problems, but this week expect to see a few more added.
With that said, let's take a look at the ten best players from the state of Arizona.
10) Ian Kinsler
Position: Second Baseman
Notable Stats: Two time All-Star selection, Member of the 30-30 club.
Kinsler is one of the younger guys on this list, but he's quickly becoming one of the better second basemen in the MLB. He's an all-around great player who can hit for power and has great speed. In just his fourth year in the majors he's already joined the 30-30 club and hit for the cycle. His legend will only continue to grow if he can help lead his team to a World Series championship this year.
9) Danny White
Doug Benc/Getty Images
Notable Stats: One time All-Star selection, Super Bowl Champion
Danny White was kind of the Donovan McNabb of his generation, in that he took his Dallas Cowboys to three straight NFC Championship games, but lost each time.
However, White was able to do something McNabb couldn't and win a championship...as a back-up to Roger Staubach. That said he was a very good quarterback in his day and, surprisingly, a pretty solid punter.
8) Ty Murray
Ken Levine/Getty Images
Notable Stats: Youngest all-around rodeo champion, nine time World Champion rodeo cowboy
Admittedly, I don't know much about rodeo, but it would seem that this guy is one of the best at what he does. To win nine championships in any sport pretty much makes one of the best in the history of your sport. Murray is widely considered one of the best rodeo cowboys ever and the stats seem to back that up.
7) Todd Heap
Larry French/Getty Images
Position: Tight End
Notable Stats: Two time Pro Bowl selection, one time All-Pro selection
Throughout his career Todd Heap has been one of the most consistently good, pass-catching tight ends in the league. His numbers and production have taken a slight hit in the middle of his career because of injuries, but when he's healthy he's one of the best around.
6) Curley Culp
Position: Defensive Tackle
Notable Stats: Six time Pro Bowl selection, three time All-Pro selection, 1975 Defensive Player of the Year
Sorry about the lack of a picture, but I think it might be a trend in this series because we're looking at so many old players.
Anyways, Curley Culp was a dominate player in the 70s because of his tremendous speed. When he was traded to the Houston Oilers in 1975 he helped to create what we think of as the modern 3-4 tackle by using his strength to take on two or three blockers and open up lanes for teammates. It's this dominating style that is now required in the 3-4 defense and Culp is one of the first to show the needed ability.
5) Darren Woodson
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Notable Stats: five time Pro Bowl Selection, three time All-Pro selection, three time Super Bowl Champion
Deion Sanders may of been the quickest and flashiest player of the 1990s Cowboys Championship teams, but Darren Woodson was by far the hardest hitter.
In fact, he was one of the hardest hitters in the NFL and the guy you had to be aware of when coming across the middle. He retired as the Cowboys all-time leader in tackles, as well as, bone-crushing hits.
4) Sean Elliott
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Position: Small Forward
Notable Stats: 1989 Wooden Award Winner, two time All-Star Selection, NBA Champion
When I think of Arizona the first thing I think of is the Arizona Wildcats and their great college basketball program. No one from that program is better than Sean Elliott, who is the team's only Wooden Award winner.
Not only was he a great college player, but his pro career wasn't bad either. He was never as good of a player in the NBA, but with two All-Star appearances and a 14.2 points per game average—he was no scrub either.
3) Charles Hickcox
Notable Stats: Three Olympic Gold Medals.
Hickcox only participated in one Olympic Game, but he made the most of it by winning four total medals three of which were gold. In fact, he was able to set eight world records during 16 months in 1967-68.
1) Randall McDaniel
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Position: Offensive Guard
Notable Stats: 12 time Pro Bowl selection, 10 time All-Pro selection
Randall McDaniel was one of the best, if not the best, offensive linemen of the 1990s. His presence on the Minnesota Vikings was a huge key in building one of the greatest offensives the league's ever seen. In his day he was absolutely dominating and the NFL has recognized it by voting him into the Hall of Fame in 2009.
Well, that's all for today's list. Check the next page for links to past states and tell me who I missed in the comments.
2) "Superstar" Billy Graham
Born: Paradise Valley
Notable Stats: WWE Hall of Fame member, Longest WWF Championship run by a Heel
Some people might have a problem with this guy being so high because he's a professional wrestler. However, I think we need to recognize all sports in these lists and, while the outcomes are predetermined, wrestling is a sport. Billy Graham is basically the guy who started the run of big, flamboyant heels who people loved. He paved the way for stars like Hulk Hogan, Scott Steiner, and Triple H. Basically he's the first real superstar and needs to be included on this list