Although the days of Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Bobby Orr and Ted Williams are well over in Boston, Beantown currently has a plethora of superstars who have achieved "celebrity status" not just within the community, but around their respective leagues.
I have compiled a list of the most popular professional athletes currently playing in Boston based on the hype that surrounds them on the court/field/ice as well as off.
Each member of the top ten has his own slide with a picture/video.
Here are the notable mentions in no particular order:
Kevin Garnett (Celtics) - After Danny Ainge pulled the trigger to acquire KG, his jersey was immediately tops in sales in the league. Now, with more than three seasons with the C's under his belt, the hype surrounding the one-time MVP has gradually worn away along with his knees.
David Ortiz (Red Sox) - Ortiz will still get you 30 home runs and quite the reaction in Boston, but people are just getting bored with him. He is still a beloved hitter, however with the offseason additions combined with Ellsbury, Pedroia and Youkilis, Ortiz will be lucky if he sees the sixth spot in the lineup this season.
Ray Allen (Celtics) - It's no doubt that Allen will go down in history as one of the greatest 3-point shooters the NBA has ever seen. Unfortunately, he is on a team with 5 possible Hall of Famers and gets overlooked the majority of the time. If this list ranked top players in crunch time however, Allen would be right at the top.
Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox) - Just two years removed from his remarkable MVP season, Pedroia missed half the year with a broken foot and was a primary reason for the Red Sox depletion at the end of the season. Local fans didn't pay much attention to him nor to the rest the team at the end of the 2010 season, thus the Crawford/A-Gon singings.
The Bruins offense- Unfortunately for hockey fans, the B's come fourth in Boston sports when it comes to hype and media attention. They have no true superstars on offense and the recent storylines surrounding them seem to be focused on their present and future plans in net.
Clay Buchholtz (Red Sox) - Buchholtz has emerged as the second best pitcher on the staff of a team that seems to be going in an offensive direction. The pitching is pretty much there for the Sox, but the hitting is arguably the best in baseball. This list only has room for one Sox ace.
Kevin Youkilis (Red Sox) - The "Youk" chants will never get old in Boston, but if Youkilis re-injurs himself this season, fans will start to get frustrated and pray that a repeat of 2010 is not in store.