Tim Lincecum and the 25 Most Popular Bay Area Sports Stars Ever

Nathaniel UyFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2010

Tim Lincecum and the 25 Most Popular Bay Area Sports Stars Ever

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    ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 01:  Pitcher Tim Lincecum #55 of the San Francisco Giants and teammates celebrate defeating the Texas Rangers 3-1 to win the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on November 1, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo b
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The Bay Area has been rejuvenated with the San Francisco Giants winning the World Series against the Texas Rangers.

    In light of that great playoff run, it's time to take a look at some of the most popular names in Bay Area history.

    Where does Tim Lincecum rank?  Let's find out.

    Here are the most popular San Francisco and Bay Area sports stars ever.

Honorable Mention: Jeremy Lin—Warriors

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    The young rookie out of Harvard has not done much yet during his time with the Warriors but is already a crowd favorite.

    Lin, who was signed as an undrafted free agent with the Warriors grew up in the Bay Area and attended Palo Alto High School. 

    With such a big Asian-American population in San Francisco, it's no surprise that Lin is already a very popular name in the area.

25. Mitch Richmond—Warriors

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    Richmond won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 1989 as part of the prolific trio known as "Run TMC."  Along with Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway, the three were the main players in the high-scoring Warriors teams coached by Don Nelson.

    He was later shipped off to the Sacramento Kings, where he had some of his most memorable years.

24. Baron Davis—Warriors

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    Baron was the ideal point guard to run Don Nelson's offense with the Warriors, who acquired him from the Charlotte Hornets.

    His play was instrumental in helping lead Golden State to the surprise first-round upset of the Dallas Mavericks.

    He shocked the Warriors when he opted to leave as a free agent for his hometown Clippers before the start of the 2008-2009 season.

23. Brian Wilson—Giants

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    He wears a mohawk, a beard and bright orange shoes.

    What's the not to like about this guy and colorful personality.

    Oh ya, he also helped the Giants win the 2010 World Series.

22. Terrell Owens—49ers

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    Before he became the NFL diva that he is today, Owens was once a humble young rookie that was willing to do anything to prove he belonged in a team with Jerry Rice.

    The Niners drafted TO in 1996 and two years later, he had a breakout season by collecting over 1,000 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.

    He never won a championship in San Francisco as he came around just after Steve Young led the Niners to their last Super Bowl win.

21. Tim Hardaway—Warriors

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    Hardaway started his career with the Golden State Warriors and become a part of the ever popular trio known as "Run TMC."

    He made three All-Star game appearances as a member of the Warriors, before being traded away to the Miami Heat.

20. Rickey Henderson—Athletics

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    Henderson started his Hall of Fame career with the Athletics and played with the franchise on four separate occassions.

    During his career, Henderson became known as one of the best leadoff players in the history of the game.

    He holds the all-time record for steals, leadoff home runs, unintentional walks and runs scored.

    Henderson was also a part of the A's team that won a World Series in 1989.

19. John Elway—Stanford

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    Before he became a superstar with the Denver Broncos, Elway went to college in Stanford, located in Palo Alto.

    There he was a tremendous two-sport athlete and played both baseball and football.  Although he was also drafted to play baseball, football was his sport of choice.

    At Stanford, Elway set several Pac-10 offensive records.

18. Nate Thurmond—Warriors

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    After Wilt Chamberlain was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, Thurmond broke out as an All-Star player for the Warriors.

    In fact he made a total of seven All-Star appearances as a member of the Warriors.  It wasn't until Thurmond was traded away that the Warriors led by Rick Barry would end up winning a championship.

17. Roger Craig—49ers

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    We know about Jerry Rice and Joe Montana but sometimes we forget about Roger Craig. 

    Craig was a part of three Super Bowl championship as the starting running back for the 49ers.

    During his time with the Niners he was also selected to four Pro Bowls and was elected the 1988 NFL Offensive Player of the Year.

16. Chris Mullin—Warriors

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    Mullin spent most of his career with the Golden State Warriors and even after his playing career ended, Mullin also served as the general manager for the franchise.

    He was a five-time All-Star in his career and a two-time Olympic gold medal winner.

15. Jeff Kent—Giants

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    Kent's best years were in San Francisco, hitting behind Barry Bonds.

    During that time he won the 2000 NL MVP Award and also helped lead a superstar-clad Giants squad to the World Series in 2002.

    The Giants squad eventually fell the Anaheim Angeles in seven games.

14. Mark McGwire—Athletics

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    As you can see, Big Mac was considerably smaller than his days in St. Louis.

    His baseball career started in the A's organization.  In his rookie season, McGwire blasted 49 home runs, a rookie record which also earned him AL Rookie of the Year honors in 1987.

    McGwire was a key contributor to the 1989 A's World Series championship team.

13. Jim Plunkett—Raiders and 49ers

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    Born in San Jose, Plunkett went on to become college football star at Stanford, where he won a Heisman trophy in 1970.

    He went on to play for the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders.

    Plunkett's time with the Raiders was his most successful, as we won two Super Bowls with Oakland.

12. Don Nelson—Warriors

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    He is the winningest coach NBA history.

    Nellie also served two tenures as Warriors head coach.  In the late 80s and early 90s he led a Warriors team that featured Chris Mullin, Tim Hardaway, and Mitch Richmond dubbed "Run TMC."

    In 2007, once again coaching the Warriors, his fast-paced offense led to a surprising upset of the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs.

11. Ronnie Lott—49ers

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    Lott played nine seasons with the 49ers, making the Pro Bowl eight times.

    He is known as one of the best cornerbacks to ever play in the NFL.

    Lott was also a part of four Super Bowl winning teams, all with the Niners.

10. Juan Marichal—Giants

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    Marichal played 13 seasons with the San Francisco Giants and was known for a high leg kick and great accuracy.

    His best moment as a Giant was throwing for a no-hitter in 1963.  He finished his career with a 2.89 ERA and and 2,303 strikeouts.

9. Willie McCovey—Giants

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    The Hall of Fame first baseman spent a total of 16 season with the Giants (two different stints).

    He started his career with the Giants in 1959, winning Rookie of the Year honors. McCovey made a World Series appearance in 1962 also won the NL MVP trophy in 1969 also with the Giants.

    He finished his career with a .270 batting average and 521 home runs.

8. Barry Bonds—Giants

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    SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 19:  Former San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds throws out the first pitch prior to Game Three of the NLCS against the San Francisco Giants during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at AT&T Park on October 19, 2010 in San Francisco, Cal
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Bonds is the all-time homerun king in baseball, albeit that in itself is controversial because of steroid use allegations during his career.

    He may be an unlikeable and polarizing figure but Bay Area fans have grown to like this power-hitting outfielder.

7. Dennis Eckersley—Athletics

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    Eck was the guy that saved the game to complete a four game sweep of the San Francisco Giants in the 1989 World Series.

    After converting from a starting pitcher, he became one of the best closers in baseball.

    Eckersley the AL MVP and the AL Cy Young Award in 1992.

6. Rick Barry—Warriors

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    He spent two stints with the Warriors franchise, first when the team played in San Francisco and in his other stint when the team moved to Oakland.

    Barry is known of his two-handed free-throws and precise shooting but he was also a key part of the 1975 squad that won the NBA title, winning the MVP. 

5. Tim Lincecum—Giants

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    ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 01:  Tim Lincecum #55 of the San Francisco Giants gets set to throw a pitch against the Texas Rangers in Game Five of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on November 1, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. The Giants w
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    In three years with the Giants, the pitching phenom has won two Cy Young awards and a World Series.

    That's an impressive start to what could ultimately shape up as a remarkable career.

    No wonder everyone is going nuts over Lincecum.

4. Steve Young—49ers

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    The San Francisco 49ers have been blessed to have had one Hall of Fame quarterback in Young, backing up another, Joe Montana.

    After some injuries slowed down Joe Cool in the early 90s, Young stepped right in and the Niners did not lose a beat.

    With Montana having been traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993, Young led the 49ers to another Super Bowl in 1994.

3. Willie Mays—Giants

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    The Say Hey Kid was the one of the best all-around players to play the game of baseball. 

    Mays played most of his career with the San Francisco/New York Giants and boasted a lifetime hitting average of .302 with 660 home runs and a total of 3,283 hits.

    He was also a 24-time All-Star a 2-time MVP and won a World Series with the Giants franchise in 1954.

2. Joe Montana—49ers

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    Joe Cool is a living legend in San Francisco sports.

    He led the 49ers to four Super Bowl championships and won three Super Bowl MVPs.

    Montana was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2000.

1. Jerry Rice—49ers and Raiders

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    He started his career as a 49er and had his best years with the franchise.  Although he briefly left to spend his twilight NFL years with the Seahawks and the Raiders, Rice came back and retired as a Niner.

    Rice is the all-time leader in touchdowns scored with 208 and a three-time Super Bowl champion, winning all three with San Francisco.