Use Code BALT69 for a $69 Ticket to One Day University on July 9

Top 175 Athletes: Some who missed the cut

Call it a feedback frenzy. Two weeks ago, The Baltimore Sun published its list of the 175 top athletes in Maryland history. Readers have responded -- via emails, phone calls and missives to the newspaper -- both with their thoughts on the rankings, and the names of other athletes they felt deserved to make the list. Most responses have been civil. A few wondered whether we used a dartboard to rate these sportsmen and women. Others ranted that, because so-and-so was absent from the list, the apocalypse is nigh. We've heard from fans, historians and relatives of athletes who made the list ... and some who didn't. On several occasions, we've been scolded for omissions by the athletes themselves. All of which attests to the power that lists seem to hold over people today. We weighed all responses, dismissing those that didn't meet our criteria. Where was Robin Roberts, a Hall of Fame pitcher who grew up in the Midwest, starred with the Philadelphia Phillies and then played for the Orioles near the end of his career? (Roberts was 42-36 in 3 1/2 seasons here, the only part of his resume that counts toward the list). What about George Rhoden, a Morgan State track star who won two gold medals in the 1952 Summer Olympics? (Rhoden, a long sprinter from Jamaica, graduated from Morgan in 1952 -- and then grabbed the golds. Heady accomplishments, for sure, but irrelevant to the list.) How could we miss Roy Campanella, the Hall of Fame catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers who learned his trade in the Negro leagues during the late 1930s and the 1940s with the Baltimore Elite Giants? (In seven seasons here, Campy batted just 466 times, hit 14 home runs and had 107 RBIs. For our purposes, at least, his stellar big league stats don't matter.) The feedback has persuaded us to do more lists in the months to come. We'll rank the finest pro and college coaches in Maryland history. We'll rate the greatest racehorses bred in The Free State. And, with your input, we'll select the biggest "busts" in Baltimore sports annals -- athletes who failed to live up to the hype that preceded them. Got a favorite? For now, though, consider this parade of Maryland athletes, missing from The Sun's rankings but touted by readers. Should they have made the cut? You make the call. -- Mike Klingaman
Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad