Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Minnesota's Best Athlete?

Occasionally I'll get sucked in by one of those stupid "click aggregator" sites.  Oh, you know the ones: They'll usually have some outrageous list or scantily dressed woman and the headline "You won't believe what happens next!"

I usually have enough fortitude to put off clicking on them, but if something really gets my curiosity, I'll weakly wade into it.  That was the case last week when presented with a list of "The Best Athlete by State."

For Minnesota, my first thought was, to me, the obvious choice (we'll get to that in a second).  As I waded through each state alphabetically (cranking up the clicks that the site owner will attempt to justify as value for their advertisers) , I finally made it to my home state and found that they had selected Kevin McHale.

Wait, what?  Kevin McHale?  WRONG!

For me, the obvious choice was Dave Winfield.  Consider the following achievements:
  • 1973 college world series MVP (as a pitcher!)
  • Drafted by four different pro teams in three different sports
  • College baseball Hall of Fame
  • 12 time MLB All Star
  • 7 time MLB Gold Glove
  • 6 time Silver Slugger
  • MLB World Champion
  • MLB Hall of Fame
It doesn't get much more athletic than that.

That got me to thinking as to who else could have been considered Minnesota's best ever athlete (beyond, of course, Kevin McHale).  There are a lot of great athletes that have done very well, but none stack up to Winfield, with the exception of one.

A compelling case can be made for Roseu's Neil Broten.  Consider his bona fides:
  • NCAA hockey champion
  • Hobey Baker award
  • Olympic gold metal winner with 1980 Miracle on Ice
  • NHL World Champion
  • 2 time NHL All Star
  • US Hockey Hall of Fame
While Broten does get close, Winfield is still too much a stud to not be considered the clear winner here.  

The only thing that gets  Broten closer is that he is one of the few in the NHL that kicked Wayne Gretzky's ass.

Look out with who you're messing with, Great One:

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