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New Jersey has contributed it's share of athletes, professional and otherwise. For such a small state, it's amazing how many individuals of exceptional athletic skill were able to make a name for themselves. There are/were many athletes who call the Garden State home, unfortunately not all of them have become household names.

Al Attles
Alvin "Al" Attles - b. 1936
Newark, NJ

Attles played in the NBA for 11 seasons, and became one of the first African-American head coaches in the NBA.
Thanks to Aaron Reddick for this suggestion.

Hobey Baker
Hobey Baker - b. 1892 d. 1918
Princeton, NJ

Born in a suburb of Philadephia, Baker attended Princeton University and played ice hockey as one of his varsity sports. He enlisted in the military when the US entered World War 1, and flew fighter planes. He was killed in an air crash after the war ended. The Hobey Baker award is given each year to the outstanding player in US college hockey.

Rick Barry
Rick Barry - b. 1944
Roselle Park, NJ

Member of the NBA Hall of Fame, Barry was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1966. Barry was a 12-time All Star, including his time in the NBA and the ABA.

Thanks to Helena for the corrected information.

Bruce Baumgardner
Bruce Baumgardner - b. 1960
Haledon, NJ
4 time Olympic medalist (including several golds) in wrestling.

Moe Berg
Moe Berg - b. 1902 d. 1972
Newark, NJ

Born in New York City, Moe Berg's family moved to Newark when he was 4 years old. A graduate of Princeton, Berg was a pro baseball player, but also a spy for the the US.

Yogi Berra
Yogi Berra - b. 1925
Montclair, NJ
Born in Missouri, Hall of Famer Yogi Berra was a catcher with the New York Yankees, and has lived in Montclair for years.

Joe Black
Joe Black - b. 1924 d. 2002
Plainfield, NJ

The first African-American to win a World Series game (1952), when he pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Later, he became involved with Baseball Assistance Team (BAT), an organization that helps pre-pension era ballplayers. Also named Rookie of the Year for the Dodgers in 1952.

Jim Bouton
Jim Bouton - b. 1939
Newark, NJ

Pitcher for the New York Yankees, perhaps best known for his book Ball Four, which raised a bit of a stir in the sports world.

James J Braddock
James J. Braddock - b. 1906 d. 1974
West New York, NJ

Born in the Hell's Kitchen section of New York City, Braddock's family moved across the Hudson when he was little. Won the Heavyweight title against Max Baer, his life story was made into a movie called "Cinderella Man". Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Thanks for this suggestion to Christopher Lanni and Stephanie.

Frank Budd
Frank Budd - b. 1939
Asbury Park, NJ

Former Olympian, at one-time the World's Fastest Man, played for 2 NFL teams.
Thanks to Tim Pascucci for this suggestion.

Dick Button
Richard "Dick" Button - b. 1929
Englewood, NJ

US and World Champion in figure skating, also won 2 Olympic gold medals.
Button is best known these days as an on-air commentator for figure skating competitions.

Milt Campbell
Milt Campbell - b. 1933 d. 2012
Plainfield, NJ
Winner of the gold medal in the decathalon at the 1956 Summer Olympics. Campbell (center above) was also a champion hurdler and won the silver in the decathlon in 1952. Elected to the US Olympic Hall of Fame in 1992.

Rick Cerone
Rick Cerone - b. 1954
Newark, NJ

Catcher on the New York Yankees, replacing the legendary Thurman Munson who died in a plane crash. Cerone played for numerous Major League teams, and was instrumental in bringing Minor League baseball back to Newark, with the Newark Bears.
Thanks for this suggestion to Rob Crozier.

Michael Chang
Michael Chang - b. 1972
Hoboken, NJ

Winner of numerous professional tennis titles, including a French Open in 1989 (youngest ever male champion), the now-retired Michael Chang played in 17 straight US Open tournaments.
Thanks for this suggestion goes to Angel Davila.

Joetta Clark-Diggs
Joetta Clark-Diggs - b. 1962
East Orange, NJ

Four-time Olympian in Track & Field, and winner of numerous track events spanning an impressive 24 year career.

Thanks for this suggestion goes to Colleen.

Doc Cramer
Roger "Doc" Cramer - b. 1905 d. 1990
Beach Haven, NJ
Cramer went on to play in the big leagues for 20 years (1929-1949) with Philadelphia, Boston, Washington and Detroit. He posted a career average of .296, 2705 hits, 396 doubles and 109 triples. He led the league in hits with 200 in 1940, and led the American League in at bats 7 times.

Wally Dallenbach Sr
Wally Dallenbach, Sr. - b. 1936
East Brunswick, NJ

A well-known and respected Indy car racer. Also in the American Motorcyclists Association Hall of Fame.
Thanks to Bob Sweatman for this suggestion.

Larry Doby
Larry Doby - b. 1923 d. 2003
Paterson, NJ
Born in South Carolina, Larry Doby moved to New Jersey at age 8, and became a 4 sport star at East Side High School in Paterson, New Jersey. After a stint in the navy, Doby played baseball for several Negro League New Jersey teams, before becoming the first African-American to play in the American League (Cleveland Indians) of professional baseball. A Hall of Famer, Doby was the first African American to play on a World Series Champion team.

Mark Donohue
Mark Donohue - b. 1937 d. 1975
Haddon Township, NJ

Doohue was a highly respected racer, having won the Indy 500 in 1972. He died from injuries sustained in a crash in Austria in 1975.
Thanks to Bob Sweatman for this suggestion.

Jim Dowd
Jim Dowd - b. 1968
Brick, NJ

The first native-born New Jerseyan to play for the New Jersey Devils. Also the first native-born New Jerseyan player to have his name inscribed on the Stanley Cup (with the Devils, 1995).

Chris Economaki
Chris Economaki - b. 1920
Paterson, NJ

Born in Brooklyn. Because of his incredible work as a commentator, pit road reporter, and journalist, Economaki has been called the "Dean of American Motorsports". Worked with many famous drivers at Paterson's "Gasoline Alley".

Althea Gibson
Althea Gibson - b. 1927 d. 2003
East Orange, NJ

Born in South Carolina, Gibson grew up in Harlem, and became the first black female tennis champion, winning several grand slam events in singles and doubles. In 1975, she was appointed New Jersey State Commissioner of Athletics, a position she held for 10 years.
Thanks to Charles Brooks for this suggestion.

Goose Goslin
Goose Goslin - b. 1900 d. 1971
Salem, NJ

Born Leon Allen Goslin, an outfielder in Major League Baseball for 18 years. Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1968. Died in Bridgeton, NJ.
Thanks to Harry Day for this suggestion.

Marvin Hagler
"Marvelous" Marvin Hagler - b. 1954
Newark, NJ

World Middleweight champion, inducted in both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.
Thanks for this suggestion to Aaron Reddick.

Franco Harris - b. 1950
Fort Dix, NJ
Hall of Fame running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Attended high school in Mount Holly, NJ.
Thanks to Becki for updating where Harris went to school in NJ.

Tommy Heinsohn
Tommy Heinsohn - b. 1934
Jersey City, NJ

A former professional basketball player with the Boston Celtics, winning 8 championships, also a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. He is currently the color commentator on the Celtics' television broadcasts on CSN New England.
Thanks to Aaron Reddick for this suggestion.

Tim Howard
Tim Howard - b. 1979
North Brunswick, NJ

Starting goalkeeper for the US National team at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Walter Iooss
Walter Iooss, Jr. - b. 1943
East Orange, NJ

Born in Texas, Iooss and his family moved to East Orange in 1948. He is an award-winning sports photographer with more Sports Illustrated covers than any other photographer.

Thanks to Maurice Rondeau for this suggestion.

Joe Jennette
Joe Jennette - b. 1879 d. 1958
Union City, NJ

Recognized as one of the best black heavyweight fighters of his time. Recorded number of fights of 166, but Jennette thought he fought more than 400 fights. Also spelled Jeannette. Known for a 50 round fight in Paris against Sam McVey.

Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter - b. 1974
Pequannock, NJ
Born in New Jersey, Jeter grew up in Michigan. An All-Star at shortstop, many experts believe he will be a sure-fire Hall Of Fame inductee.

Kelly Kulick
Kelly Kulick - b. 1977
Union, NJ

First woman bowler to win a PBA (mens) event.

Carl Lewis
Carl Lewis - b. 1961
Willingboro, NJ
Born in Alabama, 8 time Olympic gold medalist in track and field, Lewis went to high school in New Jersey.

Marty Liquori
Marty Liquori - b. 1949
Cedar Grove, NJ
Competed in the 1968 Olympic Games, placing 12th in the 1,500, but won the 1971 Pan American Games title at the same distance. He also was second in the 5,000 at the 1977 World Cup. He was number one ranked in the world twice at 1,500 meters (1969 and 1971) and once at 5,000 meters (1977).

Vince Lombardi
Vince Lombardi - b. 1913 d. 1970
Englewood, NJ

Born in Brooklyn, Lombardi taught at St. Cecila's in Englewood for many years, before leaving to coach at Fordham University in New York. Perhaps best known as one of the most successful coaches in the National Football League with the Green Bay Packers. Lombardi is buried in Middletown, NJ.
Thanks for this suggestion to Karen Philipp.

Effa Manley - b. 1897 d. 1981
Newark, NJ

Born in Philadelphia, Effa Manley is the first woman elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Co-owner of the Newark Bears with her husband, Effa Manley battled gender and racial bias to become the only female team owner in the Negro Leagues.

Ed Marinaro
Ed Marinaro - b. 1950
New Milford, NJ

Born in New York City, Marinaro set 16 NCAA records while playing football at Cornell. This New Milford High School graduate played professional football for 3 teams, and has also done some acting.
Thanks for this suggestion to John Brennan.

George Martin
George Martin - b. 1953
Ringwood, NJ

Born in Soth Carolina, current Ringwood resident George Martin played for the NY Giants from 1975-1988, missing only 6 games during that stretch. In September 2007, Martin began a walk from New York to San Francisco to raise funds and awareness for healthcare for 9/11 responders.

Ducky Medwick
Joe "Ducky" Medwick - b. 1911 d. 1975
Carteret, NJ
A star of the St. Louis Cardinals "Gashouse Gang" of the 1930s, Medwick was a feared hitter until a beaning in 1940 curtailed his effectiveness. A member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Thanks to Mike for verifying Joe's birthplace!

Steve Mizerak
Steve Mizerak - b. 1944 d. 2006
Perth Amboy, NJ

Steve Mizerak was a world champion pool player, mostly in the 1970s and 1980s. Also well-known for his instruction, and in fact had parts in a few movies. Elected to the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame.

Renaldo Ne
Renaldo "Skeets" Nehemiah - b. 1959
Newark, NJ

A member of the USA track Hall of Fame, the one-time world record holder in the 110m hurdles.

Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O'Neal - b. 1972
Newark, NJ
Born in Newark, but raised in Texas. Winner of the NBA MVP award in 2000, leading the LA Lakers to their first championship in many years.

Bill Parcells
Bill Parcells - b. 1941
Englewood, NJ

Football coach in the NFL, best known for his 2 Super Bowl championships with the Giants, but also coached the New England Patriots, New York Jets and the Dallas Cowboys. First coach in NFL history to take four different teams to the playoffs.

Drew Pearson
Drew Pearson - b. 1951
South River, NJ

Pearson played for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League, and is the Cowboys #3 all-time receiver.
Thanks for this suggestion goes to Cheryl Moore.

Dean Randazzo
Dean Randazzo - b. 1975
Somers Point, NJ

The first New Jersey surfer to qualify for professional surfing's world Championship Tour, Randazzo is a several-times cancer survivor. Nicknamed the "Jersey Devil".

Jim Ringo
Jim Ringo - b. 1931 d. 2007
Phillipsburg, NJ

Born in Orange. NJ, Ringo played football at Phillipsburg High School, and went on to play in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles. Elected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 1981.

Phil Rizzuto
Phil Rizzuto - b. 1917 d. 2007
Hillside, NJ

Born in Brooklyn, "Scooter" played his entire baseball career with the New York Yankees, where he won 7 World Series. Named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994, Rizzuto was also well-known as a Yankees broadcaster. He lived in Hillside for many years until his death.
Thanks for this suggestion to Don McGuirk.

Dennis Rodman
Dennis Rodman - b. 1961
Trenton, NJ

Lead the NBA in rebounds per game a record seven straight seasons, and was a team member of 5 championship teams. Also known for many off-court antics.

Mary Decker Slaney
Mary Decker (Slaney) - b. 1958
Bunnvale, NJ

The only athlete ever to hold every American record from 800 meters to 10,000 meters, Mary Decker Slaney continues to own the U.S. women's records in the 1500, mile (4:16.71) and 3000.

Thanks for this suggestion goes to Colleen.

Amos Alonzo Stagg
Amos Alonzo Stagg - b. 1862 d. 1965
West Orange, NJ
Considered by many to be the best college football coach ever, finally retiring at the age of 98. Stagg is the only person elected to the Football Hall of Fame as a player and coach. Responsible for many innovations, including the forward pass.

Andy Stanfield
Andy Stanfield - b. 1927 d. 1985
Jersey City, NJ

Born in Washington DC, Stanfield (pictured above, winning) moved to Jersey City as a child. Winner of several Olympic gold medals, including 2 golds, and now a member of the US Track and Field Hall of Fame.
Thanks to Charles Brooks for this suggestion.

Jo Jo Starbuck
JoJo Starbuck - b. 1951
Madison, NJ

Born in Birmingham, Alabama as Alicia Starbuck, a 3-time Gold Medal winner in the US National Pairs figure skating, with partner Kenneth Shelley.

Paul Tagliabue
Paul Tagliabue - b. 1940
Jersey City, NJ

Commissioner of the National Football League (NFL) from 1989 to 2006.

Jack Tatum
Jack Tatum - b. 1948 d. 2010
Passaic, NJ

Born in North Carolina, Tatum was a defensive back who played ten seasons from 1971 to 1980 for the Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers in the NFL. A feared hitter, he was voted to three Pro Bowls and was a member of one Super Bowl winning team with the Raiders. In 1999, the Newark Star-Ledger named Tatum as one of New Jersey's top ten defensive players of the century.
Thanks to Aaron Reddick for this suggestion.

Joe Theismann
Joe Theismann - b. 1949
South River, NJ
A 12-year NFL veteran, Theismann played in 163 consecutive games from 1974-85 and holds Washington Redskins' records for passing yardage (25,206), completions (2,044) and attempts (3,602). Theismann led Washington to a 27-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII.

Art Thoms
Art Thoms - b. 1946
Teaneck, NJ

Played high school for two years in Wayne, NJ followed by his last two years for Jersey Shore powerhouse Brick Township. He was drafted #1 out of Syracuse University and was an All-Pro defensive tackle for the Oakland Raiders for eight seasons, 1969-1976. He is seen in the Franco Harris (another NJ product) "immaculate reception" video clip. At the beginning of the clip Art is seen pass rushing Terry Bradshaw.

Thanks for this suggestion to David Bedrosian.

Bobby Thomson
Bobby Thomson - b. 1923 d. 2010
Watchung, NJ

Born in Scotland, raised in Staten Island, Thomson lived in Watchung for 50 years before moving to Georgia, where he passed away. Best known for one of the most famous home runs in baseball history, when the Giants won the National League pennant in 1951 against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Andre Tippett
Andre Tippett - b. 1959
Newark, NJ

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Andre Tippett played high school football at Barringer High School in Newark. Elected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 2008.

Thanks to Aaron Reddick for this suggestion.

Martin Truex, Jr
Martin Truex, Jr. - b. 1980
Mayetta, NJ

Began his racing career at age 11 by running go-karts. Won numerous races at New Jersey tracks in New Egypt and Wall. Currently associated with Dale Earnhardt Jr's racing team.
Thanks for this suggestion to Vicki.

Johnny Vander Meer
Johnny Vander Meer - b. 1914 d. 1997
Prospect Park/Midland Park, NJ

Born in Prospect Park, but grew up in Midland Park, Vander Meer was a pitcher for many years in major league baseball, most of his career with the Cincinnati Reds. This 4-time All Star is the only pitcher in major league history to throw back to back no-hitters, in 1938.

Jersey Joe Walcott
"Jersey Joe" Walcott - b. 1914 d. 1994
Merchantville, NJ

Born Arnold Cream, of parents from Barbados, won the heavyweight title at the age of 37.
Thanks for this suggestion to Frank Ware.

Mickey Walker
Mickey Walker - b. 1901 d. 1981
Elizabeth, NJ

Born Edward Patrick Walker, held the Welterweight and Middleweight titles, and is an original member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Thanks for this suggestion to John.

Donna Weinbrecht - b. 1965
Hoboken, NJ
Olympic gold medalist in freestyle skiing.

Chuck Wepner
Chuck Wepner - b. 1939
Bayonne, NJ

Professional boxer, reportedly the inspiration for the character "Rocky".

Thanks for this suggestion to Ted Cohen.

Peter Westbrook
Peter Westbrook - b. 1952
Newark, NJ
Six time Olympian, and bronze medalist in sabre, Westbrook was also the US Sabre Champion for 10 straight years. Although retired from competitive fencing, Westbrook teaches fencing and several of his students will compete in the 2000 Olympics.
The Peter Westbrook Foundation

Willie Wilson
Willie Wilson - b. 1955
Summit, NJ

Born in Alabama, Wilson was a 3 sport star in high school in Summit. He went on to play in the Majors, most notably for the Kansas City Royals, where is named to the Royals Hall of Fame.
Thanks for this suggestion to Don McGuirk.

Alex Wojciechowicz
Alex Wojciechowicz - b. 1915 d. 1992
South River, NJ

Member of the National Football League Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame, played for the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles.
Thanks for this suggestion goes to Cheryl Moore.

Elaine Zayak
Elaine Zayak - b. 1965
Paramus, NJ

Figure skater who won the US title in 1981 and the World title in 1982.


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