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Classic SI photo by Tony Triolo

Maine attraction

Before Ali-Liston II in 1965, there was the Lewiston Water Power Company, Bates College and the Canadian National Railroad spur, but it's safe to say that none were more responsible for putting Lewiston, Maine, in the heads of sports fans than Ali's first-round knockout of Sonny Liston.

GREATEST ATHLETES
Joan Benoit Samuelson, Cape Elizabeth
Won first women's marathon, at 1984 Games, with a time of 2:24:52.

Cindy Blodgett, Clinton
State's leading high school basketball scorer -- boys and girls; became All-America at Maine (1997-98); fifth-leading scorer in NCAA history.
Jack Coombs, Waterville
Set AL record by pitching 24-inning game in 1906; won 31 games in '10 and holds AL record with 13 shutouts.
See the complete list of Maine's Greatest Athletes


FLASHBACK
1993: The Maine Event
The Black Bears dethroned Lake Superior to win their first NCAA championship
Maine center Jim Montgomery kept his eyes on the prize all season. Last Saturday night in Milwaukee's jam-packed Bradley Center, as the Black Bears, down two goals, were about to take the ice for the third period of the NCAA Division I final, Montgomery warned linemates Cal Ingraham and Paul Kariya that he was not about to let it all slip away.
FULL STORY



SI COVERS
Classic SI cover The Greatest Not only was Ali the greatest, but this photo landed him on a 1999 Sports Illustrated cover devoted to the best sports photography of the century. Ali knocked Sonny Liston out at the Central Maine Youth Center in Lewiston on May 25, 1965.

Click here to see a gallery of every Ali cover

THE SI POLL
Who do Mainers root for? SI asked the Pine Tree State residents to weigh in* on sports.
Favorite major league baseball team
Boston Red Sox
77%
New York Yankees
7%


Favorite NFL team
New England Patriots
72%
Green Bay Packers
3%
New York Giants
3%


Favorite NBA team
Boston Celtics
61%
No favorite
27%


Favorite NHL team
Boston Bruins
61%
No favorite
24%
Favorite pro team
New England Patriots
33%
Boston Red Sox
31%
Boston Bruins
6%


Greatest athlete who ever lived in or played for a team in your state
Paul Kariya
26%
Cindy Blodgett
12%
Joan Benoit Samuelson
11%
Mike Bordick
10%


State's biggest rival
Massachusetts
25%
New Hampshire
25%
New York
24%


Favorite announcer
Jerry Remy
19%
John Madden
15%
More a fan of college or pro sports?
Pro
81%
College
7%
Equal
12%


Favorite sport to play
Fishing
18%
Golf
14%
Swimming
12%
Hiking
11%


Favorite sports to watch on TV**
Football
75%
Baseball
53%
Winter Olympics
52%
Summer Olympics
38%
**Multiple responses allowed
 
*Harris Interactive poll, conducted online, of 401 North Dakota residents who identified themselves as sports fans. Margin of error +/- 5%.
SI 50th POLL
Which individual athlete performed at a higher level during his or her time at the University of Maine?




Sports Illustrated's 50th Anniversary
A winter-sports wonderland


Paul Kariya
The Pine Tree State is one of a kind, says Colorado Avalanche winger Paul Kariya. The University of Maine Black Bear turned NHL star details why there's nothing like Maine hockey. Meanwhile, SI's Franz Lidz explains how Mainers get wild and woolly each winter for the national toboggan championships. And SI.com digs into the Sports Illustrated archives to find photos, Flashbacks and other significant moments in Pine Tree State sports history.

• SI Sportstown: Portland, Maine
Maine's 50 greatest athletes
SI 50th Tour Information

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STATITUDES
0 Number of times Mike Bordick appears atop a list of baseball record-holders at the University of Maine, though his 90 hits in 1986 ranks second among single-season records.

1 "Salute to Duct Tape" promotional nights at Hadlock Field during the 2004 Portland Sea Dogs season.

3 Bill Swift's all-time University of Maine rank with 242 career strikeouts (1981-84).

6 NASCAR Winston Cup poles won by Newburgh's Ricky Craven since his arrival on the circuit in 1995.

7 Players on Maine's hockey roster, including Paul Kariya, who scored 20 or more goals during the team's 1992-93 NCAA championship season.

10 Number, in games, of Marlins second baseman Luis Castillo's longest hitting streak as a member of the Portland Sea Dogs. (Castillo put together a 35-game hitting streak for Florida in 2002.)

84 Victories by the Lawrence High School girls' basketball team, in 88 games, throughout Cindy Blodgett's four-year career. In the process Blodgett set a state record by scoring 2,596 points.

90 Percent of L.L. Bean's first 100 pairs of boots that were returned in 1911.

100 Points Kariya scored in 39 games during the '92-93 season. Kariya, as a freshman, led the nation in points scored and assists (75), and won the Hobey Baker Award.

3,005 Points Blodgett would go on to score in her college career at Maine.

ENEMY OF THE STATE
George Steinbrenner
The Boss -- previously named the Enemy of Rhode Island and New Jersey -- joins Jerry Jones and Steve Spurrier as a three-state winner. Mainers' most hated foes: the New York Yankees (63%), the University of New Hampshire (16%) and Boston University (5%).

George Steinbrenner
36%
Roger Clemens
16%
Bill Parcells
8%
FAST FACTS
Admission to statehood: March 15, 1820 (23th state)

Area: 35,387 square miles

Bird: Chickadee

Capital: Augusta

Economy: Agriculture -- Seafood, poultry and eggs, potatoes, dairy products, cattle, blueberries, apples. Industry -- Paper, lumber, and wood products, electric equipment, food processing, leather products, textiles, tourism.

 
Flower: White pine cone and tassel (Pinus strobus, linnaeus)

Nickname: Pine Tree State

Population: 1,274,923 (40th)

Pro sports teams: None

Major college programs: University of Maine Black Bears


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