Hard to believe you left three-time Norris Trophy winner and perennial NHL All-Star Chris Chelios off your Illinois list.
MATTHEW FOERSTER, Palo Alto, Calif.
How could you have omitted Kentucky native and Pittsburgh Steelers star Dermontti Dawson, whom many experts consider to be the best NFL center ever?
THOMAS M. TODD, Lexington, Ky.
How could you leave Will Clark off your list, either for his native Louisiana or for his college state, Mississippi? A collegiate player of the year in baseball, Olympic star, National League Championship Series MVP, six-time All-Star and career .300 hitter can't make the cut, but the likes of Kent Desormeaux ( Louisiana) and Erick Dampier ( Mississippi) can?
RYAN ALBERTI, Atherton, Calif.
Three More Michaganders
A high school baseball star on Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula, he found fame in a second sport. He became his school's first football Walter Camp All-America in 1920, and in the words of his coach Knute Rockne, he was the greatest natural athlete he had ever seen. He remains a legendary figure in American history and folklore. Yet George Gipp is not considered one of his home state's 50 greatest sports figures?
TOM GOODENOW, Lexington, Ky.
Your omission of Jim Abbott from the Michigan list is puzzling. That he was a three-sport star at Flint Central High, was the winning pitcher for the U.S. in the gold medal game of the 1988 Olympics and threw a no-hitter in Yankee Stadium during his major league career should earn him consideration. That he's one of the most inspiring athletes ever gives him a spot on any list.
JON HAMILTON, Grand Blanc, Mich.
Brad Van Pelt was a standout football and baseball player at Oswosso High, an All-America at Michigan State and a five-time All-Pro linebacker for the New York Giants.
ROBERT G. MEIERS, East Lansing, Mich.
On the Minnesota list are Mark Olberding, a career bench player in the NBA; Karl Mecklenberg, a solid but unglamorous player in the NFL; and Khalid El-Amin, who's been as prolific off the court as he has been on it. Yet the fastest American marathoner (2:08:47 in Boston in 1994), two-time Olympian Bob Kempainen, is absent.
KENNETH COOPER, Minneapolis
Shorty McWilliams—who was All-SEC all four years he played at Mississippi State-was so good, even an Ole Miss man (me) had to write to you about failing to list him.
JOHN McRAE, Hattiesburg, Miss.
Live Free or Die
How could Tara Mounsey be left off your New Hampshire list? She was the 1995-96 New Hampshire (Class L) hockey player of the year, as a girl playing boys' high school hockey. She helped win a women's hockey gold medal for the U.S. in '98.
ROB LANNEY, Concord, N.H.
Although you included every New Hampshire athlete who got the faintest whiff of coffee beans in the big leagues, you left out a guy who actually made it to the Show and won 55 games, Rich Gale.
JOSH TRUDELL, Manchester, N.H.