He wanted to be the greatest hitter ever, and over two dazzling decades the Splendid Splinter proved he was just that. The last man to hit .400 rose from a bleak childhood to become a Beantown hero and an American icon.
By the time he left the game in 1973, Johnny U. owned nearly every NFL passing record, but Baltimore loved him most for his crew cut, his black hightops and his unsurpassed grit.
The Hall of Fame outfielder, a 10-time All-Star, made his mark with a Mad Dash from first to home to win Game 7 of the '46 Series for the Cardinals.
This broadcaster coined terms like "slam dunk" and "finger roll" and had a 3,338-consecutive-games streak during 41 seasons with the Lakers.
BYRON (WHIZZER) WHITE
Before hearing Roe v. Wade on the Supreme Court, the Rhodes scholar starred at Colorado and was the NFL's leading rusher with the Lions in '40.
The knuckleballer was the first reliever in the Hall of Fame and appeared in 1,070games (third most alltime), winning a record 124 out of the bullpen.
The Brooklyn Dodgers righty was Rookie of the Year in 1952, the same season he became the first black pitcher to win a World Series game.
DICK (NIGHT TRAIN) LANE
The clotheslining used by the L.A. Rams defensive back was banned, but the Hall of Famer's 14 interceptions in '52 are still a league record.
Notre Dame went undefeated and won three national titles in the four seasons this two-way end (and 1949 Heisman winner) anchored its lines.
A founder and the first president of the NFL Players Association, he retired in '61 as the Giants' alltime leader in receptions and receiving yards.