- Jackie MacMullan, ESPNBoston.com columnist
- 0 Shares
Jackie goes on the clock to explain her top 5: Watch
Tasked with the unenviable job of coming up with five -- and only five -- Hall of Fame candidates from among Boston's rich tapestry of sports figures, here are my picks:
Which active players would have made our top 20? Watch
Check out the 20 candidates for the
ESPN Boston Hall of Fame: Gallery
The argument could begin and end with 11 championships in 13 seasons. Yet that gaudy achievement is only part of Russell's story. He was a defensive wonder who changed a league that was bent on offensive achievement. He was a civil rights crusader and the ultimate team player, as well as the first black coach in the NBA. A consummate winner, Russell also boasts two NCAA championships and an Olympic gold medal on his résumé. The most decorated Boston athlete of all time ... and the best.
Another athlete who revolutionized his sport. No one had ever seen a defenseman rush end to end with the style and grace of No. 4. He captivated the city of Boston, delivered two championships and, if not for serious knee injuries, might have shattered a number of NHL records. It didn't hurt that he was one of the most self-effacing and congenial superstars in Boston sports history.
One of the greatest hitters in baseball history (hard to declare him the best in a sport that includes Babe Ruth), and the last to eclipse .400. Williams won two Triple Crowns (only Roger Hornsby did the same), was a lifetime .344 hitter and reached legendary status at Fenway. He was such a student of hitting that few cared whether he could field the ball. "Teddy Ballgame" never won a World Series ring, but that should not diminish his stature in our city's history.
He epitomized qualities the city of Boston loves: fearless, gritty, arrogant, passionate and relentless. Bird won three championships but could have easily had a handful more had his teammates matched his intensity ... and if his body hadn't so cruelly betrayed him in his final years. One of Boston's best clutch athletes of all time.
Auerbach's fingerprints are all over the Celtics dynasties of the '60s, '70s and '80s. He was a head coach, assistant coach, general manager and scout, all in one. He galvanized his teams and was a staunch supporter of the integration of African-Americans into his beloved sport. And once he retired from coaching and moved into the front office, Red repeatedly fleeced his counterparts with one blockbuster deal after the next. He was the Celtics.
From the favorites to the field fillers, John Oreovicz sorts out the Indianapolis 500 starting grid by the drivers' chances of winning.
The NFL has rejected a request from the NFL Players Association that commissioner Roger Goodell remove himself from Tom Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension, according to a source.
Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving skipped the morning shootaround Friday before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals to get further evaluation on his ailing left knee.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said star guard Kobe Bryant has told the GM that the upcoming season will be Bryant's last with the Lakers.
Former NFL player and convicted killer Aaron Hernandez is running out of money after hiring a platoon of lawyers for all his criminal cases, his attorney said.
Brewers relief pitcher Will Smith was suspended for eight games by Major League Baseball for having a foreign substance on his arm.
Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team, signed a two-year contract Friday with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.
North Carolina announced Friday it has received a notice of allegations from the NCAA regarding the re-opening of its academic fraud investigation.
Chad Ford and Kevin Pelton debate which players the top four teams in the 2015 NBA draft should take. Should Minnesota take Karl-Anthony Towns No. 1 overall?
Dwight Howard said it was a hard decision to play Thursday night, but the Rockets starting center did so with a Grade 1 sprain of the ligament in his left knee.
Tom Thibodeau's rigid coaching style won games for the Bulls but might cost him his job.
Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to a charge that he tried to silence a witness in a double murder case by shooting the man in the face.
Brewers relief pitcher Will Smith was ejected for having rosin and sunscreen on his right forearm Thursday night in the seventh inning of a 10-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
Winning on the road in the postseason is a daunting task, but LeBron James' teams have made a habit of it the last five seasons.
LeBron James and Stephen Curry are unanimous selections to the All-NBA first team, which also includes James Harden, Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol.
Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus has been suspended for the first game of the regular season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, the league announced Thursday.
Documents show that Patricia Driscoll, in effect, used the Armed Forces Foundation as a bank to lend money for or pay various personal expenses, including bills for a private company she owns.
How will the always competitive SEC shake out this fall? We break down every team in the league, looking at how to beat them and how they beat you.
Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll has been diagnosed with a sprained left knee, the team confirmed Thursday. X-rays were negative.
When Patricia Driscoll accused Kurt Busch of domestic violence, it made news. When Busch accused her of being an assassin, it went viral. But where does it go now?
A year removed from an ugly skirmish between Alex Rodriguez and Major League Baseball, commissioner Rob Manfred commended the New York Yankees slugger on his comeback Thursday.
Broncos defensive end Antonio Smith is under investigation in Texas over a criminal allegation the local sheriff described Thursday as "sexual in nature."
Rangers D-man Dan Boyle is saving his best for when it matters most, which should surprise no one who knows him.
Jim Bowden lays out the 20 players most likely to be dealt by July 31, including a trade likeliness rating, interested teams and best fit for each guy.