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Texas, Our Texas.

I was so busy with work yesterday, that I forgot to blog about it being Texas Independence Day. You know, “Remember the Alamo” and all of that? Well I am a true blooded Texan, been here since my birth in 1979 in our lovely states capital, Austin. Can’t get more Texan than that. I have lived in other states, most recently Alabama, and every waking moment I longed for the day to get back to the Great State.

One of the best things about Texas is the sports we play, and the athletes who become legends playing them. The Lone Star State is the birthplace of legendary players, coaches, and teams who will be forever remembered. Here is a list of the greatest athletes/coaches/teams FROM the State of Texas. (sidenote: We could easily include athletes who are known for playing for Texas teams, but this list is just for the true-blooded Texans)

Babe Didrikson Zaharias– Even from when I was young, I remember hearing about “Babe”. Not Ruth, but the female athlete from Beaumont Texas. Didrikson won every major golf championship at least once, was a 3-time All American in basketball and held or tied world records in 4 track and field events. Not only is she one of the greatest female athletes of all time, she is one of the greatest ATHLETES of all time.

Nolan Ryan– When people think of baseball in Texas, their first thought probably includes Nolan Ryan. The greatest power pitcher of all time (from Alvin Texas) holds numerous Major League records, including most strikeouts, years pitched, and no hitters with 7.

Rogers Hornsby– One of the greatest hitters of all time was born in tiny Winters, TX. Hornsby is the only 2 time triple crown winner in the National League and his .358 batting average is the highest in national league history.

A.J. Foyt– Foyt is the only driver to win the Daytona 500, The Indy 500 (4 times), The 24 hours of Daytona and The 24 Hours of Lemans. He is inducted into numerous motor sports/driving Hall of Fames.

Willie Shoemaker– “The Shoe” had 8,833 career wins including 11 Triple Crown race wins. Widely considered as on of the greatest jockey’s of all time.

Ben Hogan– Won 4 US Opens, 2 Masters, 2 PGA Championships and the British Open. Considered by many to be one of the greatest golfer’s of all time.

George Foreman– “Big George” was a 2 time Heavyweight Champion of the World and an Olympic Gold medal winner. While not one of the flashiest boxers of all time, Foreman is remembered as one of the heaviest hitters of all time.

Tom Landry– The coach of the World Famous Dallas Cowboys. Won 2 Super Bowl titles and is recognized as an innovator in the sport of Football. He coached the Cowboys to 20 consecutive winnings seasons from 1966 to 1985, and NFL record that stands today.

Gordon Wood– Perhaps the least known on the list, Wood won 9 state championships at Brownwood High School and Stamford High and finished his career with 396 wins, 91 losses and 15 ties. Bear Bryant was asked why he was leaving Texas to coach at Alabama, he reportedly said “as long as Gordon Wood was in Texas, I could never be the best coach in the state of Texas”.

Earl Campbell– “The Tyler Rose” won the 1973 High School Championship, the 1977 Heisman trophy, the 1978 NFL Rookie of the Year as well as the MVP award. He was a 5 time Pro-Bowler and inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1991.

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