Mount Rushmore of Mississippi Sports

Archie Manning finished top four in Heisman voting while at Ole Miss before going on to play 13 years in the NFL (Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Sports)

Honorable Mentions

  • Lance Alworth: Racked up more than 1,000 receiving yards in seven straight seasons with the San Diego Chargers; first AFL player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • James “Cool Papa” Bell: Considered the fastest man to ever play professional baseball; ranked as the 66th greatest baseball player by The Sporting News.
  • Ruthie Bolton-Holifield: USA Basketball Women’s Player of the Year in 1991; two-time WNBA All-Star.
  • Will Clark: 1985 Golden Spikes Award winner while at Mississippi State; six-time MLB All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner.
  • Charlie Conerly: Finished top four in Heisman voting while at Ole Miss; threw for 19,488 yards and 173 touchdowns in 14 seasons with the New York Giants, breaking multiple franchise records.
  • Dizzy Dean: Had a 30-win season with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1934; led the National League in strikeouts four straight seasons.
  • Dave “Boo” Ferriss: Second most wins in first two MLB seasons with 46; over 600 wins as the head coach at Delta State.
  • Ray Guy: First pure punter to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft; widely considered the best punter of all time.
  • Frank “Bruiser” Kinard: First Mississippi college football player to receive first-team All-American honors; first player to earn all-league honors in both NFL and AAFC.
  • Archie Manning: Passed for over 23,000 yards across 13 years in the NFL; finished top four in the Heisman voting twice while at Ole Miss.
  • Eli Manning: Finished third in the Heisman voting while at Ole Miss; led the New York Giants to two Super Bowl victories.
  • Rafael Palmeiro: One of two players to have ever won the SEC Triple Crown; a member of the MLB’s 500-HR, 3,000-hit club.
  • Ron Polk: Widely considered the “Father of Southeastern Conference Baseball”; one of three coaches to lead three different programs to the Division I College World Series.
  • Calvin Smith: Former world record holder with 9.93 second 100 meter sprint and two-time world track champion in 200 meters; won Olympic gold medal in 4×100 relay in 1984.
  • Margaret Wade: Won three consecutive national championships in the AIAW Women’s Basketball Tournament; NCAA women’s player of the year trophy is named after her.

Others that were worth considering: Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Lem Barney, Devin Booker, Ralph Boston, Willie Brown, Erick Dampier, Monta Ellis, Jennifer Gillom, L.C. Greenwood, Lusia Harris-Stewart, Jake Gibbs, Mike Kinnison, Wilbert Montgomery, Roy Oswalt, Ray Perkins, Jackie Slater, Johnny Vaught, Willye White, Mo Williams

Report

Written by J.T. Mitchell

J.T. Mitchell is a multimedia journalist out of Jackson, Mississippi, who worked extensively for both News Mississippi and SuperTalk Mississippi before coming aboard as managing editor for Our Mississippi Home. He is also the author of Pocket Grammar: 24 Mistakes You'll Never Make Again. J.T. received his education from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, where he studied both English and philosophy. Contact J.T. at JTMitch[email protected]

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