Kap's Corner

Who Would You Put On A Chicago Sports Mt. Rushmore?

A great topic of debate is who are the best athletes in Chicago Sports history. But how do you ask that question? Is it the best athlete? Or is it the most individually dominant in terms of statistics? Or perhaps you ask is it the guy who has won the most championships? So here is how I have decided to ask the question. If you had to carve a Mt. Rushmore of Chicago sports who would be the four men...

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Jim White said:

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Not sure I would add Sammy. Ron Santo maybe... What about Harry Carey, he didn't play a sport in Chicago but was a huge figure in sports there.

David Kaplan said:

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Ron Santo. Good suggestion. Harry Caray too. Sammy had three 60 HR seasons. Has to at least be in the discussion.

Aisle424 said:

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Jordan (duh), Payton (duh), Halas (because he founded the city's most important team and won 6 championships as a coach, plus put the key people in place that brought us the '85 Bears), and Banks (because I'm a Cubs fan, but he transcended the team).

Chicago Vince said:

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Payton, Jordan, Ditka, & Banks...oh wait...that's who ESPN picked when they did this last year!

Cubbinstrong86 said:

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Jordan, Ditka, Banks and Payton, possibly Phil Jackson as a wild card candidate. If it were strictly Cubs I'd go Banks, Sandberg, Santo, Sosa and Harry.

I'm jus sayin said:

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What about Gayle! He paved the way for Walter right? I'm sure it was hard to play any sports back in his day with all the racial stuff going on.... I'm jus sayin...

Jimmy Greenfield said:

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Jordan and Payton are the slam dunks. Hard to argue with Banks but after that HOF speech I'd take Sandberg, who was a better all-around player than Banks. Really, we're just bickering about the fourth spot. I'd take Bobby Hull over Ditka. Don't want two from the same team plus Hull not only was an electric player, he was the face of the Hawks for 15 years and he actually won a Stanley Cup in Chicago.

So officially: Jordan, Payton, Sandberg and Hull.

tom said:

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Good Call

ChollyGrimm said:

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If limited to 4...Michael Jordan, Dick Butkus, Ernie Banks, Bobby Hull. It's very difficult to not include Gale Sayers, Walter Payton, or Ryne Sandberg.

Doug Thonus said:

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To me, the only automatic is Jordan.

Butkus, Ditka, Payton, Banks, and Hull are my picks for the next spots, but I don't know how any of them can be considered automatics.

When you start arguing those guys it's really hard to leave any of them off. Part of me thinks you need to go Banks/Hull just because you don't want three Bears on Mt. Chicago.

However, I think all three Bears are more important to the city than Hull simply because hockey simply doesn't have the cache of other sports (though I'm sure that's cyclical to some degree and it's on the upswing again).

Matt Lo Cascio said:

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If you don't think Payton is an automatic, I'd venture to guess you weren't here in the 70's. And Hull and the Hawks were extremely important to the city during those years.

jdoc said:

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What about Jerry Reinsdorf? 7 Championships under his watch. If this topic is truly not just reserved for athletes and Ditka or Halas are considered candidates, then Mr. Reinsdorf's teams have won more than anyone.....

tom said:

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Bad Call

patrickhattrick said:

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I put one figure from every major sport(Soccer, football, basketball, baseball, hockey). Payton and MJ are automatic picks. By the way, you forgot Chicago Fire forward, one of the best MLS players of all time Peter Nowak.
Sweetness, Jordan, Caray, Nowak, Mikita
I don't know if Mikita is a good pick because I don't know anything about hockey.

Brad Palmer said:

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There are 3 obvious choices...Jordan, Payton, Hull. They were the greatest Chicago athletes in their respective sports that I ever saw. Baseball is not so obvious. I'd disqualify Sammy Sosa before Shoeless Joe Jackson. How about Cap Anson? No? Then forget baseball altogether and go with Red Grange. He was to pro football what Arnold Palmer was to golf. He put pro football on the map in the 20's. George Halas signed the "Galloping Ghost" out of Illinois and took the Bears on a barn-storming tour that played to sellout crowds around the country. An injury curtailed his pro career but he had already made his mark.

Speaking of golf, Chick Evans was the best Chicago produced. His legacy lives on, although most people don't know much about him. Look him up.

tttbne said:

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I have to go with Jordan, Payton, Hull,and Banks....very tough to split them, apologies to Butkus and Sayers

Chicago Fan Stuck In NE said:

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Payton & Jordan are both automatics no matter what. Jordan and Payton redefined their collective sports in significant ways. The other two spots if it is only four total would be hard. Being a Cubs fan, there are many to include and not limited to Sandberg, Santo, Maddux, Jenkins, Banks, and Williams just to name a few. Then there are the players who played for that other baseball team to include Harold Baines, Frank Thomas, Luis Aparicio and I am sure there are others that I am forgetting. Then you come to the Blackhawks who also have a tradition as rich as the Bears and you have to include Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Tony Esposito, Denis Savard, Jeremy Roenick, Ed Belfour, Keith Magnuson and I am sure there are a few more. Hard to decide between all the great talent that have worn Chicago sports uniforms.

zbear said:

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Where is George Papa Bear Halas who founded the Bears pretty much ran the NFL and won more NFL World Titles than ANY NFL Coach in the history of the league. He should be the first face on the mountain!!!

Jimmy Greenfield said:

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I'm finding it hard to refute this argument. George Halas has to be on the mountain.

So I'm going with Jordan, Payton, Halas and Hull. Sorry Sandberg, you got bumped.

Brad Palmer said:

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Halas would have been in my top four but for the fact that Kaplan said "athlete". Halas is not known for his athletic prowess despite playing football and major league baseball (12 games with the Yankees just before they got Babe Ruth from Boston). Had Halas been able to hit a curve ball, there propably wouldn't be a Chicago team named the Bears.

zbear said:

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Here are 3 More: Red Grange All world at Illinois /NFL Hall of famer with Bears , Bronko Nagurski 2 way all pro for the Bears and Sid Luckman who QB'd the Bears to 4 NFL titles ( only Terry Bradshaw has won more titles as an NFL QB)

zbear said:

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One more: The second greatest coach in Chicgao history: Phil Jackson 6 NBA titles as coach of the Bulls This is another huge oversight by Kap

Jimmy Greenfield said:

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Phil Jackson remains the luckiest man in the history of pro sports. The NBA is a player's league, and he always had the players. His virtue is that he knew how not to screw things up.

Yes, great accomplishments. No, not close to being on the mountain.

tom said:

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Not Lucky.He knew how to handle his players

clyder1 said:

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I think it is a no brainer.
Banks, Jordan, Hull, Payton, Sayers & Santo.

Max Power said:

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ESPN actually had it right last year.

Jordan, Payton, Banks, Ditka

kenberry16 said:

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You have to put on Glenn Hall hall of fame goalie with a streak that will NEVER be broken !!!!!! Nellie Fox hall of famer. Luis Aparicio hall of famer.......Billy Williams hall of famer.....No way Sosa.....

Gabriel David said:

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I'd go Jordan, Banks, Payton, and Hull. In terms of those saying Sammy shouldn't be in the discussion. Please take off your blinders, was the an ass? Yes. Was he one of the greatest cubs players ever? Yes. I understand Santo was a fan favorite, but he doesn't deserve to be on there. I don't think Sosa belongs either.. How about Brian Urlacher for consideration? Easily the bear of the decade, and was voted on the NFL All Decade Team.

wealz said:

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Frank Thomas is Chicago's Ted Williams and by far the city's most deserving baseball player for Mount Rushmore.

ThunderApe said:

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If there's only 4 on Chicago Sports Mt. Rushmore, the first 3 - automatic, without question - are George Halas, Walter Payton, and Michael Jordan. The final and fourth could be anyone out of a dozen deserving candidates ... except for anyone from the Cubs. Putting a Cub on a 4-person Chicago Sports Mt. Rushmore would be a joke, and every non-Chicago sports fan in the world would be laughing their lungs out at us. Keep the fuzzy wuzzy wuvable-loozer Cubbie Wubbies in the Midwest frat houses/sororities and as stuffed animals in schoolgirls' bedrooms. A Cub on Chicago Sports Mt. Rushmore would be like replacing George Washington with Jimmy Carter on the real Mount Rushmore.

hjb4971 said:

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Many have already said it but, Banks, Jordan, Payton, and Hull covers the top sports.

Personally as a Cub fan I agree with those who say Ernie, Billy, Fergie, Ryno, and Ronnie, but I never got to see Stan Hack, Andy Pafko, Charlie Grimm, Hack Wilson, Phil Cavaretta, or the other greats of the early and mid twentieth Century. It's too easy to forget those great sportsmen from that era in all sports.

Certainly Chicago should have a sports hall of fame, with all the distinguished sportsmen it has had.

Hockey should also included Stan Mikita and Tony Esposito, and Keith Magnussen. Football should also include Butkas, Sayers, Ditka, Hampton, Red Grange, Sid Luckman, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and especially George Hallas who was instrumental in founding the NFL.

Basketball would also include Pipin, Jackson, and Ray Meyer, and baseball would also have a long list including Shoeless Jo Jackson, Early Wynn, Carlton Fisk, Nellie Fox, Luis Aparicio, Frank Thomas, Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, Frank Chance, Greg Maddox, Andre Dawson, Sammy Sosa, Claude Passau, and many more.

Last but not least there are Harry Carray, Vince Lloyd, Lou Boudreau, and Jack Brickhouse who painted the sports landscape with words.
HJB

deandrey duffie said:

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I think its real simple Michael jordan, scottie pippen, PHIL JACKSON, AND JOHN PAYTON WOULD BE MY TOP FOUR PICKS ALLL WAS GREAT TOGETHER IN THEIR YEARS OF DOMINATING THE NBA. BUT IN THIS NEW ERA OF NBA I WOULD CHOSE KOBY BRYANT, LERBRON JAMES, AND SO ON. JK DEANDREY

tom said:

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Who is John Payton?I thought it was a Chicago sports Mt Rushmore.Kobe Bryant and Lebron James ? Must be fantasy league

clyder1 said:

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Instead of being named Mr. Rushmore, it should be Mt. Halas-Wrigley.
With Payton, Hull, Banks & Jordan the 4 priorities, even though I would like to see Sayers and Santo a little smaller as bookends.

Charles Henrickson said:

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I will go with the best Chicago player in each of the four main sports: Ernie Banks, Walter Payton, Michael Jordan, and Bobby Hull.

soxmike79 said:

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How 'bout Reinsdorf? He did bring 7 titles...

tom said:

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ATHLETE NOT OWNER

Mapuche said:

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Red Grange anyone. The reason why there is a Chicago Bears or even NFL for that matter is because of Red Grange

Goophee Milhouse said:

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Several no brainers--and I mean NO-BRAINERS--BeeBee Richards, Erwin "Wolfgang" Mueller, Francis Cornish, all pre-Rocky Wirtz',any or all post-Gabby Hatnett and pre-Randy Hundley Cub catcher and, finally, the Company Voice of all this "Less Than Mediocrity", WGN.

Christopherchitown said:

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Jordan Halas Payton Hull

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