Who Is the Greatest Boston Sports Legend of Them All?

by NESN Staff

April 26, 2010

Who Is the Greatest Boston Sports Legend of Them All? Picking Boston?s biggest sports legend is about as easy as picking the best Beatles song.

That?s because Boston sports allegiances run deeper than the Mariana Trench, and every New Englander has a favorite Hall of Famer.

But it?s time to settle the debate about who is Boston?s greatest sports legend.

NESN.com has come up with a list of 64 Boston sports legends, ranked them 1 to 16, and built a tournament-style bracket. Similar to the NCAA?s March Madness bracket, each sports legend will go head-to-head against another sports legend until only one legend is left standing.

Vote for your choice on NESN.com, and follow the voting on the site over the next six weeks.
The polls opened Monday, April 26, and each round of voting will run a week. Results will be finalized every Monday at noon ET. The winner of each matchup will advance to the next round, and voting will commence for the new matchups. Voting will continue every week until the champion is crowned on Monday, June 7.

Narrowing the field down to 64 was tough. We used the following criteria to determine who made the cut:

  • Legacy/impact on Boston sports
  • Number of championships won
  • Career stats/team and league records
  • How fans perceive the individual/level of respect
  • Intangibles/what doesn?t show up on stat sheets
  • Ability to transcend sport

Difficult decisions had to be made, and some worthy candidates ended up getting cut. It's a reflection of how much talent has passed through Boston. The city?s four major professional sports teams have produced 32 world championships alone: 17 by the Celtics, seven by the Red Sox, five by the Bruins and three by the Patriots.

Boston has been blessed with success. But for all of New England?s sports heroes, only one can be crowned the greatest.

Will it be Ted Williams?

Bill Russell?

Bobby Orr?

Larry Bird?

Or somebody else?

It?s up to the people to decide. That's the way it should be. The same passionate and loyal fans who have supported these icons for generations, who have shared the highs of their victories and mourned the lows of their defeats, will render the final verdict about their immortality.

So who is Boston?s biggest sports legend?

Let the arguments begin.

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