Everyone loves New Jersey! You gotta problem with that? It’s got the shore (pronounced shawr), fat sandwiches, home of Sinatra, and the smells off the highway. You may not know, but Baseball was invented in Hoboken.
People discount Jersey, like it’s New York’s little brother. This list will change your mind. Some of our most beloved athletes came from here.
Let’s set a few ground rules, just so we don’t get confused. BRRUUUUUUCE. (It doesn’t matter that the line doesn’t fit. You’ll make it work.) The person has to have grownup in New Jersey and they aren’t in any particular order. Below are 10 of our favorites. Feel free to fight us in the comments if you disagree.
10) Carl Lewis – Willingboro
Who is Carl Lewis? Ask your dad. He’s a 9 time Olympic Gold medalist in track and field. See the people behind him? Barely.
9) Franco Harris – Fort Dix
Hall of Fame running back with 8 1,000 yard rushing seasons. Won 4 Super Bowls. Oh and, have your heard of the “Immaculate Reception”. Finger tips for the win.
8) Dennis Rodman – Trenton
Making the show, Jersey Shore, look like daycare. The Worm was a nightmare on the court and apparently everywhere else. No doubting has talent though or his 1 day marriage to Carmen Electra. C’mon if they can’t make it, who can?
7) Rick Barry – Roselle Park
Anyone ever seen him attempt a foul shot? Underhand. Like when you’re a little kid. I’m serious. Also no joke? He won Rookie of the Year, Finals MVP, and was inducted to the Hall of Fame.
6) Joe Theismann – South River
Luckily for everyone, his playing career was better than his broadcasting career. Man was he unbearable. He set the record for passing yards at Notre Dame (2,820) and led the Redskins to a Super Bowl victory.
Though his biggest claim to fame might be LT breaking his leg on Monday Night Football. Brutal.
5) Shaquille O’Neal – Newark
Shaq is bigger than anyone state, however, we are glad to have him. A quadruple threat. He’s a celebrated actor, rapper, NBA analyst, and I suppose he had a pretty good basketball career.
“Should I pass it? NO. Should I dunk it? YEAH!”
4) Carli Lloyd – Delran Township
Gold Medalist and made women’s soccer relevant in the US. Perfect since the men’s team is terrible. Also kicked out of Disney World for drinking too much. We’re in love <3.
3) Mike Trout – Vineland
Is there anything this guy can’t do? The definition of a 5 tool player. Rookie of the Year, MVP, he even threw a no hitter in High School.
If you could be reborn with anyone’s talent, you’d have to pick his.
2) Derek Jeter – Pequannock
Many of you might be thinking he grew up in Michigan. You’d be wrong, though the family moved there later in his life. The future Hall of Famer is Jersey born and bred.
1) Yogi Berra – Montclair
The most quotable man in sports history and the winningest. Yogi made 18 all-star games and won a record 10 World Series. More than any player in baseball.
Bonus: Bill Parcells – Englewood
Ok. He’s not an athlete which is why he didn’t make the list, but having coached the Giants to a Super Bowl and making the Jets a perennial winner (God’s work) makes him worthy of our list.
Who are we missing?
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