By Tyler Leli @jetleli on August 10, 2014
There is perhaps no city in the world that has boasted the amount of sporting success that New York has, whether it has come through football, basketball, baseball, hockey or any other sport. Throughout this great history of sports in New York, these 15 athletes have established a place in the hearts and minds of fans and become the biggest sporting heroes the city that never sleeps will ever know.
The New York Mets may play second fiddle to the Yankees, but this wasn't always the case when Tom Seaver was one the mound. "Tom Terrific" dominated on the mound like few others in baseball history, bringing the first World Series title to Queens and winning 198 games with the organization before all was said and done.
Walt Frazier was the star of the New York Knicks when New York City was the Mecca of the basketball world, as the point guard led the team to two NBA Titles, made seven All Star Games, and generally dazzled on the floor.
Lawrence Taylor is perhaps the most intimidating player in NFL history, as the New York Giants linebacker became known for bone crushing hits, making 10 Pro Bowls, winning two Super Bowls, and generally scaring opposing players and fans.
Patrick Ewing never brought the NBA Title to the New York Knicks, but he did everything else, making eleven All-Star games, becoming the organizations all-time leading scorer, and eventually entering the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Mark Messier helped the New York Rangers become the top team in New York for a while in the 1990s, and in 1994 he led the organization to its first Stanley Cup championship since 1940, and "The Messiah" became a legend in the process.
Mike Bossy led the New York Islanders to four consecutive Stanley Cup titles from 1980-83, racked up the most 50+ and 60+ goal scoring seasons in NHL history, and his goal scoring prowess led almost all New York born children of the 1970s and 1980s to become Islanders fans.
"The Yankee Clipper" is an iconic figure in both New York and sporting history as a whole. As his 56 game hit streak lives on today, he won an eye popping nine World Series titles, and Dimaggio generally is regarded as one of the best players in MLB history.
Derek Jeter is in the midst of his final year with the New York Yankees, but the shortstop is already a hero, as he carries himself in a way that makes the city proud, boasts more than 3000 career hits, and most importantly, the captain has led the Bronx Bombers to five World Series titles.
Willis Reed became an icon by suiting up for the New York Knicks with a severely torn thigh muscle in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals, which spawned the first of two career NBA Titles, in addition to legendary status amongst New York sports fans.
Many people know of Lou Gehrig only for his fatal battle with ALS -- otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease -- but the former New York Yankees first baseman was a dominant figure on the field, as he won six World Series titles, two AL MVP Awards, one Triple Crown, and was arguably a better all-around player than Babe Ruth.
Joe Namath helped prove that AFL teams could compete with their NFL counterparts by leading the New York Jets to a Super Bowl III championship, and then becoming known as one of the top quarterbacks in early NFL history.
Jackie Robinson inspired millions of people around the world by breaking the MLB color barrier in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He would go on to become one of the top second baseman in baseball before retiring in 1956, and then entering the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
Willie Mays is regarded as one of the best baseball players ever, as the former New York Giants center fielder wowed with his all around tools, flair for the dramatic, a combination which helped him became an icon to all that hated the Yankees in New York during the middle of the 20th Century.
Mickey Mantle was certainly not the greatest role model in the world, but his ridiculous natural talent, grace on the baseball field, and status as face of the New York Yankees led him to become the biggest sporting hero in America during the second half of the 20th Century.
Babe Ruth may seem like an obsolete figure, but that couldn't be further from the truth. "The Sultan of Swat" became the first athlete in America to become a national hero, sparked the New York Yankees to become the greatest franchise in sports history, and became known as one of the best players in MLB history.
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