Boston’s Greatest Sports Players
Sports are a major part of the culture in the city of Boston and their local teams boast some of the most fanatical fans in the country – it’s not surprising that one of the local sportsbooks sees a nice number of bets being placed on these local teams. With the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston bruins and Boston Celtics, four of the biggest teams in their respective sports, Boston natives are spoilt for choice. Each team has dominated in their field at separate times throughout sporting history and NFL betting favoured the Patriots winning the AFC and making it to the Super Bowl for the best part of two decades. Of course, teams of their stature have been home to some of the most iconic players in the history of sport who in turn have become the adopted sons of the city. So, lets look at some of the greatest sports stars whose careers were made in Boston.
Born in 1960, Canadian-born Borque played for the Bruins from 1979-2000. Whilst he never won a Stanley cup during his time in Boston, his individual accomplishments are nothing short of remarkable. Aside from being the Bruins longest serving captain during his 21 seasons, his 1579 points make him the NHL’s all-time leading pointscorer for defensemen and he won five Norris trophies over the course of his career. For these reasons, he etched his name into the hearts and minds of Beantown hockey fans and is remembered as one of the greatest Bruins who ever lived.
One of the cornerstones of the Celtics’ franchise history, Bird is one of the most iconic basketball players of all time. The 6th overall draft pick in 1979, head coach Bill Fitch could not believe that five other teams had overlooked The Great White Hope. Bird spent his entire 13-year playing career with the Celtics, winning 3 finals rings with two MVP performances. Bird averaged 24.3 points, 10 rebounds and 6.3 assists, his impeccable passing a centrepiece of his game. A 3x league MVP, 9x all-NBA, and 12x all-star, his individual honors show just what he meant to the franchise and his legendary battle with Magic Johnson throughout the 80s kept NBA fans across the world electrified.
It says a lot about ‘The Splendid Sprinter’ that even after losing three years of playing time due to serving in WWII he is still considered the greatest hitter in MLB history, putting up awe inspiring stats. He hit 521 home runs and punched out 1,839 runs over his storied career. ABoston lifer, Williams was a 19x all-star and first in AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS, HR, and BB. It is a shame then that regardless of his individual feats he was never able to get his hands on a championship ring but an unprecedented 86 year gap between World Series wins means that there are plenty of Red Sox greats who have suffered the same fate. Williams was entered into the Hall of Fame in 1966 and had his famous number 9 retired by the Red Sox in 1984.
Bobby Orr is the greatest defenseman in NHL history and one of the greatest hockey players of all time. The hardest worker on the ice every time he stepped out, he epitomised everything it is to be a Boston athlete. So much so that the Bruins built a statue dedicated to him outside of the TD Garden depicting “The Goal”, the famous overtime winner against the St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup. Orr won the coveted Norris Trophy eight consecutive times and is the only defenseman to have won the Art Ross trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer. His greatness is still remembered by Bostonians decades after his retirement and he will forever be remembered as one of the best to ever do it.
To this day, nobody has ever won as many NBA championships as Bill Russell. With 11 rings to his name, all won with the Celtics, it is unlikely that record will ever be broken. What made Russell’s success even more impressive was his athleticism by the standards of the league during his playing days. Standing over 6’9” he towered over the players of his era which paired with his generational talent allowed him to dominate defensively and his impact on the playing style of basketball is still felt today. Though he only averaged 15.1 points, his size and athleticism made him a rebound artist finishing his career with a 22.5 average. As a player and more importantly as a champion, Bill Russell deserves the moniker of the Boston Celtic’s greatest ever player.
There has never been an underdog quite like Tom Brady. After being drafted by the Patriots in the as pick number 199 in 2000, The GOATs career was never expected to amount to much more than a second string QB. He starts his rookie year as 4th string QB before moving up to 2nd by the end of the season. In his second season, he overtook Drew Bledsoe as first choice. What transpired was the birth of one of the longest lasting dynasties in NFL history after beating the St. Louis Rams as 14-point underdogs. Brady is the only player in history who has needed two hands to wear all his championship rings, picking up six with the Patriots over 19 years and one with the Bucs in 2020. He holds the greatest regular season and playoff winning percentages for a quarterback in NFL history. The list of his individual honours and records is long enough to fill out a dictionary and it is unlikely any quarterback, Bostonian or not, is ever going to catch him.