Pittsburgh is a great sports town filled with a rich history of championships and some of the most legendary athletes the sports world has ever known.
Speaking of those athletes, I'd like to rank the top-10 all-time athletes that have ever played in our great city:
No. 10. right fielder Roberto Clemente
Clemente played 18 seasons for the Pirates, winning four batting titles, compiling 3000 hits and winning 12 gold gloves for his stellar play in right field; Clemente also appeared in 15 all-star games, was named the NL MVP in 1966 and was part of two World Series Champions--including the 1971 Series in-which he was named MVP.
No. 9. center Mario Lemieux
Super Mario played a total of 17 seasons with the Penguins and was considered by many to be the most talented hockey player to ever play the game. Slowed by injuries throughout his career, Lemieux didn't wreak havoc on the NHL record books like Wayne Gretzky, but he did OK for himself, scoring 690 goals, to go along with 1033 assists, for a total of 1723 points for his illustrious career. He led the NHL in scoring six times and was voted MVP three times. Mario was also a part of Pittsburgh's first two championships, when he led the Penguins to Stanley Cup victories in both '91 and '92.
No. 8 linebacker James Harrison
Harrison has been voted to the Pro Bowl four times since becoming a starter for the Steelers in 2007. In 2008, No. 92 was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Harrison has been part of three AFC Champions and two Super Bowl winners--including Super Bowl XLIII when he intercepted a Kurt Warner pass and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown at the end of the first half.
No. 7 running back Tony Dorsett
Dorsett rushed for 6,082 yards during his four-year career with the Pitt Panthers (a record at the time) and won the Heisman Trophy in 1976. Dorsett was also a part of the the Panthers' National Championship team in '76. Dorsett would go on to play for the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL and was inducted into both the Pro and college football Halls of Fame in 1994.
No. 6 running back Franco Harris
Harris played 12 seasons for the Steelers and rushed for 12,120 yards for his career to go along with 100 rushing touchdowns; Harris was named to the Pro Bowl nine times and was part of Pittsburgh's first four Super Bowl Champions--including Super Bowl IX, where he was voted MVP after rushing for 158 yards and scoring the first Super Bowl touchdown in franchise history. Franco is perhaps best known for the Immaculate Reception that miraculously helped the Steelers defeat the Oakland Raiders in a divisional playoff game in 1972.
No. 5 cornerback Rod Woodson
Woodson played 10 seasons for the Steelers, racking up 38 interceptions and 22 fumble recoveries to go along with 13.5 quarterback sacks and six defensive touchdowns. Woodson was also an accomplished return man during his time in Pittsburgh, scoring two touchdowns on kickoff returns and two on punt returns. Woodson played in seven Pro Bowls while in Pittsburgh and was voted the Defensive Player of the Year in 1993. In 1994, Woodson was named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary Team.
No. 4 safety Troy Polamalu
No. 43 may be the most gifted athlete to ever play in Pittsburgh. After debuting in 2003, Polamalu has been a part of two Steelers Super Bowl winners and was voted NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2010. Polamalu has also been named to seven Pro Bowl teams and perhaps is best known for his interception return for a touchdown in the 2008 AFC Champion game against the Ravens that sealed a trip to Super Bowl XLIII.
No. 3 quarterback Terry Bradshaw
Bradshaw led the Steelers to four Super Bowls in the 1970's and was voted Super Bowl MVP in both XIII and XIV. Bradshaw was maybe the most gifted quarterback to ever play the game and was named the NFL MVP in 1978.
No. 2 receiver Hines Ward
Ward was a hard-nosed wide receiver, perhaps more known for his blocking style than his receiving skills. However, No. 86 was no slouch as a receiver, catching 1,000 passes for 12,083 yards in his 14 year career (both Steelers records). Ward was named to four Pro Bowls and was a part of two Super Bowl Champions--including Super Bowl XL, when he was voted MVP.
No. 1 outfielder Barry Bonds
Bonds was considered maybe the greatest all-around player in baseball during his seven years with the Pirates, and he was voted NL MVP in both 1990 and 1992. Bonds blasted 176 home runs in Pittsburgh and won three gold gloves for his stellar play in left field. Bonds would go on to play 15 years in San Francisco, where he won five more NL MVPs and set the all-time home run record with 762 blasts.