Sunday, April 07, 2002

Icons: Hubbard to Huggs, a case can be made

By John Erardi,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Here are some comments by our judges on athletes and coaches they think are icons but weren't consensus choices, or who they think don't quite rate icon status.

C I N C I N N A T I   I C O N S

Who do you think is a Cincinnati sports icon?
Webster's dictionary defines icon as "venerated as sacred." We picked Pete Rose, Oscar Robertson, Paul Brown, Johnny Bench and Anthony Munoz as Cincinnati icons, but do you think anyone else rates that ultimate stature? You can vote for Nobody Else, or for one of our nominations, or write in another choice in the comments box at the bottom. Add comments if you wish, but please be sure to include your contact information if you do, or we will not be able to use your comments for publication. Click at the bottom to see the current vote total. Comments will be published next Sunday.

  Nobody Else

  Sparky Anderson
  Marty Brennaman
  Ken Griffey Jr.
  Waite Hoyt
  Ted Kluszewski
  Barry Larkin
  Ernie Lombardi
  Joe Morgan
  Joe Nuxhall
  Tony Perez
  Jose Rijo
  Eppa Rixey
  Frank Robinson

  Kenny Anderson
  Boomer Esiason
  Corey Dillon

  Bob Huggins
  Ed Jucker, coach
  Byron Larkin
  Steve Logan
  Kenyon Martin
  Jack Twyman
  John Wiethe

High school sports
  Shaun Alexander
  Bron Bacevich
  Dave Cowens
  Gerry Faust
  Robin Freeman
  Mary Jo Huismann
  Jerry Lucas
  Dave Parker
  Carlos Snow
  Roger Staubach
  Jaime Walz, basketball

  Tim Austin
  Ezzard Charles
  Aaron Pryor
  Johnny Fischer

  Tony Trabert

  DeHart Hubbard


Comments :

        Kevin Grace, sports historian at UC

        “As good as Bob Huggins is as a coach, he hasn't reached the pinnacle like Oscar Robertson and Pete Rose, PB (Paul Brown), Johnny Bench and Anthony Munoz.

        “Maybe DeHart Hubbard (is an icon), and not just for the history he made (he was the first African-American to win an individual gold medal in the Olympics; long jump, Paris, 1924) but for his contributions to sports and life in the city (he was a major figure in the Cincinnati Recreation Commission and founded a Negro League baseball team, the Cincinnati Tigers, in 1937). ...

        “DeHart Hubbard's name may have fallen off (in recognition) in the white community, but at the time of his great achievements, everybody knew who he was. And his name is probably still strong in the black community today. Hubbard is an icon.”

        Jim Schottelkotte, sports historian

        “I don't know how (Joe) Morgan can be left out, because he's who really made it the Big Red Machine. He won those two MVP awards in 1975-76 when the team won World Championships. He's an icon.

        “Tony Trabert (a No.1 in the world tennis player) achieved fame here, learned to play the game here. He played tennis and basketball at UC. He's a Cincinnati boy. He's an icon.

        “John Wiethe played basketball at Xavier and captained the football team and was an all-NFL linebacker at Detroit. He was a Triple-A (baseball) umpire and coached high school teams at Roger Bacon, where he had a mythical state championship in football, and reached the state finals in basketball, and coached basketball at UC. He's the one who brought Jack Twyman to UC. He took UC from a bandbox gym into a national program. He could do anything. ...

        “Ezzard Charles, the former heavyweight champion, is an icon. He was the biggest name around here (in the late 1940s and early 1950s). He was a light heavyweight, but he had to fight up (in weight) to make a living. ...

        “Ed Jucker, Jack Twyman, icons ... Johnny Fischer (U.S. Amateur golf champion), Dan Tehan (star athlete at Xavier and trainer of many future NFL officials), and as broadcasters, Waite Hoyt, Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall, who not only was a great baseball and basketball star at Hamilton but a great running back in football, too. ... Gerry Faust and Bron Bacevich, and Mary Jo Huismann over at Mercy in high school coaching, and strongman Henry Holtgrewe back at the turn of the century — all icons.

        “The only reason I wouldn't say DeHart Hubbard is an icon is because he achieved so much of his fame outside Cincinnati (at the University of Michigan, where he was a five-time Big Ten track champion).”

       Steve Wolter, owner of Sports Investment Inc.

        “You have to give strong consideration to Jack Twyman. ... Unfortunately, we tend to forget Ed Jucker, because it was 40 years ago that he coached UC basketball to three national final games and won the first two of them. He's our best UC basketball coach with the best results.

        “Kenny Anderson? I don't think so. ... Dave Parker has issues, but he is probably the greatest all-around athlete ever to come out of Cincinnati. ...

        “Ken Griffey Jr. has to be here longer to be a Cincinnati icon.

        “A cult figure here more than anywhere is Ted Kluszewski, because of the home runs, the cutoff sleeves. His memorabilia is second only to Rose's in demand by our customers.”


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