`Eagle' lands at No. 1 in worst way

Bottom's up for ski jumper on list of century's stiffs

Sports Plus

August 29, 1999|By Andy Knobel

Anyone can do it ESPN's way. Anyone can name the century's best athletes. David Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., found it more interesting to pick the century's worst.

The top 15 and selected others:

1. Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards. Ski jumper was so bad the Olympics outlawed anyone like him.

2. Rosie Ruiz. She took the ultimate in career short cuts at the Boston Marathon.

3 1/3. Eddie Gaedel. "The best darn midget who ever played big-league ball," according to St. Louis Browns owner Bill Veeck.

4. Brian Bosworth. Also on the 50 worst actors list.

5. Mario Mendoza. His hitting revolved around .200 so much that the Mendoza Line became the place batting averages officially go clunk.

6. Elvis Patterson. The original football cornerback named "Toast."

7. Carl "The Mouse" Strouse. His boxing career was defined by the night he was knocked out under two different names in two different weight classes.

8. Marv Throneberry. The New York Mets' Dr. Strangeglove.

9. Ira Gordon. The first cut of the 0-14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

10. Sidd Finch. A real nobody who made Sports Illustrated's cover.

11. Tony Mandarich, football. Gimme a B.

12. LaRue Martin, basketball. Gimme a U.

13. Chris Washburn, basketball. Gimme an S.

14. Todd Blackledge, football. Gimme a T.

15. Bob Uecker. Made good commercials saying he was bad.

17-20. Jamaican bobsled team. Better gimmick than game.

22. Herb Washington. Oakland A's designated runner.

24. Jean Van de Velde. The only view of him all century was standing in the water at the British Open.

25. Tonya Harding. Dropped from a gritty figure skater to a hit-squad leader to a porn-video star.

28. Jack Haley. Dennis Rodman's valet.

30. Yinka Dare. Two NBA seasons, no assists.

32. Anthony Young. Mets pitcher lost 27 straight games.

33-34. Jeff and Benedicte Tarango. He was suspended from Wimbledon for a year after a high-volume argument ended with his wife sucker-slapping an umpire. He defended her, kind of, saying, "My wife is French."

36. Terry Forster, pitcher. Fat tub of goo.

37. Buddy Biancalana, shortstop. A regular guest on "Letterman" one year for hitting .188.

38. Angelo Spagnola. Won the Worst Avid Golfer Contest in 1985 by shooting a 66 on the infamous 17th hole at Jacksonville's TPC at Sawgrass. A 257 for the round.

39. Chuck Nevitt. Seven feet, 5 inches of stiff.

43. Prince Albert of Monaco. Royalty in a bobsled can.

45. Alan Shepard. An 18-handicap astronaut who hit golf's most famous shot.

48-49. Connie Dierking and Bud Ogden. Cincinnati Royals bench-sitters who held up this sign at an NBA game: "Bud and Connie say hi to ABC."

Postage due

Phoenix Suns center Luc Longley played on three NBA championship teams with the Chicago Bulls, but he apparently has a place on Karl Malone's list of worst athletes.

After Longley accused the Utah Jazz forward of purposely injuring him last season, the Mailman replied:

"Luc should be proud he can come into our league and steal for as many years as he stole. Why in the world would I try to hurt Luc Longley?"

Bagels on sale

The worst athlete this summer?

Marlen Weingartner of Germany lost, 6-0, 6-0, in singles at Wimbledon, then lost by the same score in doubles. She took home $12,672.

Not worth the wait

The worst debut this summer?

After 11 years in the minor leagues, pitcher Alan Newman got to the major leagues with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

He balked in a run before his first career pitch.

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