In a historic 2005 series dubbed “The Nebraska 100: Our Greatest Athletes,” The World-Herald selected the state’s all-time top 100 athletes.
The elite group came from a pool of more than 450 names from the ranks of high school, college, amateur and professional sports from the past 130 years. Assistance came from a panel of veteran sports observers from across the state, with the newspaper’s sports staff determining the final rankings.
The World-Herald for the first time has digitized ‘The Nebraska 100′ collection, creating a unique player card for each honoree complete with biographical information, the athlete’s path to success, early signs of greatness and more.
The players are also immortalized in a World-Herald eBook, available on all major eBook devices, and you can buy the commemorative poster if you’re in the market for a permanent keepsake to put on display.
Each week we’ll highlight a different group of 10 athletes from the original 2005 list, so make sure to check the sports blog to find even more about the state’s greatest athletes.
Here’s a look at 21-30:
30. Bob Cerv, baseball/basketball, Weston: Playing for Tony Sharpe at Nebraska, Bob Cerv was the school’s first All-American and led the nation with an .878 slugging percentage while batting .444. Read more about Cerv.
29. Julie Vollertsen Melli, volleyball, Palmyra: Vollertsen went straight from Palmyra to the world stage with the U.S. national volleyball program. She eventually moved to Italy and married an attorney there. Read more about Vollertsen Melli.
28. Dave Rimington, football, Omaha: Rimington’s best moment as an athlete was first start at Nebraska. “I can’t even remember who it was against,” Rimington said. “But for me, to go out there and play and contribute, it was a dream come true.” Read more about Rimington.
27. Mel Harder, baseball, Beemer: Mel Harder threw the first pitch in the first game ever played at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium in 1932 and threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the last game played there in 1994. Read more about Harder.
26. Nile Kinnick, football, Omaha: During one stretch in his college career at Iowa, he played 402 consecutive minutes before being knocked from a game with a separated shoulder. Read more about Kinnick.
25. Mike McGee, basketball, Omaha: McGee took his incredible shooter’s touch to the National Basketball Association for a nine-year career with five teams that included two NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. Read more about McGee.
24. Ron Boone, basketball, Omaha: Many recognize Omaha Tech’s 1963 basketball team as one of the greatest in Nebraska history. However, few would have predicted that the undersized bundle of energy who came off the bench would be the one to go on to professional stardom. Read more about Boone.
23. Mick Tingelhoff, football, Lexington: His best moment as a Husker was probably the 1959 win over Oklahoma that snapped the Sooners’ 74-game undefeated streak. He still owns a piece of a goalpost torn down after the game. Read more about Tingelhoff.
22. Pat Fischer, football, St. Edward: Football historians call him the originator of the famous “bump-and-run” technique used by NFL cornerbacks. Fischer recalls using the method only after being told to do so by a defensive backs coach with the St. Louis Cardinals. Read more about Fischer.
21. Tom Novak, football, Omaha: The Tom Novak Award now goes annually to the NU senior who “best exemplifies courage and determination despite all odds.” Read more about Novak.