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top 10 CNY sports stories

top 10 CNY sports stories

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Top 10 CNY Sports Stories EVER! – Halls Of Fame

While researching for this series it became quite difficult to narrow down just 10 stories because the legacy that surrounds us is actually much richer than just a couple handfuls of successful athletes or inspiring events.

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uticabluesox
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Top 10 CNY Sports Stories EVER! – 1983 Utica Blue Sox

Talk about a come-from-behind unlikely hero story! Just picture the Sand Lot and that just about describes both the players and the condition of the ballpark in which they played. But the history that would happen that year still echoes today.

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S.Greenwood/Getty Images
S.Greenwood/Getty Images
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Top 10 CNY Sports Stories EVER! – Wayne Levi

I'd be remiss during this series if I didn't cover someone from the sport that everybody seems to play whether pro or otherwise... Yup, I'm talking about golf. Unlike other sports where you retire in your 30's or younger, you can play all the way until the day you drop in this one and it's cross-generational so people of all ages can go out and have a good time whether they're good at it or not. But, let's talk about who's good though... The undisputed quintessential golf king from our area has to be Wayne Levi.

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Photo courtesy: Sharon Frizzelle Fazio
Photo courtesy: Sharon Frizzelle Fazio
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Top 10 CNY Sports Stories EVER! – The Clinton Comets

Rather than going out to clubs or staying home, everyone used to go to the Clinton Arena for hockey on Saturday nights, well at least for 2300+ people! Were you one of em? Although it's great to see some good ball, or in this case 'puck', the team to root for was the Clinton Comets, and it wasn't just because they were the home team. It was because they were good, CRAZY good!

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Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
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The Top 10 CNY Sports Stories EVER! – Remember Andy Van Slyke?

This Utica native started making waves baseball-wise when he won All-American Honors as a New Hartford Spartan, and you guessed it that got the attention of the powers that be and the rest is history, but let's take a peek at that history!

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Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
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The Top 10 CNY Sports Stories EVER! – Will Smith

"In West Philadelphia, born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my days..." Nope, this isn't about the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Instead, this pigskin prince by the same name was born in Queens, raised in Utica and spent most of his days on the gridiron.

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Craig Jones/Getty Images
Craig Jones/Getty Images
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The Top 10 CNY Sports Stories EVER! – Syracuse: NCAA Champs, At LAST!

The year: 2003, the uniforms: orange, the fans: orange, the other team: is going to get rocked, up for grabs : the NCAA national title. But first, a little backstory...

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ISC Archives/Getty Images
ISC Archives/Getty Images
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The Top 10 CNY Sports Stories EVER! Richie Evans

Here's one for all the Romans out there as this guy was one of your own... Richie Evans or "The "Rapid Roman" as he was later known started his career at the tender young age of 16 when he rapidly left the family farm in Westernville (like Luke Skywalker or Superman?) to become a mechanic at a service station in Rome.

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fanofpucks/ice hockey wiki
fanofpucks/ice hockey wiki
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The Top 10 CNY Sports Stories EVER! The Utica Devils Hockey Team

Once upon a time there was a different sort of hockey that glided on the ice at the Utica Aud long before the UC Pioneers took up residence. In this AHL team's short 6-year stint here, there was a legacy begun that still echoes beyond our town, even today... They were known as the Utica Devils.

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Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
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The Top 10 CNY Sports Stories EVER! Remember Mark Lemke?

I started collecting baseball cards as a boy and kept getting a card by this Mark Lemke guy whenever I eagerly opened pack after pack of '89 Donruss... Little did I know at the time that he was a hometown boy and it figures that I caught him at the end of his career already, but here's the skinny on this Utica native!

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Chris Trotman/Getty Images
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
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The Top 10 Central New York Sports Stories… Ever! [SERIES]

Given that the football season is almost in full-swing, it brings to mind the rich sports heritage that we have here in the Mohawk Valley and beyond, and not just locally but also in what we've provided to the national sports community as well, from lending our athletes to erecting a plethora of sports hall of fames within driving distance.

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