On Wednesday both Dave Hickman and I put together columns for Thursday's Gazette to feather in with West Virginia's 150th birthday celebration.
I tried to highlight the state's more well-known athletes that made marks nationally and globally. Hickman went from A to Z, pointing to the obvious and obscure. Neither of us meant for our pieces to be a definitive lists of state standouts.
The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. But our Nick Scala, who was laying out Thursday's pages, looked at me upon receiving my column and said, "This is good, but you know we'll get calls saying we left people out."
Indeed we did. A bunch. And a few that should/could have been listed were Stonewall Jackson High grad and former Los Angeles Ram football player Denny Harrah, Martinsburg native and Olympic gold medalist basketball player Vicky Bullett, former Texas Ranger baseball player and Sissonville-born Toby Harrah, Baltimore Colts legend and Smithers-born Gino Marchetti and, my favorite discovery, boxing Hall of Fame member and trainer Emanuel Steward.
If you're like me and didn't know, Steward, who died in 2012, lived in Bottom Creek in McDowell County until he was 12, when he moved to Detroit with his mother. Steward was a trainer/manager for Thomas Hearns, Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko, among others.
A few other names that could have been included: Weirton native and basketball player Ron "Fritz" Williams, who played professionally with Golden State, Milwaukee and Los Angeles; Charleston High grad Mark Workman, who played hoops at WVU and was the No. 1 pick in the 1952 NBA draft; Charleston's Phil Pfister, a World's Strongest Man competition winner; Beckley native and former Marshall football coach Bob Pruett; and Richwood-reared Mike Barrett, a basketball player who was on the 1968 gold-medal winning Olympic team.
There were others, like Charleston native George King, who played professional hoops and coached Morris Harvey, WVU and Purdue. There was Flemington-born Paul Popovich, who played major league baseball, mostly for the Chicago Cubs. There was Bruce Bosley, a Green Bank High grad, who went on to star in football for WVU and the San Francisco 49ers.
There were more. Many more.
We appreciate the feedback. It was fun. And it just proves my Thursday point: When it comes to sports, West Virginia rocks.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.