Michael Marx: My favorite Bay Area sports figure is the unique Manute Bol, former NBA and Warriors player. As a remarkable a sports story and athlete Bol was, his legacy will always center on his role as a humanitarian giant. Sacrificing his entire wealth for the Sudanese countrymen reflected on his personality far more than of his athletic achievements.
Dave Fernandez: I’m going to say Rickey Henderson. Whenever he would get on base, it would change the energy in the stadium. Opposing pitchers would be nervous and the fans would be at the edge of their seats waiting for him to steal his next base. I was lucky enough to be sitting very close to third base when he broke Lou Brock’s all-time record.
Alex Hitti: After some serious deliberation, I would say that my all-time favorite Bay Area athlete is Jason Richardson. While there have been Warriors since his time who have had a larger on-court impact, the excitement that he brought to an otherwise futile era of basketball in the Bay Area was palatable. His highlight-reel dunks were usually the only good reason why our team would get national recognition. Without his impact, I don’t think the Bay Area sports community would have the same appreciation for Warriors basketball it does now.
Christian Ratto: I have to say Wilt Chamberlain, the single most dominate force the NBA has to date. As a Warrior fan, I shouldn’t like him, since he left us to go to the 76ers, but players do what’s best for themselves and their situations. He changed the game of basketball. He’s the only player in history who was so good that they had to change three rules in the league to make the game harder; goaltending, offensive, and defensive three in the key. I’ve watched old tapes of him playing and I haven’t seen anyone play like that in today’s league.
Nancy Lewis: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants catcher, extraordinaire. Buster is the team leader. He is always prepared and professional and has done his homework, studying the scouting reports for each batter, to know the best pitches to call to get him out. He is great at pitch framing and blocking scuds. He does all this wearing a ridiculously padded uniform that never seems to protect from concussions and other dings and hits all over his body. Plus, all the squatting and standing over nine long innings, often in killer heat. And the guy can hit. Buster is also known for giving great hugs.