ESPN's countdown of the greatest North American athletes of the 20th century, broadcast in 1999. A panel of 48 broadcasters, journalists, and others involved in sports created a list of the top 100. ESPN broadcast a video biography of each of the top 50, starting with #50 and counting down to #1.

There was some controversy related to the list. Several racehorses made the list, leading many to question whether a horse is an "athlete". Also, the list is North American athletes, so although Pele did play soccer in the United States for a number of years, he was not included. Michael Jordan took the top spot.

Below's the list, from 1 to 100 (many are already noded; I plan on filling in the gaps eventually; call it "The SportsCentury Project"):

1. Michael Jordan, basketball
2. Babe Ruth, baseball
3. Muhammad Ali, boxing
4. Jim Brown, football
5. Wayne Gretzky, hockey
6. Jesse Owens, track and field
7. Jim Thorpe, track and field/football
8. Willie Mays, baseball
9. Jack Nicklaus, golf
10. Babe Didrikson Zaharias, track and field/golf
11. Joe Louis, boxing
12. Carl Lewis, track and field
13. Wilt Chamberlain, basketball
14. Hank Aaron, baseball
15. Jackie Robinson, baseball
16. Ted Williams, baseball
17. Magic Johnson, basketball
18. Bill Russell, basketball
19. Martina Navratilova, tennis
20. Ty Cobb, baseball
21. Gordie Howe, hockey
22. Joe DiMaggio, baseball
23. Jackie Joyner-Kersee, track and field
24. Sugar Ray Robinson, boxing
25. Joe Montana, football
26. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, basketball
27. Jerry Rice, football
28. Red Grange, football
29. Arnold Palmer, golf
30. Larry Bird, basketball
31. Bobby Orr, hockey
32. Johnny Unitas, football
33. Mark Spitz, swimming
34. Lou Gehrig, baseball
35. Secretariat, racehorse
36. Oscar Robertson, basketball
37. Mickey Mantle, baseball
38. Ben Hogan, golf
39. Walter Payton, football
40. Lawrence Taylor, football
41. Wilma Rudolph, track & field
42. Sandy Koufax, baseball
43. Julius Erving, basketball
44. Bobby Jones, golf
45. Bill Tilden, tennis
46. Eric Heiden, speed skating
47. Edwin Moses, track & field
48. Pete Sampras, tennis
49. O.J. Simpson, football
50. Chris Evert, tennis
51. Rocky Marciano, boxing
52. Jack Dempsey, boxing
53. Rafer Johnson, track & field
54. Greg Louganis, diving
55. Mario Lemieux, hockey
56. Pete Rose, baseball
57. Willie Shoemaker, horse racing
58. Elgin Baylor, basketball
59. Billie Jean King, tennis
60. Walter Johnson, baseball
61. Stan Musial, baseball
62. Jerry West, basketball
63. Satchel Paige, baseball
64. Sammy Baugh, football
65. Althea Gibson, tennis
66. Eddie Arcaro, horse racing
67. Bob Gibson, baseball
68. Al Oerter, track & field
69. Bonnie Blair, speed skating
70. Dick Butkus, football
71. Roberto Clemente, baseball
72. Bo Jackson, football/baseball
73. Josh Gibson, baseball
74. Deion Sanders, football/baseball
75. Dan Marino, football
76. Barry Sanders, football
77. Cy Young, baseball
78. Bob Mathias, track & field
79. Gale Sayers, football
80. A.J. Foyt, auto racing
81. Jimmy Connors, tennis
82. Bobby Hull, hockey
83. Honus Wagner, baseball
84. Man o'War, racehorse
85. Maurice Richard, hockey
86. Otto Graham, football
87. Henry Armstrong, boxing
88. Joe Namath, football
89. Rogers Hornsby, baseball
90. Richard Petty, auto racing
91. Bob Beamon, track & field
92. Mario Andretti, auto racing
93. Don Hutson, football
94. Bob Cousy, basketball
95. George Blanda, football
96. Michael Johnson, track & field
97. Citation, racehorse
98. Don Budge, tennis
99. Sam Snead, golf
100. Jack Johnson, boxing

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