The Top Sports Figures from Westchester

The county’s ties to sports stardom.

In honor of Ralph Branca’s profile in our April issue, we have put together a list of Westchester’s links to the big leagues.

Mariano Rivera

Purchase resident and retired Yankees superstar

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Former Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera resides in Purchase, believe it or not—sounds like such a tame hometown for someone with such a strong right arm. As you’re probably well aware, Rivera became Major League Baseball’s all-time saves leader in 20011 when he recorded his 602nd save.

Grover Williams “Deacon” Jones

White Plains native and first African American football player to be honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame

According to the Society for American Baseball Research, Deacon Jones, as he was known, was the first African American baseball player to be honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame. Over three seasons, Jones played in 40 major-league games for the White Sox, playing first base in seven of them.

Suzyn Waldman

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Croton-on-Hudson resident and first woman to broadcast a World Series game on the radio

In 2009, after an early career in musical theatre and after roughly 20 years in radio broadcasting and sports reporting, Waldman became the first female broadcaster to broadcast a World Series on the radio. You’ll hear her play-by-play on WCBS-AM.

Deion Sanders

Retired NFL and MLB player, former New York Yankee, NFL Hall of Famer, and resident of Pleasantville, NY

Sanders hit a major league baseball home run and scored a touchdown in the NFL in the same week during the 1989 season—the only player ever to do so. Sanders is also the only man to play in both a Super Bowl and a World Series.

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Ralph Kiner

Baseball legend, broadcaster, and former Rye resident

According to the Rye Daily Voice, Kiner hit 369 home runs during his 10-year career, mostly with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In each of his first seven seasons, he won or tied for the National League lead in homers.

Ray Rice

New Rochelle native and Baltimore Ravens running back

Rice needs no introduction—he’s a football superstar with serious credentials, ranking near the top in Ravens history for touchdowns, not to mention helping lead the team to Super Bowl XLVII victory. Before being recruited to play for the Ravens, Rice played for Rutgers University.

Sal Yvars

Former MLB player (1947-1954) and football, basketball, and baseball star at White Plains High School.

Yvars is best known for taking part in and revealing, according to The New York Times, “an elaborate sign-stealing scheme that might have helped propel the Giants to their storied 1951 National League pennant victory.” After playing for the Giants, Yvars played for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Henry William “Hank” Fischer

Yonkers native and Major League pitcher

Hank Fischer hit the major leagues in 1960 playing for the Milwaukee Braves, afterwards going on to play the Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox. His career spanned six seasons, but all five of his career shutouts happened during his 1964 season with the Braves.

Chester Cornelius Hoff

Ossining native and longest living MLB player at time of his death

When he died in 1998, Chet Hoff, as he was known, was 107 years old and the longest living Major League player on record. He made his big league debut in 1911 with the Highlanders (the Yankees went by this name from 1903 to 1912), and went on to pitch for four seasons in the major league.

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