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The Top 5 Athletes from the City of Lexington according to Ryan Lemond

Cameron Spencer | Getty Images

Cameron Spencer | Getty Images

KSR’s County Spotlight has moved to Fayette County. Unlike the other 100+ counties across the state, most listeners and readers already know a lot about the county Lexington calls home. To change things up, Ryan Lemond was tasked to create a list of the five greatest athletes to ever come from the city of Lexington. Did Ryan get it right?

Honorable Mention: Gay Brewer

Brewer is arguably the best golfer to ever come from the state of Kentucky. He won ten PGA Tour events, including the 1967 Masters, a year after he fell to Jack Nicklaus in an 18-hole playoff at Augusta.  A few others who one might consider as the best golfer to ever come from the Commonwealth: JB Holmes, Kenny Perry, Justin Thomas and 1964 PGA Champion Bobby Nichols.

5. Jack Givens

Ryan gives the nod to Jack Givens as the best Lexingtonian basketball player over Dirk Minniefield, Shelvin Mack, Melvin Turpin and Vernon Hatton. The Bryan Station star became UK’s second all-time leading scorer with 2,038 points for Joe B. Hall’s Cats in the 70s, culminating with a 41-point performance in Kentucky’s 1978 National Championship game victory.

4. John “T-Bone” Shelby

Shelby was the starting centerfielder for two World Series champions, the Baltimore Orioles in 1983 and the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988. Austin Kearns and Walker Buehler may contend as the best baseball players to ever come from Lexington, but Ryan refuses to budge. The World Series wins take precedence for the former lead-off batter.

3. Frank Minnifield

The defensive back left Henry Clay High School for the University of Louisville as a 140-pound walk-on. He left as one of the greatest cornerbacks to ever play for the Cardinals. A four-time Pro Bowler in the late 80s, he was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team and helped coin the term “Dawg Pound” for the Cleveland Browns’ raucous cheering section.

2. Dermontti Dawson

An offensive guard at UK, he turned into the greatest center to ever play for the Pittsburgh Steelers. A seven-time Pro Bowl selection in the 90s, he made the NFL’s All-Decade Team and was considered the best center in the league for six seasons. Dawson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

1. Tyson Gay

“There is no argument,” Ryan said. “He’s the fastest American ever and if not for Usain Bolt, he’s the fastest human ever.”


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

17 Comments for The Top 5 Athletes from the City of Lexington according to Ryan Lemond

  1. michaelb
    11:22 am June 23, 2020 Permalink

    Thanks for this , interesting for people with a lot of state pride

  2. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    11:25 am June 23, 2020 Permalink

    I forgot Dawson was from Lexington. Which high school did he play for?

    • ChanceyPantz
      11:32 am June 23, 2020 Permalink

      He played for Bryan Station. I remember seeing him on their Wall of Fame.

    • jpgfile
      12:23 pm June 24, 2020 Permalink

      That Bryan Station team had Dawson, Marc Logan, and Cornell Burbage at the same time, and somehow still didn’t win the state title. Astounding.

  3. UKFanSC
    11:43 am June 23, 2020 Permalink

    Those of us that live out of state, much less out of Lexington, always chuckle a bit at these little local news blurbs.

  4. BoogieDMC
    12:03 pm June 23, 2020 Permalink

    David Akers is from Tates Creek. 16 years in the NFL, 6 time Pro Bowler.

  5. bige
    1:15 pm June 23, 2020 Permalink

    HM: Frank Lemaster Bryan Station, UK, Eagles and made a pro bowl team.

  6. Rowinguy1
    7:09 pm June 23, 2020 Permalink

    Another choice for top Kentucky golfer would have to be Frank Beard. Led the tour a couple of times in winnings if I recall, back when Brewer and Bobby Nichols were both playing.

    Good choice on Tyson Gay though.

  7. KyZoneBlitz
    11:54 pm June 23, 2020 Permalink

    I think all the names ok n the list are strong names but, not for sure if he’s from Lexington, but I know he’s from KY, did anybody mention Shaun Alexander?

    • BlueSteel
      2:26 am June 24, 2020 Permalink

      He’s from Northern KY – Played at Boone County HS.

  8. CahillsCrossingNT
    3:48 am June 24, 2020 Permalink

    Gay failed a drug test in 2013 and did little of consequence afterward. This is a very poor choice.

  9. Bereacat
    8:10 am June 24, 2020 Permalink

    The best I ever seen in person was Darnell Burton. He played at Dunbar in the early 90s then UC

  10. MathCat
    9:01 am June 24, 2020 Permalink

    The impassioned plea for John Shelby not withstanding, I offer Travis Fryman as the best baseball player born in Lexington. He was a four-time all star playing SS with the Detroit Tigers and made another all star team as at 3B with the Cleveland Indians. He won a Golden Glove and a Silver Slugger. Fryman’s family moved to Florida when he was very young so his middle school career (the Lemond sweet spot) was down south.

  11. MoreheadCatFan
    9:52 am June 24, 2020 Permalink

    Dermontti Dawson was good. But “the greatest center to ever play for the Pittsburgh Steelers”? The late Mike Webster, widely considered the greatest center in NFL history, would have something to say about that.