By Alex Sachare
that the Spectator poll naming Columbia's greatest athletes of the
twentieth century (story, page 36) will arouse fond memories for
many alumni. While we all have our favorites and some may have been
overlooked by the 17-member voting panel, few could harbor any
qualms about the leaders. After starring at Columbia, Lou Gehrig
'25 and Sid Luckman '39 went to the very top of the professional
ranks as well.
streak of 2,130 consecutive games stood as baseball's iron-man
standard until Cal Ripken Jr. surpassed it in 1995, was the heart
and soul of the great New York Yankees teams of the late 1920s and
1930s. Luckman helped usher pro football into the modern era as the
T-formation quarterback of the Chicago Bears, leading the team to
four National Football League championships, one of them coming on
a 73-0 rout of the Washington Redskins in 1940 that stands as the
most one-sided playoff game in history. And both, by all accounts,
were classy gentlemen as well as great athletes.
Columbia sports star tied for third place in the poll. Jim
McMillian was a 6-5 forward who led the Lions basketball team to
the 1968 Ivy League championship, a national ranking and 20-win
seasons in each of his three varsity campaigns (freshmen were
ineligible for varsity play in those days). Hard-working and
fundamentally sound, McMillian went on to play nine seasons in the
NBA and was a starter on the Lakers team that won a record 33 games
in a row en route to the 1972 championship.
Three of my
years at Columbia overlapped with McMillian's, so I had the
pleasure of spending many an enjoyable evening in the bandbox
University Hall gymnasium, with its huge courtside pillars and
overhead running track, watching No. 5 drain those corner
Another of my
favorite athletes also made the Spectator list: Marty Domres '69, a
6-5 quarterback whose strong right arm carried him to the NFL.
Columbia's football team wasn't very good back then, going 2-7 just
about every fall, but Domres filled the air with passes and always
kept things interesting at Baker Field.
pleased to present the results of the Spectator poll, in hopes it
will rekindle similar memories for you.
We are in the
process of reevaluating and redefining the duties, responsibilities
and makeup of the CCT Alumni Advisory Board and wish to take this
opportunity to publicly acknowledge and thank members of the past
Board for their dedication and participation over the years: Ray
Robinson '41, Walter Wager '44, Jason Epstein '49, Gilbert Rogin
'51, Ira Silverman '57, David M. Alpern '63, Carey Winfrey '63,
Albert Scardino '70, Richard F. Snow '70, Paul A. Argenti '75, John
Glusman '78, Duchesne Paul Drew '89, and Elena Cabral '93. They not
only served CCT and its staff, but by extension all alumni and the
College as well.