Local sports heroes may not match Manning but they’re ours

Top 5 athletes to ever put on a Toronto jersey

Weeks of questions and anticipation have been answered and put to rest: Super Bowl 50 was the Sherriff’s last rodeo. Thirty-nine year-old Peyton Manning announced his retirement Monday afternoon after a storybook 18 seasons.

“Congratulations Peyton, on an incredible career,” said Tom Brady in a Facebook post. “You changed the game forever and made everyone around you better. It’s been an honor.”

Toronto has yet to experience an athlete with a resume like Peyton Manning, or even a Tom Brady. But the city has had its fair share of witnessing greatness from almost every one of their major sports teams. These legends represented and put Toronto on the map.

Here is a list of the top five athletes to ever put on a Toronto jersey in no particular order:

1. Vince Carter

Although Vinsanity left Toronto on bad terms he is arguably one of the most entertaining players in Raptors and NBA history. With Toronto he won 1999 Rookie of the Year, the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest and was a four time NBA All Star. Current Toronto Raptors star, DeMar DeRozan, recalls watching Carter while growing up and said Carter took it the game to another level and changed it in terms of excitement.

2. Wendel Clark

Clark was drafted first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1985. The former Leafs captain was a fan favourite and helped lead Toronto to the Clarence Campbell Conference Finals where they lost a thrilling seven-game series against Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings. Funnily enough, he was traded for the next person on the list.

3. Mats Sundin

Sundin is one of the best-known and beloved players to ever put on the blue and white. The former captain’s No. 13 jersey was retired by the Leafs and he retired the Leafs all-time leader in points (987). Despite never winning a Stanley Cup, Sundin said he wouldn’t trade his years with Toronto for anything.

4. Roberto Alomar

Robbie Alomar was a huge part in winning Toronto the Commissioners Trophy twice, helping lead the Blue Jays to back-to-back World Series victories.  Former Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston called Alomar the best second basemen to ever play the game. Alomar’s No. 12 jersey hangs from the rafters of the Rogers Centre

5. Michael “Pinball” Clemons

Clemons was running back for the Toronto Argonauts where he spent his entire 12-year career. The Canadian Football League’s Hall of Fame inductee played 186 games in his career and helped lead the Argos to four Grey Cups (three as a player, one as coach). Since than Clemons has received his Canadian citizenship saying he is American by birth and Canadian by choice. Clemons is now the Argonaut’s vice-chairman.