Captain America hits movie screens Friday (or 11:59 p.m. Thursday depending on the cineplex). So we decided to remember some of our favorite captains throughout the years. We limited ourselves to a dozen. Feel free to add yours:
1. Capt. Ted Williams, USMC - Never mind the 521 home runs, the .344 career average or hitting .406 in 1941. The 39 combat missions over Korea are the best stat of his career.
2. Bill Russell - He’s finally getting his statue. 11 championships in 13 years. He never lost a Game 7, an Olympic game or NCAA tournament game. If LeBron and Co. are “The Heatles” – then Russell is Mozart and Beethoven. Paul Pierce deserves honorable mention for his poker-playing prowess. We could just keep listing Celtics (Larry Bird, Reggie Lewis, etc.) all day.
3. Cap’n Crunch – About the only thing sweeter than a Ray Allen 3-pointer is a bowl of the Cap’n’s finest. Rumors of his demise earlier this year turned out to be unfounded. My dentist thanks you. “Peanut Butter Crunch?” Life doesn’t get any better.
4. John Bucyk - Somewhere between Milt Schmidt and Zdeno Chara on the pantheon of all-time Bruins greats, he played about 652 seasons in the NHL. I used to think that “C” on his uniform meant “Chief”. Who knew? All those Bruins “yellow hats” who hopped on board this season ought to take a swing by Wikipedia and read his bio.
5. Jason Varitek - The guy caught 16 innings the other night. He’s 39. He can wear any letter he wants. He also managed to get into the shot when the Red Sox won the 2004 and 2007 World Series.
6. Terry O’Reilly - His 1980 bout against Clark Gillies was epic. As was his temper. He once led the Bruins in scoring and penalty minutes in the same season (1977-78).
7. Jim Rice - Hell may freeze over before the Red Sox ever have a black manager or the University of Florida has a black head coach. But Jim Ed was the first black captain in the history of the Sox. Tom Yawkey is still doing 2500 RPM over that one.
8. Ray Bourque. - The ex-Bruins defenseman brought the Stanley Cup to Boston after winning it for the Avalanche and still drew about 15,000 fans in City Hall Plaza. There are teams that win championships and don’t draw 15,000.
9. Tedy Bruschi – The most-lasting image of him as a Patriot – celebrating in the snow after beating the Dolphins late in 2003 . No. 2 – Him playing with his kids on the field in Jacksonville before Super Bowl XXXIX. I witnessed that in person – beyond cool.
10. Tom Brady - Forget the supermodel wife, the 3 Super Bowls and the $72 million contract – how many of us can sue our bosses for a gazillion dollars and be welcomed back with open arms?
11. Mike Eruzione – Beating the Soviets – and then Finland for the hockey Olympic gold in 1980 – was the equivalent of any and all Olympic moments combined ever since.
12. Yaz – Did you honestly think we’d forget him? Please.
Obnoxious Boston Fan can be heard on “Open Mike” with Mike Bianchi on 740AM the Game and be reached on his Facebook page or at ObnoxiousBostonFan@hotmail.com