Sandlapper Society

Winning SC Athletes

 

Buddy Baker

Named one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers, Buddy Baker was born in Florence in 1941. He won 19 races in his career, including the 1980 Daytona 500 where he holds the record for the fastest race ever won on the track.

Shelton Benjamin

Born in Orangeburg in 1975, Shelton Benjamin wrestled in high school and at the University of Minnesota before turning pro in 2000. He is a two-time WWE tag team champion, WWE US Champion and three-time WWE Intercontinental Champion.

Beth Daniel

Born Oct. 15, 1956, in Charleston, SC, Beth Daniel attended Furman University, captured the U.S. Women's Amateur in 1975 and 1977, and was a member of the US Curtus Cup team in 1976 and 1978.She also was a member of the World Cup Team in 1978. Daniel was the 1979 LPGA Rookie of the Year. Daniel became the third player in LPGA history to cross the $5 million mark in career earnings in 1996.

Mary Lillian "The Fabulous Moolah" Ellison

America's most famous woman professional wrestler was born in Kershaw County in 1923 and grew up in Tookiedoo. She began wrestling in 1949 and reigned as a champion for more than 20 years. She won her last title at age 76 and was inducted into the World Wrestling Federation Hall of Fame. She was once engaged to country music star Hank Williams, Sr.

Alex English

Alex English was born Jan. 5, 1954, in Columbia.  A graduate of Dreher High School and the University of South Carolina, English went on to become the NBA's most prolific scorer during the 1980s and remains the seventh-leading scorer in league history.

Joe Frazier

Born Jan. 12, 1944, in Beaufort, Joe Frazier was the 1964 Olympic heavyweight champion and the world heavyweight champ 1970-73. Frazier fought Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight title three times. He is most remembered for the fight at Madison Square Garden in March 1971, where he defeated Ali to become the undisputed heavyweight champ. Frazier's pro record was 32-4-1, with 27 KOs.

Kevin Garnett

Garnett was drafted by the NBA's Timberwolves straight out of Mauldin High School. Born in 1976 in Greenville, he played on the Boston Celtic NBA Championship team and was a member of the 2000 gold medal US Olympic team.

Althea Gibson

A trailblazing national and internationally known athlete, Althea Gibson was born in 1927 in the rural community of Silver. She was the first African American to win championships at Grand Slam tournaments such as Wimbledon, the French Open and the US Open. Gibson won a total of 11 major tennis titles in the 1950s and was the Associate Press Female Athlete of the Year in 1957 and the first black female to receive the award.

"Shoeless" Joe Jackson

Joseph Jefferson Jackson was born in 1887 in Brandon Mills. He was the holder of the third highest (.356) career batting average in major league baseball history. Jackson was banned from baseball in 1921 for his part in the 1919 Black Sox episode in which eight members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of having conspired with gamblers to throw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. He received his "Shoeless Joe" nickname after playing a minor league game in his stocking feet.

David Pearson

"The Silver Fox" was born in Spartanburg and began his NASCAR career in 1960 when he was named rookie of the year. He retired from racing in 1986 with 105 victories. Sports Illustrated named him driver of the century.

William Perry

Born and raised in Aiken, William Perry attended public schools there and went on to become a standout defensive lineman at Clemson University. Affectionately known as "The Refrigerator," Perry has tipped the scales at over 300 pounds. Perry had an outstanding rookie year with the Chicago Bears in 1985 and helped lead the Bears to a Super Bowl championship in the 1985/86 season.

Paul "The Big Show" Wright

By age 12, Wright was over 6 feet tall and weighed 220 pounds. He suffered from the same endocrine disease as Andre the Giant, but under went surgery to correct the condition. He became a professional wrestler in 1995 and is a five-time world champion.

Cale Yarborough

This Timmonsville native grew up in the shadow of Darlington Raceway. Born in a tobacco farm in 1940, Cale Yarborough had 83 NASCAR career wins, including the Southern 500 and Daytona 500.
 

 

Beth Daniel


Mary Lillian "The Fabulous Moolah" Ellison

Alex English

Joe Frazier

Althea Gibson

Joe Jackson

David Pearson

William Perry

Cale Yarborough