Every community has a sports hero, but do you know who they are? Author Jeff Welsch, the Montana sports editor for Lee Newspapers, researched the record books; interviewed athletes, coaches, and local sports fans; and travelled across the state to determine each community’s best athlete. The result is a one-of-a-kind sports book, Montana Greats: From A (Absarokee) to Z (Zurich), the Greatest Athletes from 264 Montana Communities.
These athletes—men and women, historic and contemporary—are the best in more than a dozen sports: football, basketball, rodeo, track, skiing, and more. Included are well-known “greats” such as World Series pitcher Dave McNally, who Sports Illustrated said was the best athlete to come from Montana, but the book is rich with lesser-known stories of local legends and high-school heroes.
In fact, the book is being praised for its celebration (and remembrance) of small-town sports heroes: “What I love about Montana Greats is how it memorializes the small towns in Montana [where] the identity of the community is strongly connected to their teams. Thank you, Jeff Welsch, for honoring their best athletes and for ensuring we never forget their legacies.” —Joe Puckett, Peerless (Montana) native and author of The Dream.
The text (and Contents) of the book is organized alphabetically by community name, hence the subtitle: From A (Absarokee) to Z (Zurich).
Each athlete is profiled on a single page. There is a description of the athlete's accomplishments and a brief biographical update. Each profile includes a black and white photograph, usually an action photo of the athlete participating in his/her sport.
Although the Contents is a list of community names, the book features two useful indexes for quickly finding an individual athlete. One index is an alpha list of all the athletes; the other is the athletes listed by the sport they are known for (football stars under Football, etc.).
Montana Greats is a record of sports heroes and where they came from. It is a winning book for sports fans, historians, and all Montanans.