While we celebrate our country’s independence from Britain, we thought it’d be fun to take a look at some of the biggest names in sports to be born on the 4th of July!
5. Vinny Castilla – July 4, 1967 – Oaxaca, Mexico.
Vinny ‘Cash Stealer’ as he was known to Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays fans, had a solid career in MLB, hitting .276 and totaling 320 HRs playing for the Rays, Braves (2 times), Rockies (3 times), Astros, Nationals, and Padres.
4. La’Roi Glover – July 4th, 1976 – San Diego, California.
Glover was a 6-time pro-bowler and a member of the NFL’s all 2000s team. The star defensive lineman, was drafted by the Oakland Raiders, played for the Barcelona Dragons (he was part of the World Bowl winning team in 1997), New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys and the St. Louis Rams. He totaled 83.5 sacks and 433 tackles in his career.
3. Josh McCown – July 4, 1979 – Jacksonville, Texas
In the Spring of 2014, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed McCown to a 2-year contract to be their new starting QB. Before landing in Tampa, McCown was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals and played for the Detroit Lions, the Oakland Raiders, the Miami Dolphins, the Carolina Panthers, the Hartford Colonials of the UFL, the San Francisco 49ers and the Chicago Bears. McCown has a career passer rating of 77.5 and has thrown for 50 TDs and 45 INTs in his NFL career.
3. George Steinbrenner – July 4, 1930 – Bay Village, Ohio
‘The Boss’ was the owner of the New York Yankees for 37 years, the longest such stint in club history. The the Yankees earned seven World Series titles and 11 pennants during his tenure. Along with his impact in the world of major league baseball, Steinbrenner was also a successful businessman and philanthropist in the Tampa Bay community as well as New York.
1. Jack Johnson – March 31, 1878 – Galveston, Texas
The son of two fromer slaves, the ‘Galveston Giant’ was a boxer who, despite the Jim Crow laws of the time, became the first African-American world heavyweight champion (1908–1915). Johnson solidified his legend by besting former champion James Jeffries in the ‘Fight of the Century’ (1910).
Often the center of controversy, Johnson was one of America’s first celebrity athletes, appearing regularly in the press, on radio and in motion pictures. Along with being an outspoken athlete, Johnson was also an inventor and lived his life at full-speed. As his widow Irene Pineau put it, “he faced the world unafraid. There wasn’t anybody or anything he feared.”