17 greats who were drafted at No. 17

17 greats who were drafted at No. 17
June 6, 2013, 10:15 pm
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Chris Kamka

No. 17 was what Chico Carrasquel wore. It was worn by Carlos May (whose birthday, May 17, was displayed on the back of his uniform). It was the number worn by Mark Grace; then by Ken Griffey Jr. during his brief stint on the South Side. No. 17 in Chicago brought several fond memories, but never really a Hall of Fame level of performance though.

The 17th pick in the draft rarely creates a lot of buzz … in any sport. However, you simply never know. Arguably, the best White Sox draft pick in the last 20 years was Mark Buehrle, who certainly wasn't a high pick. He wasn't even picked in the 17th round, let alone 17th overall. The All-Star southpaw, who tossed two no-hitters, was picked in the 38th round in 1998.

But tonight, the White Sox selected Tim Anderson 17th overall in Thursday's 2013 MLB Draft. With that 17th overall pick looming, I bring you 17 17's: Players selected 17th overall from across the MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL drafts.

1967 - Gene Upshaw, Oakland Raiders

Pro Football Hall of Fame guard, inducted in 1987. Upshaw served as head of the NFLPA and was instrumental in establishing free agency in the NFL.

1967 - Phil Jackson, New York Knicks

The number of NBA titles Jackson won as head coach (11) nearly doubles his career points-per-game average (6.7).

1968 - Gary Matthews, San Francisco Giants

"The Sarge" was 1973 National League Rookie of the Year and was the last Cubs player to lead the NL in on-base percentage (.410 in 1984).

1978 - Doug Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Super Bowl XXII MVP; Williams remains the only African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl. His last two NFL touchdown passes came on Dec. 17, 1988 and Dec. 17, 1989 -- exactly one year apart.

1979 - Duane Sutter, New York Islanders, 1980 - Brent Sutter, New York Islanders

Thirty-three percent of the Sutter hockey brothers were drafted 17th overall by the islanders

1989 - Shawn Kemp, Seattle Supersonics

Kemp appeared on both the MTV Rock N' Jock game and Pros vs. Joes. He was a very good player for about 10 years.

1990 - Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys

Twice had 1,700 rushing yards in a season for the Cowboys and had more than 17,000 rushing yards in his Cowboys career before moving on to the Arizona Cardinals.

1995 - Roy Halladay, Toronto Blue Jays

Success didn't come right away for the Doc. His 10.64 ERA in 2000 is the highest all-time for a season of at least 50 innings pitched.

1996 - Jermaine O'Neal, Portland Trail Blazers

The "other" O'Neal for the majority of his NBA career, Jermaine was one of the several players who jumped from high school to the NBA in the mid 1990s. He was selected to six NBA All-Star Games and managed a couple of 20 ppg, 10 rpg seasons through the years.

2000 - Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders

The Polish-born Janikowski was the third kicker to be taken in the first round of the NFL Draft, after Charlie Gogolak in 1966 and Steve Little in 1978.

2002 - Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies

The only pitcher to take home World Series MVP honors over the last nine Fall Classics. Hamels was selected one pick after Nick Swisher in the "Moneyball" draft.

2003 - Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils

Reached No. 4 on all-time Devils goal-scoring list before inking free agent deal with the Minnesota Wild.

2004 - Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks

The pick used to select Smith originally belonged to the Milwaukee Bucks, then was traded to the Denver Nuggets to the Detroit Pistons and finally to the Hawks.

2005 - Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers

The NBA's leading scorer of anyone who went to the University of New Mexico (9,329 points)

2008 - Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers

Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning and now Hibbert is starting to make his mark in the great line of Georgetown centers.

2009 - Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Freeman already has the most TD passes in Buccaneers history. One more than Vinny Testaverde, five more than Doug Williams.