The term “best” always gets you in trouble, especially when it comes to professional sports. And another layer of discomfort comes into play when you’re talking about pro athletes, many of whom haven’t reached their full potential yet. All of this makes it difficult to choose the best active players from every state but we didn’t let that stop us. For this exercise, we judged players “best-ness” based on who we thought was most likely to make the Hall of Fame. Obviously it’s unlikely that any players from Kansas will make the Hall of Fame at all but we can still hold them to the same standard.

It should be noted that a player is “from” a certain state if he was born there.