Let's take a moment to properly regard these Jims from popular culture and history

When I was a kid, many of my favorite sports stars were guys named Jim. For whatever reason, I was acutely aware of people named Jim. Of course, it wasn't hard. It's among your more basic names, though you'd be hard-pressed to find many Jims in elementary schools these days.

I was a big tennis fan, and loved Jimmy Connors. Boston's Jim Rice was my favorite ballplayer. A random dude who played basketball at Duke University named Jim Spanarkel had me cheering his team all the way through the 1978 NCAA tournament. Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Jim Rutherford was my favorite hockey player. (Don't @ me on the Pens thing. There was no Columbus Blue Jackets then, and I grew up in Pittsburgh. Be glad I did the right thing and chose the CBJ in 2000.)

Speaking of jackets, if My Morning Jacket had existed in the '70s and '80s, I'd have probably been a fan. How could I have gone wrong with Jim James, after all? Inspired by James' upcoming visit to the Southern Theatre, here's a far-from-comprehensive list of historically underrated Jims.

Jim Cummings
If you were a kid in the '80s and '90s, you grew up hearing Cummings' voice in animated TV and film. And now your kids are hearing it, too.

Jim Thorpe
We might recognize his name, but recency bias clouds just how great an athlete Thorpe was.

Jimmy Cliff
The voice of an angel. Wrote “Many Rivers to Cross.” I'm not going to pretend I'm an expert in reggae music, but he deserves to be considered among its greatest artists.

James Madison
I grew up in a neighborhood with streets named for U.S. presidents, and my street was Madison, so I have always elevated him among the Founding Fathers.

Jimmy Carter
While we're on U.S. presidents. Carter is surely among the greatest in his post-Presidency life.

James Earl Jones
You think he's not underrated? Mufasa, Darth Vader, Terence Mann, King Jaffe Joffer. There's no possible way we could rate him highly enough.

Jim Croce
His songs sound like the '70s to me.

James Thurber
We know him in Columbus, and he's surely regarded in certain circles, but “humorists” are probably never going to get their due.

Jimbo Jones
The conscience of “The Simpsons” bullies.

Jimmy Smits
Being really good in popular shows will get you remembered but not necessarily with proper regard.

Jim Henson
Applying the James Earl Jones principle here.

Etta James
Stretching the notion of what a “Jim” is perhaps, but this blues/R&B/rock ‘n' roll chanteuse was criminally overlooked for decades.

Adding visual and textural appeal to any frosted cake or cake-like dessert.

James Cromwell
To me, he will always be Farmer Hoggett first, but there's not a thing this actor has appeared in that he hasn't elevated.

Jim Siegel
I didn't expect to use such a piece to pay tribute to a colleague, but as I'm writing comes the news of the death of the revered Dispatch Statehouse reporter. Prayers for his family.