Moments in Sports History

You may, or may not, have been anticipating numbers 25 – 1 of my top 50 greatest moments in sports history list, but in case you have I am going to finish her off.

Just a quick reminder, this is still just my opinion and I am sticking to it. Enjoy it for what it is, and hopefully I provide a bit of a nostalgic experience for a few of you.

25.) Kirk Gibson’s home run in game 1 of 1988 World Series off Dennis Eckersley.

The man had a stomach virus and was playing on two bad legs, yet somehow he came through with the most memorable home run ever. This man deserves a a nice pat on the back, and some cake.

24.) Baseball strike of 1994.

This strike included, there have been 8 work stoppages in baseball history, but the strike of 94′ was the only one I have experienced in my entire life. The strike occurred in-season and lasted from August 12, 1994 to April 2, 1995. The entire postseason and World Series were canceled that year, leaving many fans shocked and a little pissed off.

23.) Tigers Woods wins the U.S. Open, the Open Championship, PGA Championship in 2000, and the Master’s beginning 2001.

He was the first golfer in history in the Grand Slam modern era to hold all four major championship titles at the same time. You can love or hate the man, but this feat is damn impressive for anyone.

22.) Jack Nicklaus wins Masters at the age of 46.

He is the oldest to ever win a Masters Championship, and I do not see that record being broken any time in the near future. Tiger is a great player, but Jack will always be the greatest golfer in the history of the sport.

21.) California vs. Stanford – The band is out on the field.

Any fan of football, or sports in general, will recognize this play, or just the phrase “the band is out on the field.” There were no serious implications with the game, other than the fact they are/were big rivals. Just the sheer madness of the band on the field, and flipping the ball all over the field, warrants this play to be on any top sports list.

20.) Red Sox win American League Championship versus the Yankees, after being down 3 – 0 in the series.

This is nearly impossible to pull off, let alone against the New York Yankees. The fact that it was against the Yankees made the comeback even more memorable, because these two have a longstanding/viscous rivalry that tops many. The Yankees can suck it…that is all.

19.) Wayne Gretzky becomes NHL’s all-time leading scorer in 1989.

I just recently started getting into hockey, but I have always known about Gretzky his accomplishments/records. Wayne had the entire package and was probably the best all-around player to ever bless the sport. He was a great guy and deserved every bit of recognition he received.

18.) Nolan Ryan throws seventh no-hitter of his career in 1991.

This man was something special, and the best pitcher I have ever seen. He had a freakish arm – he played 27 seasons -, having never experienced a serious arm problem, while being able to consistently touch 96 – 102 MPH on the radar gun. Many pitchers these days are happy to throw one no-hitter in their career, but Nolan had the ability to possibly throw a no-hitter in every start.

17.) Billie Jean King defeats Bobby Rigs in 1973.

Bobby Rigs never felt woman could come close to playing at the same level as a man. Riggs was 55 when he challenged Billie Jean to the match, and wanted to prove that woman did not have the athletic attributes to beat a guy. Billie bent him over and spanked his ass beet red in three straight sets. Woman were viewed a little differently after that.

16.) Bill Buckner’s error in game 6 of the 1986 World Series against the New York Mets.

Sadly, this error is what Buckner is best known for. The Mets tied the game up in the bottom of the 10th inning and had the winning run (Ray Knight) on second base with Mookie Wilson up to the plate.

15.) Cal Ripken Jr. breaks Lou Gehrig’s record for most consecutive games played.

Cal played baseball with a mighty heart and determination. He was well known for his ever-changing batting stance, and rightfully earned the “Iron Man” nickname. On September 6, 1995 he played in his 2,131st straight game, surpassing another great in Lou Gehrig. With the babies playing professional sports these days, I don’t see this record being broken any time soon.

14.) Jesse Owens wins 4 gold medals in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

I’m sure you all remember that Adolf Hitler character – aka dirty little Nazi bastard. Hitler did not feel African American athletes were up to the same standard as German athletes, and wanted to prove this by hosting the games in Berlin. Little did he know, Jesse Owens was not intimidated and he stuck it to them winning 4 gold medals (100m sprint, long jump, 200m sprint, and 4 x 100 m relay team).

13.) Jimmy V and NC State beating Houston in 1983 NCAA basketball championship.

NC State were huge underdogs going into this game – and rightfully so because Houston was led by Clyde Drexler and Hakim Olajuwon. Jimmy V had a solid game plan and no one to hug after the game winning dunk with no time left.

12.) Michael Jordan wins 6th NBA title with the Chicago Bulls.

I know that he had teammates, but the Bulls do not win one single championship without the likes of MJ’s talents. The man is arguably the best to ever play basketball, and it is hard to go against this with everything he accomplished. You could also argue which sport he was better in…baseball or basketball?

11.) Doug Flutie’s Hail Mary pass against Miami (FL) in the 1984 Orange Bowl.

Flutie was always the “Little Engine that Could” in my mind. He was about 5’9″ on a good day, and relied mostly on his scrambling ability to find a passing alley. Boston College was a bit of an underdog in this game, and everything seemed all but over when Miami went up 45 – 41 with 28 seconds left. Flutie had other plans; he hurled the ball from around midfield into the end zone, allowing Gerard Phelan to catch the ball and win the game.

10.) John Isner vs. Nicolas Mahut in the longest tennis match ever.

This only happened a few weeks ago, but this one of the most insane/intense sporting events I have ever seen. If I am not mistaken, the fifth set alone was longer than any full tennis match in the history of the sport. The final match ended up 70 – 68; this is just unheard of, and it looks like an NCAA basketball score. The sheer effort and will to win between these two was just as great, if not better, than the match itself.

9.) Henry “Hank” Aaron (aka “Hammerin’ Hank”) passes Babe Ruth as the all-time home run leader.

Hank hit number 715 on April 8, 1874 pushing him past Babe Ruth to hold the record. In my mind, Aaron still holds this home run record with 755 because Barry Bonds was on some kind of elephant steroid when he broke it. Long live Hammerin’ Hank!

8.) Wilt Chamberlin scores 100 points in a single game.

What makes this record even more impressive was the fact that there was no 3-point line at the time. You can mark my words: “No one will ever score 100+ points in a basketball gam again.” He was, and always will be the most dominate big man to ever play the game. Stand up and give him a round of applause.

7.) Pete Rose breaks all-time hits record and is banned from the Baseball Hall of Fame.

A great accomplishment with some bad news. He owns the record of 4,256 hits in his career, but he was banned from the Hall of Fame for gambling on baseball. The man has gone through enough shit in his life, and although it was a little late, he still admitted he gambled on the sport…give him his well earned spot in the Hall of Fame already.

6.) Michael Phelps wins 8 gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Domination or Marijuana influenced announcing his authority may be understatements for what Michael Phelps achieved at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He surpassed former American swimmer Mark Spitz and his record of seven gold medals. For this Michael, I toke up my bong in your honor…..too soon?

5.) Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier in the “Fight of the Century.”

This was the first boxing match between Joe Frazier (26 – 0, 23KOs) and Muhammad Ali (31 -0, 25KOs). The fight was held at Madison Square Garden, and had the biggest hype build up in the history of boxing. The bout was pretty much even through the first eleven rounds, but Frazier began, and continued, to dominate through the 15th round when the fight was called. It’s very rare for a sporting event to live up to so much hype, but that was what made it so great.

4.) Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” speech.

This speech was extremely emotional and uplifting. After being diagnosed with “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” a big ceremony was held at Yankee stadium to help support him with his illness. The disease damages motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. “I’ve been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for.” – Lou Gehrig

3.) USA hockey team defeats the Soviets in the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid: “Miracle on Ice.”

Anyone who knows about the “Miracle on Ice” had to figure it would be high up on the list. In fact, many of the top 50/100 sports lists I have seen rank this as their number 1 memory. The win was no doubt the biggest win for an American team in any Olympics. I say this because the Soviets dominated hockey for many years, and were the absolute favorite in this game. There were not that many Americans who thought we could even win, and yet we somehow pulled it out. DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?!?!?!?!?

2.) Jackie Robinson breaks the color barrier in baseball joining the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Bud Fowler is technically the first African American to play baseball in the major leagues, but Jackie was the first modern black player. He paved the way for many more black players, and helped break racial segregation within baseball. His influence on the sport was not all he accomplished however; he won the Rookie of the Year award in 1947, played in 6 World Series, and helped the Dodgers win the 1955 World Championship.

1.) BOISE STATE DEFEATS OKLAHOMA 43 – 42 IN OVERTIME FOR THE 2007 FIESTA BOWL.

This may not be the greatest moment in sports history, but it is in my history. This is without a doubt, the greatest game my eyes have eve beheld. I watched this game from beginning to end, never turning the channel once – not even when the commercials came on. Just when you think Boise made one to many mistakes and blew the game, they came back and surprised us all. I was literally running around the house when Boise tied the game up with the hook and ladder. I then proceeded to taking my shirt off and screaming like a 4 year old girl when Boise won in overtime with the “Statue of Liberty.” This game was just further proof that the BCS is a steaming pile of garbage and should be rid of completely. The bowl games may make the Universities a good deal of money, but a playoff system would be much more exciting and truly show who the number 1 team in the nation is.