Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 22, 2004
BASEBALL/OTHER SPORTS etc.: Great Sports Moments

Michele asks for greatest sports moments. I'll repost my thoughts here. I'll agree with some of the moments cited by her commenters - Jose Canseco getting hit in the head with a ball and turning it into a home run is still the funniest thing that's ever happened. Bill Mazeroski's homer - ten years to the day before I was born - is tough to top for sheer instant drama and finality, especially when you consider the aura of invincability of those Yankees and the back-and-forth nature of that game and that series. And yes, I once had a poster on my wall of the famous Starks dunk over Jordan.

My personal favorite, of course, is still the bottom of the tenth inning of Game Six, 1986 World Series, specifically Bob Stanley's game-tying wild pitch. Close behind are Robin Ventura's "grand slam single" in the rain in 1999 and virtually every minute of the 1991 Super Bowl.

Probably the most electric moment from a sport I don't follow or, ordinarily, even like that much was Sarah Hughes' gold medal winning figure skating performance, because she single-handedly did what I thought couldn't be done in figure skating: overcome the expectations and grab victory through the sheer brilliance of a single performance. In other words, for one night, she actually made figure skating a real sport.

The most memorable ones I've seen in person: (1) Game Six of the Knicks-Heat series in 1997, when half the team (including Patrick) was suspended and the MSG crowd just tried to will the skeleton roster to victory; (2) Brad Clontz' wild pitch in the last scheduled game of the regular season in 1999 to send the Mets to a 1-game playoff with the Reds.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 1:22 AM | Baseball 2004 • | Basketball • | Football • | Other Sports | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

I cannot believe I am saying this, but great call on Hughes. Figure skating is not my cup of tea, but her performance was so good, so technically perfect while being so obviously althletic and difficult, that it deserves to be raised above the sport.

They are not humans, so they may not deserve mention, but I'll throw two horse stories out. Secretariat's Belmont, and Affirmed/Alydar's three triple crown races but particularly the Belmont.

Then there is the Miracle on Ice.

Re: the 1991 Super Bowl, not only was it a great chess match, not only was it a sea-saw battle, not only did it have great individual plays (Mark Ingram breaking tackles and dodging defenders to get the 1st down, Hoss managing to pull the ball back in while Smith tried to strip it while getting a safety) but there were no turnovers and only 66 yards of total penalties. Both teams played mistake free.

Bucky "F'n" Dent's home run is up there.

And with apologies to Dominik Hasek, the most amazing goaltending performance I have seen was Billy Smith in the first game of the Islanders' last Stanley Cup finals appearance. That year was the year the Oilers were supposed to become the new dominant team. They had Wayne Gretzkey pulling a Bonds on the league. They had Paul Coffee, Yari Curry, Mark Messier. They were awesome, and the Isles were getting long in the tooth. The first game was spent, I'd say, about 80% in the Islanders' end of the ice. They were just unloading on Smitty. Shot after shot. 3-2 breakaways. 4-2s. 4-3s. 1 on nones. And he just skunked them. And then Olympian Ken Morrow showed not all Miracles were used already...

Posted by: Gerry at May 22, 2004 12:05 PM
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