Here are some sports stories that are worth re-living over and over again to remind us how great sports really are.
10. On Oct. 1, in the fifth inning of the third game of the 1932 World Series, New York Yankees outfielder Babe Ruth pointed a finger at an unknown object. There have been accounts that said he “called his shot,” and was telling Chicago Cubs Charley Root that the next pitch is going over the center field fence of Wrigley Field. While others thought that he was pointing at the Chicago Cubs bench possibly telling them to be quiet. Either way it would be really cool to see Babe Ruth play in Wrigley Field.
9. Toms River, N.J., won the Little League World Series in 1998 in Williamsport, Penn. The team was dubbed “the beast from the east.” On their way to the Little League World Series one of the players won a miniature gorilla at an amusement park. The team then decided to put the animal with them in the dugout throughout the summer season. One parent went nuts and dressed up in a guerilla suit, and the name stuck. What fun 12-year-olds are!
8. Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan woke up in the middle of the night, sweating profusely. The doctors told him he would not play in the fifth game of the 1997 NBA finals, which was tied at two a piece against the Utah Jazz. Jordan somehow fit his jersey on after being in a hospital bed for 24 hours. With his Bulls down 16 points in the second quarter, Jordan scored 17 in the second frame, and the Bulls won the game, and the series. He was running on fumes, and still was the best.
7. Joe Namath predicted that the underdog (18 points) New York Jets would win Super Bowl III against the Baltimore Colts in Miami, Fla. Namath’s prediction was very bold due to the belief the National Football Conference (Colts) was far superior to the American Football Conference (Jets). Namath backed his mouth up by leading the Jets to victory, and earning Super Bowl MVP Honors.
6. In 1982 the “game” seemed out of reach for the California Golden Bears. They were down 20-19 to the Stanford Cardinals with four seconds left in the game. The Bears took the final kick off and lateral five different times. Richard Rodgers received the final lateral, and ran into a member of the Stanford Band, who was on the field. Rodgers and the band member made “the play,” one of the most memorable plays of all time.
5. In 1951 New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thompson hit a walk-off homerun to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers to advance the Giants to the World Series. Thompson’s home run is dubbed “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World” which provided Gordon McClendon’s famous broadcast: screaming, “The Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant!” The historic Polo Grounds was home to this historic game and would be a great place to watch a game at any time.
4. Jesse Owens’ performance in the 1936 Olympics silenced Adolph Hitler’s claim of a superior Aryan. The hero of the Summer Games was Owens who was an African American. He won five gold medals in front of Hitler and his gang. During the long jump, Owens’ German rival, Luz Long, publicly embraced Owens in front of hostile Nazis crowd.
3. The Cold War hit the ice rink in 1980 in the Winter Games in Lake Placid, N.Y. Coach Herb Brooks led a bunch of college kids against the big, bad Soviet Union. Before the United States and the USSR played each other in the semi-finals game, the Soviets beat Brooks and team 10-3 in exhibition play. Playing for the right to play in the gold medal game, the United States beat Russia 4-3. Al Michaels made the famous call: “…Do you believe in miracles? YES!!!”
2. Any high school football game in the nation is worth re-living. I know this is cheating a little bit, but it is so true. There is so much raw, pure emotion when a young man straps on a helmet. The young warrior is more than likely scared and just hoping that he won’t let down his best friends on the field. These kids are not playing for money, nor are they trying to keep their scholarship. These boys, and the rare girl, play for the love of the game.
1. On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson shattered the color barrier at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, N.Y. In a move that transcends sports, Robinson was the first African American to play for a major league baseball team. Robinson, an All-American at the University of California Los Angeles despite death threats and violence, still laced his spikes up for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Major League Commissioner Bud Selig has retired the number 42 (Robinson’s number) for every major league team.