The fertile history of a sport is seeded with the striking, unfathomable, and outright incredible moments that define it. Between iconic victories and seemingly impossible exploits, here are five of the greatest moments in sports history.
5. The Shot Heard Round The World
During the ninth inning of Game 3 of the 1951 National League series, the Brooklyn Dodgers trailed the New York Giants 4-2. As the bottom of the ninth inning loomed on, glory was all but sealed for the Dodgers. But Bobby Thomson had other plans. With two of three bases loaded, Thomson cracked the ball into the stands driving home all three runners and giving the Giants the 5-4 win. This moment was all the more stellar, as it was also the first-ever nationally televised game in baseball history.
4. The Catch
It was the tail end of the fourth quarter of the 1981 NFC Championship when the San Francisco 49ers trailed the Dallas Cowboys 27-21. At third down with less than a minute remaining, Joe Montana and the 49ers lined up on the Cowboys’ six-yard line for what would be one of their final chances to seize a victory. As Montana snapped the ball, wide receiver Dwight Clark rushed to the back of the end zone. In a matter of moments, Montana hurled the ball to Clark who made a remarkable leaping extension, snagging it from the air and giving the 49ers a 28-27 win. Coined “The Catch,” this was one of the greatest highlights of Joe Montana’s celebrated career.
3. Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-Point Game
Scoring 100 points in a single game sounds like an inconceivable feat in basketball. Nevertheless, in March of 1962, Wilt Chamberlain defied all odds by doing just that. By whatever means possible, he relentlessly propelled the ball to the net until finally topping triple digits. Chamberlain received numerous accolades throughout the course of his career but this game stands by far as his most impressive achievement. To this day, Chamberlain’s record has never been broken and quite possibly never will be.
2. The Shot
Michael Jordan was notorious for shooting game-winners, but none were more iconic than that of Game 5 during the 1989 Eastern Conference. At the time, a series was determined by best-of-5 games, so the winner of this matchup would move forward in the playoffs. Jordan and the Chicago Bulls trailed the Cleveland Cavaliers 100-99. With only three seconds to spare, Jordan did the impossible. In the blink of an eye, he weaved through defenders, darted to the free-throw line, and made his move. As the buzzer sounded, the ball swished through the net. The Bulls stormed the court celebrating with Jordan while Cleveland fans stared on in dismay. It became known simply as, “The Shot.”
1. Babe Ruth’s Called Shot
Game 3 of the 1932 World Series conjured one of the most legendary moments in all of sports. Babe Ruth, baseball’s Great Bambino, approached the plate, squared his shoulders, and pointed out across the field towards the center stands – a simple gesture to implicate that’s where the ball would go. On the immediate ensuing pitch, Ruth swung, and the rest is history. It is perhaps the most extraordinary sports tale of the twentieth century and certainly the greatest story at the heart of baseball.