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Sports Then and Now



60 Years Ago: The Shot Heard ‘Round the World 9

Posted on October 03, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Bobby Thomson raced around the bases and into baseball immortality with his pennant-winning home run in 1951.

Sixty years before Evan Longoria’s home run lifted the Tampa Bay Rays into the baseball playoffs and completed the greatest September rally in baseball history, there was another home run that completed another improbable comeback. It was on October 3, 1951 that Bobby Thomson blasted the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” that lifted the New York Giants into the 1951 World Series.

The 1951 National League playoff race was to its generation what the 1978 Yankees-Red Sox race was to fans 27 years later and the September Wild Card rally of the Rays and Cardinals to current fans. The Dodgers led the Giants by 13 games on August 11th, only to watch the lead disintegrate over the final seven weeks as Brooklyn went 26-22 in their final 48 regular season games.

At the same time, the New York Giants went 37-7 after August 11th to catch the Dodgers and force a three-game playoff. Read the rest of this entry →

Do You Believe in Miracles? Top 20 “Miracles” in Sports History 4

Posted on February 22, 2011 by A.J. Foss

31 years ago the U.S. Olympic Hockey team performed the greatest miracle in sports history.

Thirty-one years ago today, the United States Olympic Hockey team shocked the Soviet Union in a moment that became known as the “Miracle On Ice”.

With that in mind, here is a list of the 20 most memorable miracles in sports history.

The criteria for this list is that the moment or series of moments must have “miracle” in the title.

20. Miracle on Fourth Avenue (College Football) November 13, 1982

Years before the “Music City Miracle”, there was the “Miracle on Fourth Avenue”.

With 17 seconds to go and the game tied at 27-27 after a Texas Tech field goal, the SMU Mustangs

took the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown when Blaine Smith picked up a squib kick and fired a lateral across his nine-yard-line to Bobby Leach, who caught the ball after one bounce and raced down the sidelines for a 91-yard touchdown to give the #2 Mustangs a 34-27 win and kept their undefeated season alive.

SMU would finish the season with a 10-0-1 record and #2 in both major polls.

Note: The game was played at Texas Tech’s football stadium, Jones Stadium, located on Fourth Avenue.

19. Miracle on 33rd Street (NFL) Fall 1975

After a 1-4 start, it appeared that the Baltimore Colts on their way to another bad season following a 2-12 effort in 1974.

But in a remarkable turnaround, the Colts won their last nine games to finish the season with a 10-4 record and win the first of three straight AFC East titles.

This led to NFL Films titling the team’s 1975 highlight film as “Miracle on 33rd Street”.

Note: The Colts played their games at Memorial Stadium, which was located on 33rd Street in Baltimore. Read the rest of this entry →

Bobby Thomson’s Greatest Moment Will Live Forever 2

Posted on August 17, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Bobby Thomson raced around the bases and into baseball immortality with his pennant-winning home run in 1951.

One hundred and seventy five players in baseball history have hit more home runs than the 264 blasted by Bobby Thomson during his 15-year major league career. However, it is arguable that no one has ever hit a more memorable homer than his “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” that lifted the New York Giants into the 1951 World Series.

Thomson passed away Monday at the age of 86 after a long illness, but his home run in the ninth inning of the final game of a three-game playoff between the Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers will live on forever.

The 1951 National League playoff race was to its generation what the 1978 Yankees-Red Sox race was to fans 27 years later. The Dodgers led the Giants by 13 games on August 11th, only to watch the lead disintegrate over the final seven weeks as Brooklyn went 26-22 in their final 48 regular season games.

At the same time, the New York Giants went 37-7 after August 11th to catch the Dodgers and force a three-game playoff. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

      Read more »

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