Sports Throwback Thursday: Mickey Mantle, Wilt Chamberlain

Welcome to Sports Throwback Thursday! We have a good one to discuss today featuring two iconic legends: Mickey Mantle and Wilt Chamberlain. Yesterday, we marked the 54th anniversary since Mickey Mantle announced his retirement. Sixty-one years ago today, Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a single game. A record that he still holds to this day. 

Mickey Mantle is one of the greatest to wear the Pinstripe uniform and one of the greatest baseball players ever. Over his 18-year career with the New York Yankees, he won seven World Series titles and the AL MVP three times. In 1969, he announced his retirement from the game of baseball. 

Wilt Chamberlain is one of the most dominant centers ever to play the game of basketball. Wilt might have passed away over 20 years, but he is still talked about by players and is one of the most revered players ever. It’s been 61 years since he scored 100 points. Kobe Bryant, Donovan Mitchell, Damian Lillard, and David Robinson have come the closest to that record, especially the late great Kobe Bryant. We don’t know if we will ever see someone break the record, but anything is possible. Look at Lebron James. He surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the NBAs all-time scoring list – a record that no one thought would ever break. Let’s see if the same thing can happen to Wilt’s record in the future. 

FILE – Wilt Chamberlain, of the Philadelphia Warriors, holds a sign reading “100” in the dressing room in Hershey, Pa., March 2, 1962, after he scored 100 points, as the Warriors defeated the New York Knicks. Wednesday marks the 60th anniversary of the greatest scoring effort in NBA history — 36 field goals, 28 free throws, 100 points for Chamberlain, in the Warriors’ 169-147 win in a game played before about 4,000 people in Hershey. It might be the closest thing the NBA has to a single-game record that will never be broken. (AP Photo/Paul Vathis, File)

Sports Throwback Thursday: Super Bowl XXXVII (Raiders vs. Bucs)

Oakland Raiders took on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII. It’s been 20 years since these two red-hot teams collided in San Diego, California. You had the top-ranked defense versus the top-ranked offense. The raiders had a great offense, but their weakness was their defense. Jon Gruden coached the Oakland Raiders from 1998 to 2001. Gruden was traded to the Bucs for two draft picks and 8 million dollars. Gruden was out for revenge to beat his old team and let them know they had made a mistake by letting him go. 

Jon Gruden knew Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon. He knew his game, and Gannon loves to pump fake a lot before he threw the ball. Gruden prepared his defense for the assignment. From the start of the game, Raiders had no chance. Bucs’ defense annihilated the Raiders. Bucs intercepted Gannon five times, and 3 of them returned for a touchdown. Raiders wide receiver Jerry Rice didn’t catch a ball until the third quarter. 

Derrick Brooks out the exclamation mark in the fourth quarter when they got the interception. Bucs won the game 48-21 and their first Super Bowl in franchise history. John Lynch, Derrick Brooks, and Warren Sapp were the key leaders of their defense and have been together since 1995. At 39, Jon Gruden became the youngest head coach to win the Super Bowl.

The 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers had one of the greatest defenses of all time. Derrick Brooks won Defensive Player of the Year that season. 

Sports Throwback Thursday: Donnie Baseball in the 1980s

We will not end this Thursday (the day before Friday) without giving you the only Sports Throwback Thursday. On today’s Sports Throwback Thursday, we will chat a little bit about the greatness of Don Mattingly in the 1980s. He put up staggering numbers.

From 1984 to 1986, Donnie Baseball hit 89 home runs and 145 doubles. He batted .340 and struck out 109 times. In today’s game, players are striking out over 200 times. When Donnie is healthy, he’s Tony Gwynn with power. He’s, without a doubt, one of the greatest hitters of all time and arguably the best hitters of the 1980s. 

Donnie retired after the 1995 season. He was one season short of winning a championship with the Yankees. Mattingly is not in the hall of fame, but I wish Donnie were in the hall of fame. I’m a harsh grader regarding who should be in the hall of fame, but I can make an exception for Donnie’s baseball because he was a special player for this franchise. 

Sports Throwback Thursday: The Jeff Bagwell Trade

The Jeff Bagwell trade is one of the most blessings in disguise trades and one of the most one-sided trades in MLB history. Boston Red Sox had no idea what the future would be like when they traded away their young prospect at the time, Jeff Bagwell.

Boston Red Sox, we’re looking to get more vital for the 1990 playoffs. They felt they need an arm to help bolster their bullpen. The club decided to trade Jeff Bagwell to Houston Astros for reliever 37-year-old Larry Andersen. 

Andersen was past his prime and heading towards the end of his career. He had an average fastball but a great slider, which gravitated toward the Red Sox about him. But the honeymoon was short-lived. The trade didn’t meet Red Sox expectations. Andersen would pitch just one month for the Red Sox. As for Bagwell, his career took off in ways the Red Sox management could’ve not imagined. 

Bagwell went on to play for 15 seasons with the Houston Astros. He won the NL Rookie of the Year in 1991, the NL MVP in 1994, and became a 4-time All-Star. He hit 449 career home runs. Bagwell became part of a deadly Astros lineup with his longtime teammate, Craig Biggio, which they were known as the “Killer B’s.” Bagwell also played with Moises Alou, Ken Caminiti, Carlos Beltran, and Lance Berkman. Houston finished first or second in the NL Central division in eleven seasons from 1994 to 2005 – making the playoffs six times during those years. Bagwell made his only World Series appearance in 2005 but lost to the Chicago White Sox.

Bagwell was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017. We wonder, “what if” the Red Sox never traded away Jeff Bagwell? Houston was lucky to have him in the organization for 15 years. 

Sports Throwback Thursday: 1994 MLB All-Star Game

Since the all-star game is right on the corner, we must rise it back to 1994. Yes, it was the lockout season, but the 1994 All-Star Game is one of the greatest All-Star Game of all time. The game took place at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh.

NBC made its return to baseball with the coverage of the All-Star Game. Bob Costas’s introduction with the Jurassic Park theme music can give you chills. Baseball is a magnificent sport and brings all different kinds of people together. Well, at least in the classic years of baseball. NBC had an outstanding baseball broadcaster: Bob Costas, Joe Morgan, Bob Ucker, Hannah Storm, Greg Gumbel, and Johnny Bench for the All-Star Game.

In this game, there were so many big names, and a few of them are no longer with us. Rest In Peace, Toby Gwynn, Ken Caminiti, Don Baylor, and Rod Beck. Stars like Ken Griffey Jr and Frank Thomas were having an incredible year. Honorable Mention: Matt Williams and Paul O’Neill. 

While trailing 7-5 in the bottom of the 9th inning, with one man on base, Braves slugger Fred McGriff hit a 2-run home run over the left-center field to tie the game at seven and send the game to extra innings. In the bottom of the 10th inning, Mr. Padre Tony Gwynn chopped a single through the box with no one out. Montreal Expos’ Moisés Alou hit a double that short-hopped the left-center field wall. Gwynn was waved all the way home from first base and slid just under Pudge Rodriguez’s tag to end the game. Gywnn’s showing emotion is the best part of this classical All-Star Game. 

July 12th marked 28 years. Here’s the image from our Instagram page.

Sports Throwback Thursday: 2012 ECF

Welcome to Sports Throwback Thursday! Today’s throwback Thursday will be a good one. Why? We are going to take it back to 2012. It’s been ten years since we saw the great rivalry between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Celtics Big 3 (Pierce, KG, and Allen) versus Miami’s Big 3 (LeBron, D-Wade, and Bosh). It’s funny that both teams are currently playing in the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals, with the Celtics leading the series 3-2. Now, let’s look back at the recap of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals. 

This series marked the third straight year that the Heat and Celtics faced each other in the playoffs. They met each other in the Eastern Conference First Round in 2010 (won by the Celtics, 4–1) and in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2011 (won by the Heat, 4–1). In addition, LeBron faced the Celtics for the third straight year in the playoffs. The LeBron-led Cavs also faced the Celtics in 2010 only to be defeated 4–2, which led to James’ arrival on the Heat. In this series, many thought that the Celtics would get “steamrolled” by the Heat. Boy, was so many people wrong. 

In Game 1, behind a big second half, the Heat defeated the Celtics 93–79 to take a 1–0 series lead. Game 2 was very different, with the Celtics starting very strong. Midway through the second quarter, a Rondo jumper extended their lead to 15. However, the Heat cut it to 7 at halftime. By the fourth quarter, the game was tight. With Miami leading 99–96 with 34 seconds left, Allen made a 3 to tie it. It eventually sent the game to OT, with James missing two chances to win the game. Miami would win 115–111 to take a 2–0 series lead. 

In Game 3, the Celtics got strong performances from Rondo, Garnett, and Pierce. LeBron was also hot in the first quarter, scoring 16 points and making 7 of his first nine shots. Celtics outscored the Heat a combined 55–35 in the two quarters as they had an 85–63 lead heading into the fourth. Boston held on for a 101–91 victory to make it 2–1. Game 4 was the same story, with the Celtics hitting several 3’s and putting on a lead as big as 18. Miami rallied back in the third and fourth quarters. The game went to overtime; it’s the second overtime game of the series. Wade missed a potential game-winning three at the buzzer, giving the Celtics a 93–91 win to tie the series. 

Game 5 is one of my favorite games of the series because of how hard both teams fought in the game, especially by guys like Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. With the Celtics leading by 1 with less than a minute to go, Pierce knocked down a crucial three-pointer over Lebron that gave the Celtics the lead for good. I remember Pierce saying, “he can’t guard me.” Celtics grabbed Game 5 on the road, and the Celtics proceeded to lead the series, 3–2, with a 94–90 win in Game 5. 

Game 6 became the most crucial game for Lebron James’ career. It changed the series’s momentum and the season for the Miami Heat. James had one of his best playoff games, scoring 45 points and getting 15 rebounds; 30 of his 45 came in the first half alone. A one-man show at the TD Garden. He was at ease and looked completely scary to watch. He was in the zone, not smiling, absolutely dominated, and demolished the Celtics. Heat blow out the Celtics in Game 6 with a 98–79 victory to send the series back to Miami for a seventh and deciding game.  

In Game 7, the Celtics started strong, but they ran out of gas by the second half, especially in the fourth quarter. The Celtics never recovered as the Heat booked a return trip to the Finals with a 101–88 Game 7 win in Miami. The game marked the end of the Celtics’ Big 3. It was an emotional moment between Doc Rivers and those players. Miami went on to win the championship by defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games. 

2012 Playoff Leaders:

PTS: LeBron James (697)

TRB: LeBron James (224)

AST: Rajon Rondo (227)

WS: LeBron James (5.8)

Sports Throwback Thursday: 1990 & 1992 Royal Rumble

In this week’s Sports Throwback Thursday, I’m going to highlight my favorite moments of the 1990 and 1992 Royal Rumble pay-per-view event.

1990 Royal Rumble

During this time, I liked the Ultimate Warrior in the company. He was at the peak of his career during the 1990 Royal Rumble. His looks, promos, and in-ring work were outstanding. He was so hot at the time. My favorite moment in the 1990 Royal Rumble is when Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan clash. Everyone in the arena got up on their feet because they knew the fight was on. Warrior vs. Hogan is one of the best rivalries in WWE history. Hogan would win the Royal Rumble match by eliminating Mr. Perfect. Hogan was also the WWF champion at the time.

1992 Royal Rumble

Thanks to Peacock, the 1992 Royal Rumble is one of the most fantastic Royal Rumble events I’ve ever seen. I won’t mind if people think it’s the greatest Royal Rumble pay-per-view ever. It’s undoubtedly one of my favorites. Ric Flair was the star of this pay-per-view event. Having Flair enter the ring as No. 3 instead of No. 1 was the right call. Flair spent almost an hour during the Royal Rumble match and still managed to give great promos is astonishing. We saw the excellent characteristics of Ric Flair in one night. I’m glad he won this Royal Rumble.

“WITH A TEAR IN MY EYE, THIS IS THE GREATEST MOMENT IN MY LIFE.” An unforgettable line from the Nature Boy.

Sports Throwback Thursday: Tracy McGrady’s 13 Points in 35 Seconds

Seventeen years ago, Tracy McGrady did the unthinkable: he dropped 13 points in the last 35 seconds of a game against the Spurs to win it for the Rockets.

The game was televised on NBA on TNT. The play-by-play announced for this game was the legend Marv Albert. No one expected what was about to happen in the last minute of the game. The game was pretty much over. Rockets have no chance to come back and win. T-Mac had other ideas.

McGrady got the ball one more time after Spurs guard Devin Brown fell down in the corner of the Spurs’ frontcourt with 7.9 seconds remaining, the Spurs leading 80-78. T-Mac hit the game-winner with a three. The crowd went crazy.

The Spurs were stunned. They squandered a 10-point lead to the Rockets with 1:02 remaining – and it got snatched away by McGrady’s heroics.

Sports Throwback Thursday: Jack Sikma

Today’s Sports Throwback Thursday belongs to the hall of Famer Jack Sikma. One of the best centers of his generation.

Not too many people know or have forgotten about Jack Sikma. He was a terrific professional basketball player. In his college career at Illinois Wesleyan, Sikma is the school’s all-time leading scorer (2,272 points) and rebounder (1,405). In his last three seasons, the Titans won College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin championships and advanced to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics tournament in Kansas City. Sikma was a three-time NAIA All-American and was the top vote-getter as an Associated Press College Division All-American as a senior when he averaged 27.0 points and 15.4 rebounds. In four years, his teams went 83-32, and he was chosen as the CCIW’s most outstanding player for three straight years.

Sikma was the No. 8 pick in the first round of the 1977 NBA draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. Sikma scored 17,287 points, got 10,816 rebounds in the NBA, and was a key player on Seattle’s 1979 NBA championship team. He holds Seattle’s team records for rebounds (7,729) and free throws made (3,044).

Sikma is the only center to have led the NBA in free-throw shooting percentage, converting 92.2 percent in 1987-88 with the Milwaukee Bucks. His jersey has been retired by Illinois Wesleyan and the Seattle SuperSonics.

In 1999, Sikma became a member of the CoSIDA Academic All-American Hall of Fame.

He was inducted into the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017, the NAIA Hall of Fame, and was a member of the NAIA 50th & 75th All-Anniversary Teams. In 2019, Sikma joined the fraternity of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

The impressive illustrious career that Jack Sikma made for himself. All work ethic, talent, and commitment.

Sports Throwback Thursday: Sep 1, 1971

Welcome to Sports Throwback Thursday! On today’s edition of Sports Throwback Thursday, it belong to the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates. 50 years ago, they made history and didn’t even notice how impact it will be. Nine players took the field and they were of Black or Latin descent.

Back in 1971, the Pirates stadium used to be called Three Rivers Stadium. It must’ve been cool to witness history right in front of your eyes. The nine players that took the field were – Rennie Stennett, Gene Clines, Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Manny Sanguillen, Dave Cash, Al Oliver, Jackie Hernandez, and Dock Ellis.