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1999 Year in Review

Top Sports Moments

From one of the worst black eyes in boxing history to Robin Ventura's stunning "Grand Slam Single."

by John Gettings, Mike Morrison, & Gerry Brown
Van de Velde Collapses | Gray vs. Rose | Charismatic Tries for 3 | Cone's Masterpiece | Holyfield-Lewis | Stanley Cup | Honoring Ted Williams | Grand Slam Single | Ryder Cup | Women's World Cup

Jean Van de Velde Collapses It may have been even more difficult for us to watch than it was for him to play. At least that's the way he made it seem. Needing just a double-bogey six on the 18th hole of the final round at Carnoustie to win the British Open, the affable Frenchman played far too aggressively and came away with a seven. It forced a three-way playoff, which Van de Velde eventually lost. But he managed to keep a smile throughout the whole ordeal.
Jim Gray vs. Pete Rose During an interview at the All-Century Team ceremonies before Game 2 of the World Series, NBC on-field reporter Jim Gray delivered such relentlessly probing questions to Pete Rose that it actually turned the dishonored baseball star into a victim. NBC and sports radio shows were flooded with calls from irate fans for days afterward. While Rose, who still doesn't admit to any wrongdoing, certainly deserves all of the journalistic attacks he has received, this probably wasn't the best setting for it this time.
Van de Velde Collapses | Gray vs. Rose | Charismatic Tries for 3 | Cone's Masterpiece | Holyfield-Lewis | Stanley Cup | Honoring Ted Williams | Grand Slam Single | Ryder Cup | Women's World Cup | Top

Charismatic Tries to Leg Out a Triple—D. Wayne Lukas' Charismatic made a serious bid to win thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown and lived up to his name in the process. As a 31-to-1 underdog, he stunned the field by winning the Kentucky Derby and then followed it up two weeks later with a win at the Preakness. His bid was thwarted at the Belmont as he finished in third and pulled up lame with a broken leg at the finish, where jockey Chris Antley leapt off the horse and placed himself in harm's way to prevent further damage to the horse's leg.
Cone's Masterpiece The stage was set for a great day at Yankee Stadium on July 18. It was Yankees' Old-Timers Day and two Yankees legends, Yogi Berra and Don Larsen, were on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch and re-enact Larsen's World Series perfect game in 1956. Berra borrowed current Yankee catcher Joe Girardi's glove to receive the pitch. Girardi then took the glove back to catch David Cone against the Montreal Expos. It couldn't have been scripted any better. 27 Expos up, 27 set down. Perfection and a 6-0 Yankees win.
Van de Velde Collapses | Gray vs. Rose | Charismatic Tries for 3 | Cone's Masterpiece | Holyfield-Lewis | Stanley Cup | Honoring Ted Williams | Grand Slam Single | Ryder Cup | Women's World Cup | Top

Holyfield-Lewis, Part I It was one of the worst black eyes delivered to the sport of boxing in recent years. And it didn't even involve Mike Tyson. The long-awaited heavyweight championship bout between Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis finally took place on March 13 in New York. Most viewers at home and virtually every ringside observer watched Lewis soundly defeat the 36-year-old Holyfield. But not the judges, who evidently watched a different fight and inexplicably ruled the fight a draw. Lewis eventually won the belts and a bit of justice by beating Holyfield in their rematch in November, but the absurdity of the decision in March still has many wondering how legitimate the sport really is.
Stanley Cup: No Goal Brett Hull collected his own rebound and scored the game-winning goal in triple overtime of Game 6 to give the Dallas Stars their first Stanley Cup victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Or did he? Replays clearly showed Hull's skate in the goal crease before the puck, which would make it an illegal goal. Yet with the celebration already underway on the ice, the league let the goal stand. Just a few days later, commissioner Gary Bettman responded with a new, relaxed version of the crease rule which essentially took the decision away from the video judges and gave it back to the on-ice officials. Too little, too late for the Sabres and their fans. The goal shouldn't have counted.
Van de Velde Collapses | Gray vs. Rose | Charismatic Tries for 3 | Cone's Masterpiece | Holyfield-Lewis | Stanley Cup | Honoring Ted Williams | Grand Slam Single | Ryder Cup | Women's World Cup | Top

Baseball's All-Stars Gather Around Ted Williams You aren't a baseball fan if you didn't feel a lump in your throat while watching Ted Williams come home to Fenway Park, before the 70th All-Star Game, and the impulsive reaction of today's all-stars to crowd around him. It was an interaction that we wished could have gone on for hours. It was simply Ted talking about baseball's "good old days" to some young whippersnappers named Ken Jr., Nomar, Cal, Tony and Mark.
Robin Ventura's "Grand Slam Single" The Atlanta Braves and N.Y. Mets labored through almost six hours of baseball in the late hours of Oct. 17, a rainy night in Queens. The Braves mercifully scratched out a 3-2 lead in the top of the 15th inning, but watched as the Mets loaded the bases and tied the game in the bottom half. Needing just one more run to win it, third baseman Robin Ventura launched a home run that caused a celebration that nearly dried up the rain. He was mobbed before he could reach second base and it wasn't until the next day scorekeepers came up with the phrase, "grand slam single."
Van de Velde Collapses | Gray vs. Rose | Charismatic Tries for 3 | Cone's Masterpiece | Holyfield-Lewis | Stanley Cup | Honoring Ted Williams | Grand Slam Single | Ryder Cup | Women's World Cup | Top

Justin Leonard's Ryder Cup-winning Putt The U.S. was trailing by four points heading into the Ryder Cup's final day. No team had ever come back from that far behind. Leonard helped the team march back into contention and his 40-foot putt on the 17th hole is one for the golf history books. The putt secured the half-point the U.S. needed to take home the cup and it set off a celebration that had repercussions that lasted for weeks and spread over two continents.
Women's World Cup Triumph Culminating with the year's most remarkable image, the U.S. women's soccer team's victory at the World Cup will be remembered for more than just Brandi Chastain's shirt-waving celebration. After all, women's soccer was ignored by network television during the 1996 Olympics. Three years later it's being broadcast live and witnessed by the largest crowd in women's sports history. The excitement that built during the final match tie with China and raucous shootout was unmatched by any sports moment of 1999.
Van de Velde Collapses | Gray vs. Rose | Charismatic Tries for 3 | Cone's Masterpiece | Holyfield-Lewis | Stanley Cup | Honoring Ted Williams | Grand Slam Single | Ryder Cup | Women's World Cup | Top

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