Greatest Moments in Boston Sports History
1965 Eastern Conference Finals Game 7
The top sports moments to happen within the city itself, including neutral-site matchups such as college bowl games, super bowls, NCAA Tournaments, etc. In one of the most famous finishes in NBA history, Boston's all-time leading scorer came up big on defense. The Celtics were clinging to a one-point lead in Game 7 of the Finals, but Wilt Chamberlain and the Philadelphia 76ers threatened to end Boston's dynasty. In the waning seconds, John Havlicek snuck in front of Philly's Chet Walker, intercepting the inbounds pass from Hall of Fame guard Hal Greer. The play sealed the series for the Celtics, and longtime Boston announcer Johnny Most's radio call -- "Havlicek Stole the Ball!" -- is one of the most well-known in basketball history. The C's went on to win their seventh consecutive NBA championship.
"The Impossible Dream" 1967 AL pennant
After hovering around .500 for a few months and losing young star Tony Conigliaro to a beanball, Boston made a legendary run at season's end. Four teams sat within a half-game of the AL pennant with a month to go, and on the last day of the season, the Red Sox faced the Twins, both teams battling the Tigers for the AL crown. The Sox beat Minnesota at Fenway during the day, and then huddled around a radio to hear the Tigers lose, giving Boston the AL pennant in the season deemed "The Impossible Dream."
1970 Stanley Cup Finals
With the Bruins holding a hammerlock 3-0 series lead over the Blues in the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals, St. Louis fought Boston to a 3-3 tie in regulation of Game 4 at The Garden, forcing overtime. Just 40 seconds into the extra period, Boston's Bobby Orr scored one of the most iconic goals in hockey history. Not only did his goal win the game and the Cup for the Bruins, but also the image of Orr flying through the air with arms raised is arguably the most famous on-ice freeze frame moment of all-time. Orr's goal has been immortalized in statues, paintings and more.
1975 World Series Game 6
Carlton Fisk's walk-off home run in the bottom of the 12th inning is considered one of the most dramatic moments in baseball history. Fisk hit a high fly ball down the left-field line toward the corner of the Green Monster and began "waving it fair," flailing his arms in hopes of urging the ball to stay in fair territory. It did, and the Red Sox evened the Series with the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds won Game 7, but legendary Reds catcher Johnny Bench likened the sixth game to a heavyweight title fight.
1984 NBA Finals Game 7
After L.A. made the NBA Finals in consecutive seasons while the Celtics sat at home, Boston was determined to re-ignite the legendary rivalry on the game's biggest stage. The Celtics met the Lakers in the 1984 NBA Finals in a series that featured eight future Hall of Famers and seven epic games. Magic Johnson averaged 18 points and 14 assists per game in the Finals, while regular season MVP Larry Bird led the Celtics with 27 points and 14 rebounds per game. Game 7 in Boston was the climax of an all-out war of a series. Boston held a 13-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter, but the Lakers closed to within three with just over a minute to play. The C's resisted, though, and came out on top with a 111-102 win at home, led by 24 points from Cedric Maxwell.
1987 Eastern Conference Finals Game 5
The tough, young Pistons met the aging champions in the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals, and late in Game 5 of a 2-2 series, Detroit was set to inbound the ball in the backcourt with a one-point lead. With less than five ticks on the clock, Celtics great Larry Bird read the eyes of Pistons guard Isiah Thomas and cut in front of the inbounds pass intended for Bill Laimbeer. Bird somehow kept his balance while tiptoeing the sideline and found a cutting teammate -- guard Dennis Johnson -- who laid the ball off the glass and into the hoop. The Celtics won 108-107 and went on to take the series in seven games.
2002 AFC Divisional Playoff
Tom Brady got the Patriots' dynasty started with one controversial play near the end of a 2002 NFL divisional playoff game between the Patriots and Raiders. Brady dropped back to pass, and just as he began his throwing motion, had the ball knocked out of his hands, seemingly a fumble that gave the Raiders the victory. But officials reviewed the play and ruled that Brady brought the ball to his body as part of his throwing motion, thus coining the "tuck rule" and igniting a league-wide debate.
2004 ALCS Game 4
The Red Sox faced defeat, down three games to none to the rival Yankees. Common knowledge said no team could come back from down 3-0, especially against New York. And when Yanks' closer Mariano Rivera entered the game to close things out with a one-run lead, it looked bleak. But a walk, a stolen base by pinch-runner Dave Roberts and a single by Bill Mueller brought the Sox even. In the bottom of the 12th inning, David Ortiz blasted a walk-off bomb. Boston won the game and carried the momentum to a historic series win. The Sox went on to win the World Series, their first since 1918.
2008 NBA Finals Game 6
The Celtics' championship-clinching victory in 2008 was one big Boston party. Led by Kevin Garnett's 26 points and 14 rebounds, and the exceptional play of young point guard Rajon Rondo (21 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 6 steals), Boston blew out the Lakers 131-92 at TD Banknorth Garden to capture the franchise's 17th NBA title, and first over the Lakers since 1984. By halftime the Celtics lead was over 20 points, prompting the crowd of more than 18,000 to begin the celebration in the third quarter.
2010 Boston Marathon
The most widely-viewed sports event of the year in New England is the Boston Marathon. About a half-million spectators catch a glimpse of the runners each year as thousands pack the sides of the winding course. In 2010, Kenyan runner Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot set the men's course record with a time of 2:05:52, and Ernst van Dyk of South Africa won the men's wheelchair marathon for the ninth time -- the most by any athlete in any category. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2011 Stanley Cup Finals
In 2011, the Bruins won their sixth Stanley Cup, defeating the Vancouver Canucks in seven games. Boston trailed 3-2 in the series, but won the final two games, including Game Seven on the road in Vancouver. Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, who didn't allow more than three goals in a game in the finals, was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs. It was Boston's first Stanley Cup championship since 1972.
2013 World Series
The Red Sox stormed back from a 2-1 series deficit to clinch Boston's third World Series in 10 years. Despite their recent success, this was actually the first World Series win the Red Sox celebrated at Fenway since 1918. The World series clinchers in 2004 and 2007 came in St. Louis and Colorado, respectively. David Ortiz continued his World Series excellence, batting .688 with a .760 on-base percentage, plus two home runs, to nab the series MVP. Ortiz's .454 career batting average in the World Series is the highest all-time among players with at least 50 plate appearances.