The top sports moments to happen within the city itself, including neutral-site matchups such as college bowl games, super bowls, NCAA Tournaments, etc. The 1951 National League pennant was won when New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson blasted a walk-off homer against the Brooklyn Dodgers at the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan. Thomson's "Shot Heard Round the World" was celebrated by U.S. servicemen fighting in the Korean War who listened to the radio broadcast overseas. Each team's radio broadcast featured a legend -- Ernie Harwell for the Giants and Red Barber for the Dodgers.
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1954 World Series
Vic Wertz of the Cleveland Indians blasted a shot to deep center field in the top of the eighth inning of Game 1 of the 1954 World Series at the Polo Grounds in New York. With the game tied and two men on base, a hit would have given the Indians the lead. But New York Giants' future Hall of Famer Willie Mays made one of the most spectacular catches in baseball history, tracking the ball down on the run and stretching out his glove for the over-the-shoulder catch. It helped the Giants go on to a Series sweep.
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1958 NFL Championship Game
The Baltimore Colts met the New York Giants at Yankee Stadium in 1958 for the NFL Championship game. The Colts outlasted the G-men 23-17 thanks to a one-yard touchdown run by Alan Ameche in the first sudden-death overtime in league history. The game was televised on NBC to a national audience of more than 50 million viewers, helping launch the NFL's popularity across the country. And, with 17 future Hall of Famers on the field, including legendary Colts' QB Johnny Unitas, it's no surprise it was immortalized in football lore as The Greatest Game Ever Played.
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1969 World Series
The "Miracle Mets" came back from a 3-0 deficit in Game 5 of the 1969 World Series at Shea Stadium to finish off the Baltimore Orioles and complete one of the most stunning underdog stories in sports history. In just their eighth season of existence, the Mets won baseball's highest crown in their first winning season in franchise history. A one-two punch of future Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver helped New York beat an Orioles team loaded with such talent as Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson.
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1971 Ali-Frazier I: "Fight of the Century"
Smokin' Joe Frazier took on undefeated challenger Muhammad Ali on March 8, 1971 at Madison Square Garden in one of the most anticipated matchups in boxing history. Ali came in after missing a chunk of his prime years due to legal woes related to anti-war protest. Once in the ring, the two put on a show. Frazier outlasted Ali and won by unanimous decision, the first of three intense bouts between these two legends.
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1970 NBA Finals
In Game 6 of the 1970 NBA Finals, Knicks center Willis Reed sat on the bench, nursing a torn right thigh muscle, while Lakers star big man Wilt Chamberlain scored 45 points and grabbed 27 rebounds, sending the series to a Game 7 in New York. Fans and players alike assumed Reed wouldn't play in the series finale, until the captain came limping out of the locker room just moments before tipoff. Reed played through the pain, scoring just four points but providing enough of an emotional spark to lead the Knicks to the franchise's first NBA title.
7 of 10Walter Iooss Jr./SI
1977 World Series Game 6
The Yankees held a 3-2 series lead over the Dodgers when the 1977 World Series headed back to New York. After spotting Los Angeles a 2-run first-inning lead, the Yanks roared back thanks to one of the greatest hitting performances in World Series history from outfielder Reggie Jackson. Mr. October, as he would come to be named, hit home runs in the fourth, fifth and eighth innings -- each on the first pitch of the at-bat -- prompting the crowd to chant "Reg-gie! Reg-gie!" and giving the Yankees their 21st World Series title.
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1986 World Series Game 6
The Red Sox jumped to a 3-2 series lead in the 1986 World Series and looked to wrap up the titlewhen the teams headed back to New York. But with Game 6 tied with 2 outs in the bottom of the10th inning, Mets' left fielder Mookie Wilson bounced a grounder toward first base, where Boston first baseman Bill Buckner allowed the ball to squirt between his legs. Ray Knight scored from second to give the Mets the series-tying win. New York carried the momentum to a Game 7 victory and its second World Series championship.
9 of 10David E. Klutho/SI
1994 Stanley Cup finals
The Rangers and Canucks squared off at Madison Square Garden for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals with New York hoping to end a 54-year championship drought. On the strength of Mark Messier's winning goal, the Rangers took home the hardware, and Messier was deemed "Mr. June" by New Yorkers. The championship was the Rangers' fourth in franchise history. Brian Leetch was named series MVP.
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1995 -- Reggie Miller scores 8 points in 8.9 seconds to beat the Knicks
It may not be a pleasant memory for New Yorkers, but considering the way Reggie Miller's feuds with the Knicks and No. 1 fan Spike Lee infiltrated pop culture, it has to be considered a city legend. At the height of the Knicks-Pacers rivalry of the 1990s, Miller delivered the dagger. The Knicks held a 105-99 lead with less than 20 seconds left before Miller stunned the crowd at Madison Square Garden by pouring in an incredible 8 points (including back-to-back threes) in a span of 8.9 seconds to bury New York in Game 1. Miller scored 31 points in all, earning him the nickname "The Knick Killer." Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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