The top sports moments to happen within the city itself, including neutral-site matchups such as college bowl games, super bowls, NCAA Tournaments, etc. After tying Babe Ruth's career home run record just days earlier in Cincinnati, Hank Aaron returned to Atlanta, where he blasted his record-setting home run in front of the home crowd. On April 8, 1974, Aaron sent a pitch off Los Angeles' Al Downing into the home bullpen at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, nicknamed "The Launching Pad." More than 53,000 fans were in attendance as Aaron circled the bases as baseball's new home run king.
2 of 10Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images
1992 Otis Nixon "The Catch"
Atlanta's version of "The Catch" occurred on July 25, 1992 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium as the Braves took on the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Braves held a 1-0 lead in the top of the ninth inning as Andy Van Slyke walked to the plate with the tying run on first base. Slyke blasted the potential game-winning homer to deep right-center field. Nixon gave chase, and then leaped into the air, using the outfield wall for a boost, and caught the long drive leaning while over the fence. The Catch saved the game for Atlanta.
3 of 10John Iacono/SI
1995 World Series
The Braves closed out the 1995 World Series with a 1-0 win in Game 6 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium behind eight innings of one-hit ball from Tom Glavine. The title was the Braves' first since the franchise moved to Atlanta, and a relief for a team that won division titles in 1991, 1992 and 1993 and league pennants in '91 and `92. As NBC's play-by-play man Bob Costas put it, "the team of the '90s has its World Championship!"
4 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
Atlanta played host to the 1996 Summer Olympics, unofficially known as the "Centennial Olympics." Athletes from 197 nations competed in 271 events in over 26 different sports from July 19 to August 4. The Games were highlighted by the heroics of American gymnast Kerri Strug and the USA women's soccer team, but also marred by the Centennial Olympic Park bombing on July 27.
5 of 10Mark Cowan/Icon SMI
2000 Super Bowl XXXIV
The first half of Super Bowl XXXIV was a defensive struggle, surprising for two teams with great quarterbacks -- Kurt Warner of the Rams and Steve McNair of the Titans. Facing a 9-0 deficit to start the second half, the Titans came back and eventually tied the game at 16 with 2:12 remaining in the fourth quarter. But Warner found Isaac Bruce open deep for a touchdown, giving Tennessee one last drive, trailing by seven. The Titans marched to the St. Louis 10-yard line, but on the last play of the game, Rams' linebacker Mike Jones stopped Titan's wideout Kevin Dyson one yard short of the end zone, preventing the game-tying score and giving the Rams their lone Super Bowl title.
6 of 10AP
2001 Michael Vick's Debut
On Sept. 23, 2001, Michael Vick made his home debut for the Atlanta Falcons against the Carolina Panthers. The No. 1 pick in the 2001 NFL Draft, Vick made an immediate impression with the fans in Atlanta, scoring his first NFL touchdown on a 2-yard run in the fourth quarter and helping the Falcons beat the Panthers.
7 of 10Jamie Squire/Getty Images
2003 NBA All-Star game
Fans packed Philips Arena in downtown Atlanta for what became the last All-Star game of Michael Jordan's career. And when Jordan hit a vintage fadeaway jumper to give the East a two-point lead in the waning seconds of overtime, it seemed there would be a storybook ending. But Kobe Bryant drew a foul and sent the game into a second overtime before the West's Kevin Garnett took over, leading the Western Conference to a 155-145 lead. Garnett finished with 37 points and was named MVP in the only NBA All-Star game to go into double overtime.
8 of 10Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
2006 Chick fil a Bowl
When the Hokies and Bulldogs met in Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Bowl in 2006, more than 75,400 fans were in attendance, making it the largest crowd ever to attend an event at the Georgia Dome. Virginia Tech dashed to a 21-3 lead in the first half before the Bulldogs fought all the way back against Tech's No. 1-ranked defense to take a 31-24 lead late in the game. The Hokies' Hail Mary attempt fell short, completing Georgia's epic comeback.
9 of 10Bob Rosato/SI
2007 NCAA Tournament
Florida and Ohio State met in the NCAA Tournament final in 2007 at the Georgia Dome, pitting the defending champion Gators against man-child Greg Oden's Buckeyes. Oden, the eventual top pick in the NBA Draft that year, scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, but Florida won 84-75 thanks to the outstanding play of its starting five -- the same five that had won it all the previous season.
10 of 10Bill Frakes/SI
2008 SEC Championship Game
Billed as a "play-in" game for the BCS National Championship, the SEC Championship in Atlanta was one of the most anticipated games of the 2008 college football season. No.1 Alabama came in with an undefeated record, while the No. 2 Gators had just one loss on their schedule. The Crimson Tide held a three-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, but the Gators came out on top thanks to the extraordinary play of quarterback Tim Tebow, who threw for 216 yards and three touchdowns. Florida went on to win its second national championship in three years. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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