In a Detroit homecoming and farewell for retiring running back James Bettis, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat Seattle 21-10, tying Dallas and San Francisco for the most Super Bowl wins (5 apiece). Hines Ward was named the game's MVP after catching five passes for 123 yards and a touchdown.
2 of 21David E. Klutho/SI
Never mind that the St. Louis Cardinals barely made it into the playoffs with an 83-78 record. Once there, they proved they belonged by dispatching the San Diego Padres, New York Mets and, finally, the Detroit Tigers in five games to win their first World Series title since 1982. Shortstop David Eckstein hit .364 to bag the MVP honors.
3 of 21Bob Rosato/SI
Led by Finals MVP Dwayne Wade, the Miami Heat became only the third team in NBA history to come back from a 0-2 deficit in the championship series and win the title. Wade averaged 34.6 points over the six games against Dallas, winning his first ring and helping Shaquille O'Neal to his fourth championship.
4 of 21Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images
For the 10th consecutive season, the home team won the deciding game of the WNBA Finals, this time with Detroit outlasting Sacramento. MVP Deanna Nolan (14) averaged 17.8 points per game while leading the Shock to its second title in four years. Just as important, guard Katie Smith finally won her first WNBA title after nine seasons.
5 of 21David E. Klutho/SI
Playoff MVP Cam Ward (behind GM Jim Rutherford) became the third rookie goalie since 1971 to lead his team to the NHL title, and 16-year veteran Rod Brind'Amour (left of Ward) finally got to rejoice with the Cup as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the surprisingly resilient Edmonton Oilers in seven games.
6 of 21Simon Bruty/SI
After a 1-1 draw with France, Italy won 5-3 in a shootout in Berlin to clinch its fourth world title. The tournament set a record for yellow and red cards, including the ejection of French captain Zinedine Zidane following his infamous headbutt in the 107th minute of the final.
7 of 21Simon Bruty/SI
Phil Mickelson joined Tiger Woods as the only players in the last 20 years to win a major in three consecutive seasons. Lefty's two-shot victory was his second Masters title and it gave the 2005 PGA Champion back-to-back Grand Slam wins.
8 of 21Fred Vuich/SI
Geoff Ogilvy sat inside the scorer's hut and watched Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie double-bogey the 18th hole at Winged Foot, handing the 29-year-old Australian his first major championship.
9 of 21John Biever/SI
British Open and PGA Championship
Tiger Woods dedicated his emotional victory at Royal Liverpool to the memory of his father, Earl, who had died earlier in the year. A month later, Woods won by five strokes at the PGA, giving him his 12th career major, just six behind Jack Nicklaus.
10 of 21Bob Martin/SI
Australian Open, Wimbledon
The greatest female tennis player never to win a Grand Slam singles event actually won two in 2006, finally putting to rest the notion that she doesn't have what it takes to win the big one. Amelie Mauresmo defeated Justine Henin-Hardenne in both finals.
11 of 21Bob Martin/SI
Justine Henin-Hardenne became the first woman since 1994 to win the French without losing a set. It was her fifth Grand Slam title and third at Roland Garros.
12 of 21Bob Martin/SI
Maria Sharapova won her first Grand Slam since her breakthrough 2004 Wimbledon title, this time defeating Justine Henin-Hardenne 6-4, 6-4.
13 of 21Bob Martin/SI
Australian Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open
If not for a 1-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (4) loss to Rafael Nadal in the final of the French Open, Roger Federer would have won all four Grand Slam singles events in 2006, a feat accomplished by only Rod Laver (1962 and '69) and Don Budge (1938). Federer has been ranked No. 1 in the world since 2004 and shows no signs of slowing down.
14 of 21Bob Martin/SI
Rafael Nadal, the undisputed King of Clay, broke Guillermo Vilas' record of consecutive wins on clay courts en route to becoming the second man to win back-to-back French Open titles. That he did so by beating Roger Federer in the final made it all the more special.
15 of 21Robert Beck/SI
Karie Webb's comeback from a seven-shot deficit -- capped by a 116-yard eagle on the 18th hole -- enabled her to defeat Lorena Ochoa in a playoff and win for the first time in 39 tournaments.
16 of 21Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Se Ri Pak overcame a three-putt bogey on the 18th hole and downed Karie Webb on the first playoff hole to win for the first time since 2004 and become the fifth three-time winner of the LPGA Championship.
17 of 21Darren Carroll/SI
Annika Sorenstam won her 10th major and third Open by dominating Pat Hurst in an 18-hole playoff at Newport, R.I.
18 of 21Bob Martin/SI
Karrie Steinhauer, 43, won her second major and first since 1992 by shooting a 7-under, 281 at Lytham St. Annes, England.
19 of 21Bill Frakes/SI
Trained by a three-time Olympian equestrian who survived a plane crash that took the lives of 111 people in 1989, Barbaro ran away with the Derby. Two weeks later, the colt would be fighting for his own life after shattering bones his right rear leg into more than 20 pieces during the opening strides of the Preakness.
20 of 21Bill Frakes/SI
Bernardini became only the second horse in 23 years to win the Preakness after skipping the Kentucky Derby, but his victory was overshadowed by the gruesome injury to Barbaro, shortly after leaving the starting gate.
21 of 21John Iacono/SI
With Kentucky Derby-winner Barbaro in a fight for his life and with Preakness-winner Bernardi skipping the Belmont, 18-year-old jockey Fernando Jara (8) rode Jazil to the colt's first win of the year.
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