1 The Price Was Right
Seemingly on the brink of being shipped to Tampa-St. Petersburg, the San Francisco Giants instead were sold to a group of investors headed by grocery-chain mogul Peter Magowan, who wanted them to stay put. Magowan plumbed the depths of his devotion to the city, if not of his coffers, by signing free-agent Barry Bonds to baseball's richest contract, a six-year, $43.75 million deal. Love blossomed: A team-record 2,606,354 fans filed into newly renovated Candlestick Park to listen to the big leagues' first full-time female P.A. announcer (Sherry Davis) and watch baseball's best pennant race in years. Bonds earned his hefty paycheck, hitting .336, with 46 homers and 123 RBIs, en route to his third National League MVP award, and manager Dusty Baker guided the team to 103 wins—one fewer than the Atlanta Braves.
2 Mane Event
Four years after helmet-haired coach Jimmy Johnson came to Dallas and cropped the Cowboys' roster, the team went from 1-15 ducktails to world-champion pompadours. The Johnson Gang's 52-17 Super Bowl trouncing of the Buffalo Bills was a triumph of ruthless efficiency and bad hair. Dallas's defense forced five first-half turnovers, and Cowboy quarterback Troy Aikman passed for 273 yards and four touchdowns in an MVP performance. In the game's waning moments, Johnson's players dared muss his famous 'do—though he had it stiffly back in place in time to meet with the press minutes later.
3 I Hug You, You Punch Me
Having already bested Godzilla in a shoe commercial, the NBA's reigning Most Valuable Player, Charles Barkley of the Phoenix Suns, went one-on-one with Barney, the relentlessly cheerful scourge of children's TV, during the star forward's Sept. 25 stint as guest host of Saturday Night Live. Though Barkley's ruthless Barney-bashing left the Cretinous Age dinosaur with a bent tail and one stuffed eyeball dangling from its socket, Barney remained ever the optimist: "Charles told me I'm special."
4 No Thugs On Our Rugs
The Three Thousand Stooges, also known as British soccer hooligans, will not be making an appearance in the U.S. next summer as expected. That's because England, a semifinalist in the 1990 World Cup, failed to make the 24-team field for the '94 event. In October more than 600 British rowdies were arrested before a match with the Netherlands in Rotterdam, where they smashed windows, threw beer bottles and clashed with police. "The attachment of thugs to English football would have caused serious security problems," said Alan Rothenberg, president of World Cup USA '94. "Fortunately, they didn't qualify."
5 Super Mario Fights Back
Mario Lemieux's hockey season should have been over on Jan. 12, shortly after he was told that he had Hodgkin's disease, a form of cancer. But after missing 24 games while undergoing radiation treatments, the 28-year-old Pittsburgh Penguin center returned to the lineup, sparked his team to an NHL-record 17-game winning streak arid wrapped up his fourth scoring title in six years. "I grew up watching Bobby Orr," said teammate Kevin Stevens. "And Wayne Gretzky was phenomenal. But Mario is on another level."
6 Love That Bob
Talk about a clutch pinch hit! In May, 4'10" Secretary of Labor Robert Reich came to bat for 5'6" batboy Tommy McCoy of the Class A Savannah (Ga.) Cardinals. The team had to ax McCoy when a federal bureaucrat discovered—while reading a weekly newspaper—that McCoy was only 14. Federal child labor laws state that 14-and 15-year-olds can't work past 7 p.m. on school nights or 9 p.m. during the summer. Reich stepped to the plate and knocked the regulation out of the ballpark. "Off base," is how he described the original decision.
7 The Don of NFL Coaches
Behind reserve quarterback Doug Pederson, a former third-stringer in the World League, the Miami Dolphins beat the Philadelphia Eagles 19-14 on Nov. 14 to give Don Shula his 325th victory—most ever by an NFL coach. "I never worried about the win totals," said Shula, 63, the only coach to have appeared in six Super Bowls. "They just crept up on me. Afterward you find out you won your 100th game, then somebody hands you a plaque for winning the 200th. I don't think of these things as milestones. They're byproducts of hard work."
8 Swoopes To the Hoops
The shots swooped in from everywhere: from three-point range, from the foul line, from the paint, from the baseline and from behind the backboard. Texas Tech fans whooped from everywhere: Those 47 points—a championship-game record for men or women—by six-foot forward Sheryl Swoopes propelled the Red Raiders to an 84-82 win over Ohio State in the NCAA women's basketball final. Swoopes, who set six NCAA tournament records and finished second in the country in scoring, was the Player of the Year. But perhaps her greatest accolade was the one bestowed by a team of eight-and nine-year-olds in Shallowater, Texas. The team calls itself the Swoopesters.
9 Hip, Hip Hooray
His left hip held together by polyethylene and cobalt chrome, pinch hitter Bo Jackson slowly, purposefully walked to home plate on April 9. It had been 18 months since his last regulation game and more than a year since the Chicago White Sox outfielder had been fitted with the artificial joint. The crowd at Comiskey Park erupted in cheers. New York Yankee reliever Neal Heaton threw an outside changeup. Called strike one. He threw another. Jackson blasted it into the rightfield bleachers. Jackson brought the baseball home for his mother, Florence, who had died three weeks after his hip surgery. He planned to have it bronzed and bolted to her tombstone. "I made a promise," he said, "that I would give her the ball."
10 Thumbs Up Down Under
After critics carped that choosing Beijing to host the 2000 Olympics would demoralize democracy advocates in China and give a stamp of approval to the government of China and its horrendous record on human rights, the International Olympic Committee picked Sydney, Australia, as the site of the Summer Games. China's bid was not helped when less than a week before the IOC vote, Zhang Baifa, the head of Beijing's bid committee, warned that China might boycott the '96 Games as "revenge" for "meddling" by U.S. Congressmen who were at the fore in urging IOC members to reject the Chinese capital.
11 Smelling The Roses
Their racing careers have been filled with glorious triumphs and fraught with the stinging setbacks that haunt all great horsemen. But owner-breeder Paul Mellon, 85, and trainer MacKenzie Miller, 71, had never enjoyed a bigger triumph than their first Kentucky Derby victory, on May 1. Their homebred colt, Sea Hero, ran down Personal Hope in the top of the stretch and bounded off to a 2½-length win, giving Mellon a rare triple crown—victories in the Epsom Derby, the Kentucky Derby and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
12 Hard Hittin' Mark Whiten
Some ballplayers have big days, others big years. On Sept. 7, Mark Whiten had a year in a day. The St. Louis Cardinal outfielder, who hadn't hit a homer since Aug. 11, smashed four in the second game of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds. Whiten's record-tying 12 RBIs in that game raised his season's total to 87. "I'm not going to stop there," he said of his pursuit of 100 RBIs. Alas, he had only 12 more RBIs the rest of the season, finishing with 99.
13 Losing Isn't Everything
Despite taking a national-record 80-game losing streak into its matchup with 0-8 Houston Wheatley High on Oct. 23, Houston's Davis High football team was favored to win the game. And win Davis did, 19-18, for its first victory since Oct. 11,1985. Just how bad were those winless Wheatley Wildcats? So bad that they had lost to a junior varsity team at a school that just opened last fall. The Davis Panthers set the alltime losing mark of 73 straight losses in their final game of the 1992 season. The high school they supplanted, Iberia (Mo.), has little chance of reclaiming the record. Iberia gave up football in 1989.
14 Proud Mary
The world's most meddlesome tennis father was at the top of his game this year. Jim Pierce, whose daughter, Mary, has struggled in her attempt to become one of the elite women players, was finally banned from the women's tour in June for his violent behavior at the French Open in May. Mary later filed restraining orders against her father in three states, claiming that Jim—a convicted felon who once did time in a psychiatric prison ward—had made "terroristic threats" against her. Six months after the French Open, Mary played the tournament of her life, beating sixth-ranked Gabriela Sabatini and No. 3 Martina Navratilova in back-to-back matches to reach the semifinals of the Virginia Slims Championships.
15 Another Day At the Races
Chico: "Sun-Up is the worst horse on the track. "Groucho: "I notice he wins all the time." Chico: "Aw, that's just because he comes in first." Arcangues, the worst horse on the track in the bettors' eyes, won the $3 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita in what horsemen called the biggest upset in memory. The French 5-year-old (above) with a name even his jockey, Jerry Bailey, couldn't pronounce was the longest of long shots: a 133-1 underhorse.
16 Yankee Ingenuity
An unidentified 14-year-old New York Yankee fan made life unpleasant for the Boston Red Sox in a Sept. 18 game at Yankee Stadium. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Yanks trailing by two and Boston's Greg Harris winding up to pitch to Mike Stanley, the lad vaulted the railing near third base and charged onto the field. Third-base umpire Tim Welke called time, nullifying Stanley's apparent game-ending fly out. After the youngster was hustled out of the ballpark. Stanley singled, New York rallied and the Red Sox never did get that final out, losing 4-3. It was the Yankees' second fan-assisted home win of the season. On Aug. 15, New York beat the Baltimore Orioles after a spectator reached over the rightfield wall and snagged a Don Mattingly drive. Mattingly's sure double was ruled a homer, and the Yankees won 1-0.
17 This Must Be Toto, Kansas
Kansas became the first university ever to have its football team go to a bowl, its basketball team reach the Final Four and its baseball team advance to the College World Series all in the same school year. The Jayhawk hoopsters even developed a ritual that brought them good luck: Before each game in the NCAA tournament, they spit in whatever river was near the game site. It worked until they got to the Final Four in New Orleans, where the Mississippi came up empty for them, and they lost to North Carolina in the semifinals.
18 Not Parity Animals
The only school ever to beat the North Carolina women's soccer team in NCAA postseason play was George Mason, in 1985. But when the two teams met again in the national-championship game, on Nov. 21, the Patriots took their playoff lumps at the feet of the Tar Heels, who won their eighth straight title, 6-0. The victory extended North Carolina's winning streak to 81 games. Perhaps the Heels' most worthy opponent would be the Virginia men's team, which has a much more modest streak of three NCAA titles in a row. In the men's Final Four on Dec. 3 and 5, forward Nate Friends scored all five of Virginia's goals in a 3-1 semifinal win over Princeton and a 2-0 championship victory over South Carolina.
19 A Real Airhead
Mississippi State coach Jackie Sherrill accused Auburn of filling footballs with helium after Tiger punter Terry Daniel booted twice for a combined 113 yards during Auburn's 31-17 victory over Mississippi State. Balls used in the Oct. 9 game at Jordan-Hare Stadium were confiscated by game officials and later deflated at Southeastern Conference headquarters. SEC officials concluded that it was Sherrill who was full of hot air.
20 Free Villy‚Äö√†√∂¬¨¬•
When Norway refused to abide by an international ban on commercial whaling, organizers of the fourth World Rafting Championships moved the competition from that country to Turkey.
21 Baby, It's Foal Outside
A terrible 12-year run of bad luck as a broodmare ended for 1980 Kentucky Derby winner Genuine Risk on May 15 when she delivered her first live foal. Since retiring after her "80 campaign, Genuine Risk has had nine failed pregnancies, including a dalliance with Triple Crown champion Secretariat in 1982. The new daddy was Rahy. Fittingly, the new colt was named Genuine Reward.
22 Centralia Cinderella
Nowhere must be Centralia, Ill., because that's where Tom Wargo came out of. Known only to members of his family, the owner/head pro/grass mower/hamburger flipper of the Greenview Golf Club whipped the gods of golf on Aug. 19 to win the PGA Seniors Championship in Palm Beach, Fla. Wearing a straw hat devoid of a sponsor's logo, he beat Bruce Crampton in sudden death and collected $110,000. "I don't know nothing about agents," Wargo said. "I've heard about them. I guess they're a different type of critter."
23 The Reign Of Maine
Not a lot of sports news has come out of Maine in the 28 years since Cassius Clay knocked out Sonny Liston in Round 1 of their fight in Lewiston. But the state's sporting anonymity ended April 3 when the University of Maine upended Lake Superior State 5-4 to win the NCAA hockey championship in Milwaukee. Upon arriving back at Bangor International airport, the Black Bears were serenaded by Bear Backers singing The Maine Stein Song, and other Bare Backers had the letters M-A-I-N-E spelled out on their bare chests. Later, the team received the state's highest honor: a commemorative sign at the entrance to the Maine Turnpike.
24 One Hump Or Two?
For nine years figure skater Dorothy Hamill paid her dues in the Ice Capades. In June, the 1976 Olympic gold medalist started paying the show's employees. Hamill (right, with briefcase) bought the ailing company and installed herself as its star once again. After all, who wouldn't walk a mile for a Hamill camel?
25 Stars and Tripe Forever
What has been England's greatest embarrassment over the last few hundred years? The American Revolution? King Edward VIII's abdication? Those paparazzi shots of Fergie getting her toes sucked? How about its national soccer team losing, 2-0, to a bunch of upstarts (right) from the U.S.? The British press called the June 9 defeat at the U.S. Cup in Foxboro, Mass., the worst for British soccer since 1950—the last time the Americans beat the Brits—and demanded that coach Graham Taylor resign. "Taylor's public humiliation and shame was completed," said the Sun, a British tabloid. "His England side was outplayed, outclassed and well and truly beaten by a team of soccer second-raters." Taylor did resign on Nov. 23, six days after England failed to qualify for the World Cup.
26 A Win-Win Situation
For the first time since 1972, Chicago's Cubs and White Sox both had winning records in the same season. Among the Sox to be feted after the team won the American League West were first baseman Frank Thomas (American League MVP), Jack McDowell (AL Cy Young) and Gene Lamont (AL Manager of the Year). However, the Cubs' first winning record (84-78) in four years did not come easily, and the club fired manager Jim Lefebvre after the season.
27 Flood Of Support
After hearing that the Salvation Army in Dallas had no way to transport foodstuffs and relief supplies to Mississippi River flood victims in the Midwest, Dallas Maverick owner Donald Carter donated the services of three 18-wheelers from his trucking fleet. Carter and his son Ron even drove two of the 45-foot rigs to the St. Louis area. "This is an opportunity to help people, and that's the main thing," said Ron. "But we also get to get out on the open road and be one of the guys at the truck stops." That same week the Arena Football League played its first all-star game, in flood-ravaged Des Moines. The event raised about $2,500 to benefit relief efforts.
28 Making the First Move
Fed up with the shenanigans of the International Chess Federation, defending world champ Gary Kasparov and No. 1 challenger Nigel Short held their own world championship. Played in the old Savoy Theatre, once home to Gilbert and Sullivan, the 24-game series in London was the very model of a modern major media hype. Sponsored and heavily promoted by The Times of London, the matches ate up enormous amounts of prime-time TV in Britain with endless shots of Kasparov hovering over the chess board like the specter of death and the boyish Short kneading his head like its victim. In winning 12½-7½, Kasparov dropped only one of the 20 games to claim the $1.43 million winner's check.
29 Still a Bunch Of Bums
Not content at having deserted Brooklyn baseball fans after the '57 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers brazenly sued the Brooklyn Dodger Sports Bar and Restaurant for trademark infringement. But in calling the Dodgers' move to Los Angeles one of the "most notorious abandonments in the history of sports," New York federal judge Constance Baker Motley ruled in April that the saloon could keep its name. "Brooklyn was another world in the '40s and '50s when I grew up," said saloonkeeper Richard Picardi. "They took it away once, and now they couldn't take it away a second time." But the Dodgers haven't given up trying. They will appeal the decision.
30 His Hats In the Ring
Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones is no longer Unforgiven. Tom Landry—the legendary coach Jones canned when he bought the Cowboys five years ago—finally relented and allowed himself to be inducted into the team's Ring of Honor at halftime of the Cowboys-Giants game on Nov. 7. Until then, a bitter Landry had resisted Jones's overtures to return to Texas Stadium and be honored, "I have no animosity," Landry said. "The hard feelings are over." The names and uniform numbers of Cowboy greats are usually added to the Ring, but in Landry's case, an image of his trademark fedora is next to his name.
31 It Wasn't An Easy Ryder
In 1989 a dozen American golfers set off for Sutton Coldfield, England, to regain the Ryder Cup. And well they might have, had not five of them lost to their European counterparts on the 474-yard, water-guarded final hole. In September a dozen more Yanks descended on the Belfry to defend the title they recaptured two years ago on Kiawah Island, S.C. Down by two points on the last day, the U.S. rallied for a dramatic 15-13 win with four straight match victories down the stretch. Come-from-behind efforts by Chip Beck and Fred Couples touched off the Eurocrash. Fatefully, the clinching match was won by Raymond Floyd, captain of the 1989 U.S. team.
32 Iron Mike's Iron Bars
Mike Tyson lost a couple of split decisions this year when two appeals of his March 1992 rape conviction were rejected by Indiana courts. The Indiana Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to keep the former heavyweight champ in prison. A month later the state supreme court divided 2-2 on whether to review the conviction. A majority vote is needed to hear a case. Tyson, who has served 21 months of a six-year prison sentence, meanwhile reaffirmed his desire to return to the ring. "I mean, what else am I going to do, man," he asked, "be a nuclear scientist?"
33 Help from Upstairs
Todd Hlushko, a leftwinger on Canada's national hockey team, also is a pitcher and outfielder for the Guelph Royals, an amateur baseball team in Ontario. When his father, Peter, died last summer, Todd's teammates skipped pregame infield practice and showed up at the funeral in uniform to pay their respects. Two hours later Hlushko dropped by the ballpark to see how the game was going. It was the sixth inning, and the Royals were down 10-0. Hlushko took his uniform out of the trunk of his car, put it on and sat on the bench. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, after Guelph had rallied to 10-9, he was sent in to pinch hit. He hit a home run to win the game. "Everyone was saying, I think that was a little help from your dad up above,' " said Hlushko. "His way of saying thanks to the guys."
34 The Kruk of The Matter
In the late 1970s a scruffy, beer-belching cabbie named Wild Bill Hagy reigned as the Baltimore Orioles' designated cheerleader. Hagy appears to have been the role model for the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies, a scruffy, beer-belching band of miscreants who hung out in first place in the National League East for all but one day of last season. The Philthies beat the wholesome Atlanta Braves in a National League playoff series billed as America's Team vs. America's Most Wanted. Then, after mixing it up with the clean-cut Toronto Blue Jays in six World Series games, they were beaten on Joe Carter's historic clout. The wildest of the bunch from Philly was Hagy lookalike John Kruk. "I'm shocked!" a female fan once told the first baseman. "You're a professional athlete and you smoke?" Drawing deeply on his cigarette, Kruk snorted, "Lady, I'm not an athlete. I'm a baseball player."
35 Yet Another 48 Hours
There are good Samaritans, and then there is Daniel Johnson, a Citadel cadet who ran down a purse-snatcher a day after saving the life of a football teammate. On Jan. 31 the 22-year-old senior came to the aid of Layne Dellinger, whose throat had been slashed with a broken bottle during a scuffle in Charleston, S.C. Dellinger's carotid artery was cut, and Johnson stuck his fingers into the wound to stanch the bleeding until an ambulance arrived. The next day, as he was jogging back from a hospital visit with Dellinger, Johnson spied a young man running with a purse. He chased down the thief, turned him over to police and then comforted the victim. During the chase the onetime high school hurdling champ even gave fair warning: "I told the kid, as I was running behind him, 'I'm all-conference track, I'm going to catch you!' "
36 Better Great Than Never
After missing the first 39 games of the season with a herniated disc, center Wayne Gretzky silenced his critics by taking the Los Angeles Kings to their first Stanley Cup finals and leading all postseason scorers with 15 goals and 40 points. But after losing three straight overtime games, L.A. succumbed to the Montreal Canadiens in five games. Montreal goalie Patrick Roy, not Gretzky, was the playoff MVP. Perhaps thinking he had taken the Kings as far as he could, the Great One hinted at retirement minutes after the season ended. But he's back, and he's among the NHL's scoring leaders.
37 A Three-Hour Course?
Bob Denver spent three years in a sand trap called Gilligan's Island. Now, 26 years after his sitcom was scuttled, the former castaway is building a Putt-Putt franchise near his Princeton, W.Va., home. Little Buddy says he'll donate part of the profits to the handicapped. No word on whether millionaire Thurston Howell III will offer a three-for-one matching grant.
38 Sheehan Is Believin'
Last March, after 13 full seasons on the LPGA Tour, Patty Sheehan, who at the age of 13 had been rated the best junior slalom skier in the country, hit a brilliant bunker shot on the 13th hole at Moon Valley Country Club in Phoenix to set up her win in the Standard Register Ping tournament. That gave her 30 career victories on the women's tour, which qualified her to become the 13th member of the LPGA Hall of Fame. "It doesn't get any better as you get older," Sheehan, 37, said in June alter the LPGA Championship became victory number 31, which of course is the inverse of 13. "My hands were shaking on that last putt. The only problem with that is you never know which shake is going to hit the putt."
39 Managing Just Fine
When Art Shell's Los Angeles Raiders defeated Dennis Green's Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 5, it was the first game in NFL history in which each team was coached by an African-American. A few months earlier, black managers had their teams on top in three of baseball's four divisions—Cito Gaston of the Toronto Blue Jays, Hal McRae of the Kansas City Royals and Dusty Baker of the San Francisco Giants. Gaston won a second straight World Series, and Baker (above) wound up the National League's Manager of the Year.
40 Reversal Of Fortune
Proving that it has an interest in fairness, the International Olympic Committee awarded Sylvie Frechette a duplicate gold medal for solo synchronized swimming at the 1992 Seoul Olympics. Frechette, a Canadian, had narrowly placed second to Kristen Babb-Sprague of the U.S. But a Brazilian judge admitted after the compulsory figures competition that she had erroneously punched up an 8.7 score for Frechette, instead of a 9.7. When the American referee didn't understand the judge's English, the inferior score was posted in the computer totals. Had the correct score been entered, Frechette would have been the winner of the competition.
41 Kiss and Pay Up
Just 171 years. That's how long 29-year-old sprinter Butch Reynolds has left before the IAAF, the world governing body of track and field, even thinks about coughing up the $27.3 million it owes him. Last July a U.S. court reaffirmed its earlier ruling that the IAAF should pay that amount in damages to Reynolds for the IAAF's improper handling of his 1990 drug suspension. But when asked if the award would be paid, IAAF president Primo Nebiolo said, "Never, never. He can live 200 years." Instead of waiting around for the loot, Reynolds went to Stuttgart for the World Track and Field Championships in August. He ran his fastest leg ever in the 4 x 400 relay, 43.3 seconds, to help the U.S. team knock 1.45 seconds off the world record, with a winning time of 2:54.29. During the ensuing awards ceremony, Nebiolo himself stepped forward and placed the gold medal around Reynolds's neck. Then he kissed the runner on both cheeks and told him, "You are very strong, very strong." Later, Reynolds said he felt vindicated.
42 Jim Dandy Of a Gem
It wasn't the only no-hitter thrown last baseball season, but it was surely the most inspirational. In the heat of a September pennant race, one-handed pitcher Jim Abbott aced the Cleveland Indians to keep the New York Yankees in the American League East chase. "The last couple of innings," said teammate Don Mattingly, "I had these huge goose bumps on my forearms, and the hair on the back of my neck was standing up. Maybe that would have happened with someone else. Maybe I'd have the same feelings. But I think because it was Jim, there was a little something extra."
43 Role with The Punch
Too slow, too fat, too punched out, George Foreman, 44, thankfully hung up the gloves again, this time to dispatch lightweight punch lines in the ABC sitcom George. Cast against type, the retired heavyweight champ plays a retired heavyweight champ named George Foster. Alas, this George took it on the chin from TV critics and Nielsen viewers, and retired to his corner. But TV imitates life and Foreman (left) came back for more. The show just came off hiatus.
44 Goal-den Girl
Manon Rheaume broke another of pro hockey's gender barriers on April 10 when she started in goal for the Atlanta Knights of the International Hockey League. The 21-year-old goaltender stopped 25 shots and yielded six goals before she was pulled for an extra skater in the 8-6 loss to Cincinnati. Originally signed last year by Atlanta's parent club, the Tampa Bay Lightning, Rheaume had the good sense to turn down a $50,000 offer to pose nude for Playboy, and she never lost her cool when piggish male sportswriters asked, "Did you break a nail?"
45 Amateur Act
Ten days after winning all three of his golf matches to help the U.S. defeat Great Britain and Ireland and win the Walker Cup, insurance executive John Harris, 41, hit every green in regulation to beat Danny Ellis, 5 and 3, for the U.S. Amateur title. Harris, who played center for the Minnesota hockey team that won the 1974 NCAA crown, had quit the pro mini-tour in the late 1970s. He regained his amateur standing in '83.
46 Vicious Cycle
Despite falling twice during the race, Lance Armstrong, a 21-year-old Texan, won the World Cycling Championship on a rain-slicked course in Oslo, Norway. After his victory, Armstrong refused an audience with the king of Norway unless his mom could I come too. King Harald V consented to posing for a photo with mother and son.
47 It's Getting Harder
The guy who threw the first pitch when Cleveland Stadium opened in 1932 also threw the ceremonial last pitch when it closed on Oct. 3, 1993. "Let's face it," said 84-year-old Mel Harder, who won 223 games in a 20-year career with the Cleveland Indians, "after 61 years, I'm just happy to be able to throw a baseball."
48 A Bunch Of Gunners
One of the year's major arms deals was transacted April 17 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Denver. The church was one of four area dropoff points at which hoops fans could swap their guns for tickets to a Denver Nuggets-Phoenix Suns game. The promotion, dubbed Operation Cease Fire, netted 47 firearms, including a fully loaded .38 caliber revolver. No, they weren't Washington Bullets.
49 Good Grief!
Round-headed kid wins game with round-tripper! screamed the headlines. After 43 years the unthinkable happened on March 30: Peanuts character Charlie Brown compromised his reputation as an eternal loser when he hit a home run in the ninth inning to give his team its first victory ever. Of the shot syndicated around the world, Peanuts creator Charles Schulz said, "I think it's a mistake to be unfaithful to your readers, always to be letting them down."
50 Showtime for M&M Boys
Two ballplayers who spent most of their major league careers in small-market obscurity made it big as soon as they changed teams. Free-agent Paul Molitor left the Milwaukee Brewers after 15 notable, if largely unnoticed, years to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays. He was runner-up in the American League batting race, led the Blue Jays through the postseason and was the World Series MVP. As one of the high-salaried players the San Diego Padres unloaded last season, Fred McGriff went to Atlanta in a July trade, just in time to jump-start the Braves' drive to the National League West title. He had 19 of his 37 home runs and 55 of his 101 RBIs in 68 games for the Braves and wound up fourth in the National League MVP voting.
51 Bad Hops
The Milwaukee Brewers brought back Bernie Brewer, their beer-drenched mascot. The lederhosen-clad Bernie, who had been drying out since a speaker system replaced his centerfield chalet in 1984, slides into a giant beer mug at Milwaukee County Stadium whenever a Brewer hits a home run. Unhappily for hometown fans, Bernie hardly touched a drop all year.
52 That's Enough Of This Dope
Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson, who enjoyed a brief, if illusory, moment of glory at the Seoul Olympics in 1988, was slapped with a lifetime ban from track after failing a steroid test for the second time in five years. The first time came at those Summer Games, where he was stripped of a gold medal and a world record in the 100-meter dash and later was handed a two-year suspension. The hard-headed Johnson will now give soccer a shot. "I would like to have a chance with an Italian club and show how good I am," he said. Ciao, baby.
53 A Stern Taskmaster
The NHL went to the hoop and made NBA general counsel Gary Bettman its new commissioner. Immediately setting out to improve hockey's tarnished image, he hired a "hockey man," former Hartford Whaler general manager Brian Burke, to oversee fines and suspensions; presided over the league's realignment and revised playoff format; worked through the first league-wide strike by on-ice officials; and took the initial steps toward a new collective bargaining accord with the players. "The NBA has been run so well, my stock is high," he said. "I hope this perception is underscored by reality."
54 Is Her Phone Tapped, Too?
Long-distance tap dancer Elizabeth Ursic hoofed it 13.1 miles through the rain during the Arizona half-marathon in Tempe. Wearing shoes with hard plastic soles to avoid tap-skating on the wet pavement, she entertained onlookers with a repertoire that included Shuffle Off to Buffalo.
55 If the Deal Fits, Wear It
North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith demonstrated that he can orchestrate huge shoe contracts as well as he can choreograph defensive strategy. Smith's $4.7 million deal with Nike benefited the entire university athletic department. Over the next four years, Nike will supply the school with $2 million worth of shoes, equipment and apparel to be spread among almost all of UNC's 26 athletic teams. In return, the coaches and scholarship athletes must wear and use Nike products whenever they compete or practice together. Smith's share of the Nike take includes a yearly salary of $300,000, which he plans to divide among assistants and athletic department personnel, with $45,000 a year earmarked for a special fund to help former players finish their degrees. Smith said he will give away his onetime $500,000 consulting fee as well.
56 Hello...Roy Who?
Five years after getting jobbed by judges in the 156-pound boxing final at the Seoul Olympics, Roy Jones Jr. beat Bernard Hopkins for the IBF middleweight crown. Jones, unbeaten in 21 pro fights, got his shot at the title only after dumping his manager, a onetime club fighter who also happened to be his father, Roy Sr. "I told him I wanted to pick my fights," Roy Jr. said. "I guess he didn't like that. The only time we speak is if he answers the phone when I call my mother."
57 The Son Also Rises
After football coach Pat Dye resigned from Auburn in 1992 for NCAA violations in his program, the Tigers hired the son of Florida State coaching giant Bobby Bowden to take Dye's place. Despite scholarship limits, no television appearances and no bowl game—all the result of penalties mandated by the NCAA—Terry Bowden guided Auburn to its first unbeaten, untied season since 1957. He even got into recruiting wars with the old man. When high school phenom Lewis Battle told the 37-year-old Terry of his interest in Florida State, Bowden fils said, "You'd better be a starter your first two seasons because my father is 63, and the mandatory retirement age in Florida is 65." Bowden pere got word of this untruth and phoned Battle. "You'd better believe," Bobby said, "that I'll still be here long after Terry is done coaching at Auburn." Jerry won the Battle, but who'll win the war?
58 Firing A Schott
"The baseball season is under way," noted late-night TV host Jay Leno. "Yesterday they threw out the first owner." That was Marge Schott of the Cincinnati Reds, who on Feb. 3 was suspended from baseball for one year and fined $25,000 by her fellow owners for using slurs against blacks, Jews and Asians. She did not deny that she used the terms "Jap" and "money-grubbing Jews." Schott also conceded she may have referred to Martin Luther King Day as "Nigger Day." Asked whether she told a Jewish employee that "Hitler might have had the right idea," she said, "I don't really know."
59 Goes Double For the Dog
Schottzie 02, the pet pooch of exiled Cincinnati Red owner Marge Schott, was banned from the playing field at Riverfront Stadium as well, after players complained of having to dig doggie doo out of their cleats. The mutt gave new meaning to the term foul lines.
60 Getting Technical
Chris Webber no longer asks for time. He gives it, generously, to a foundation he founded in Detroit for underprivileged kids. Webber (above) was the basketball player who called the timeout that Michigan didn't have, resulting in a two-shot technical foul that assured the Wolverines' loss to North Carolina in the NCAA championship game last April. Webber survived the ridicule, lived to be picked first in the NBA draft, signed an astonishing 15-year, $74 million contract with the Golden State Warriors and set up his charitable foundation. He named it Timeout.
61 A Fungus Among Us
Worms, turtles, caterpillars. These are a few of the favorite things that China's band of preternatural women runners apparently chug-a-lugged before setting world records in the 1,500-, 3,000-and 10,000-meter runs at China's National Games in Beijing in September. Chinese track coach Ma Junren credited the binge of improbable records to a soup made from soft-shell river turtles, a potion extracted from worms and a tonic derived from caterpillar fungus. Ma said he would be happy to sell the recipes because "we always need funds to buy turtles."
62 Quarterback Option
The best two-sport college star since Bo Jackson, Florida State point guard and quarterback Charlie Ward led the basketball Seminoles to the Final Eight of the NCAA tournament and the football team to the brink of the national championship. On the court Ward averaged 7.8 points and 5.5 assists; on the field he passed for 3,032 yards and 27 touchdowns, a performance that easily won him the Heisman Trophy. Ward will have a say in who's No. 1 for '93 when Florida State faces unbeaten Nebraska in the Orange Bowl on New Year's night. Still, is his future on the parquet or in the pocket? "I think basketball would be his first love," says Seminole football coach Bobby Bowden, "simply because he can live longer."
63 Starting Over
A Cleveland Indian cap pulled low on his eyes, Bob Ojeda walked from the bullpen and once more headed for the pitcher's mound. Almost five months had passed since the March 22 boating accident that had killed teammates Steve Olin and Tim Crews. Ojeda, who suffered a head injury in the accident, was the sole survivor. And on the night of Aug. 7, at Camden Yards in Baltimore, he found the strength to go on with his major league career. The 46,424 onlookers understood Ojeda's struggle and cheered him. "It's not unappreciated," he said. "I feel the applause was not just for me but for Oly and Crewser."
64 The Heart Of a Lion
Undaunted by the cerebral palsy that impairs his muscle control, 14-year-old Avian Drummonds (below) made the wrestling team at the Cincinnati Academy of Physical Education. "I just wanted to be treated like everyone else," said the 5'1", 92-pound freshman. "I don't think that's too much to ask." Though constantly outweighed and outmaneuvered by stronger opponents in the 103-pound weight class—Avian lost all 17 of his matches—he inspired teammates with his courage and fortitude. "He has the heart of a lion," said Cincinnati Academy wrestling coach Roy Hyden. "He has trouble running, but he won't stop until he falls. He gets up, apologizes and runs some more."
65 King Of Waves
In Pat Conroy's 1986 novel Prince of Tides, John McKissick was hailed as "a maker of dynasties." On Oct. 8 the Summerville (S.C.) High football coach was hailed as a breaker of records. That was the day the Green Wave crushed Wando High 42-0 for McKissick's 406th victory—most ever by a high school coach. A disciplinarian who doesn't allow his players to wear earrings, to showboat or to get "girlie haircuts," the 67-year-old McKissick has presided over nine state championships, 23 conference titles, a 41-game winning streak and only one losing season.
66 High on The Rockies
Baseball came to the Rockies, and a record 4,483,350 fans came to see the expansion Colorado Rockies—more than went to watch the New York Mets and Yankees combined. Hell, if only 48,768 showed up at Mile High Stadium in Denver, it was a bad crowd. In finishing its first season with a 67-95 record, Colorado won 27 more games than the 1962 Mets and eight more than the '93 Mets. Swinging at a lusty .370 clip, first baseman Andres Galarraga became the first member of an expansion team to win a league batting title. The only thing thinner than the Denver air was the Rockies' pitching staff: Their combined ERA was a mile-high 5.41.
67 Something In the Air
His race tactics at the 1992 Olympics were disputed when he finished a disappointing seventh in the 1,500 meters. But nobody questioned Nourredine Morceli's strategy on Sept. 5 when the 23-year-old Algerian broke the world record for the mile in Rieti, Italy. His time of 3:44.39 clipped nearly two seconds off Steve Cram's 1985 standard. "I'd been close three times this season," Morceli said, "but never had good atmospheric conditions." The brisk mountain air helped him win by more than 11 seconds, with nobody close after his two pacesetters dropped out with 500 meters to go. Wrote Los Angeles Times columnist Mike Downey: "Some guy just ran the mile in 3:44. In Southern California, you can't drive a mile in 3:44."
68 Immaculate Connection
It took all of two seconds for $5-an-hour office-supply salesman Don Calhoun to become a millionaire at a Chicago Bull game. Picked out of a crowd by a team staff member who liked his gold suede hiking boots, Calhoun swished a 79-footer during a third-quarter promotion. Of the 18 other fans who had tried to sink the three-quarter-court shot at Chicago Stadium, only one had even hit the rim. When an I insurance company refused A to cough up the million-dollar prize—Calhoun failed to sign a waiver saying he had not played high school, college or pro basketball for six years, when, in fact, he did play at Triton Community College outside Chicago in 1988-89—the Bulls and two corporate sponsors chipped in. "This is a joyous occasion, and I can't imagine anything recently that has brought this much excitement to the Bulls or the Stadium," said team owner Jerry Reinsdorf. "The fact is, he made a shot that nobody else could make, and he deserves it."
69 One Mo' Time, With Feeling
In a Beantown reworking of Pride of the Yankees, Boston Red Sox first baseman Mo Vaughn promised Jason Leader he would hit one out for the cancer patient's 11th birthday. Later that day, in the seventh inning of a game with the California Angels, Vaughn did just that. Recalling his telephone conversation with Jason before the blast, Vaughn said, "Here I was, 0 for 6 before the game and feeling bad about it, and he's trying to cheer me up. It makes you think about yourself."
70 The Word From Sean
In 1992 a team from Long Beach, Calif., lost in the championship game of the Little League World Series only to be declared the winner two weeks later when the Philippine team was stripped of the title for using ineligible players. In '93 the Long Beach team won the Little League championship again but this time on the field. A pinch-hit single by banjo-hitting Jeremy Hess in the bottom of the sixth put Panama away 3-2. Long Beach's most luminous star was Sean Burroughs (above), whose father, Jeff, was the 1974 American League MVP while an outfielder with the Texas Rangers. Sean pitched two no-hitters in the series, batted .562 and celebrated the Little League title by pulling the fire alarm in the team's dorm, causing the local fire department to crash the victory party. When a TV interviewer asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, the precocious 12-year-old said, "A gynecologist."
71 Great Scott
It had been nearly two years, and five spinal-cord operations, for Notre Dame swimmer Haley Scott since the bus crash that killed two of her teammates and broke her back, leaving her partly paralyzed. But on Oct. 29 the butterfly and freestyle specialist toed the starting block at a meet in South Bend, poised to take a truly improbable plunge. She took her mark, she dived, she swam, she turned, she swam back, she touched the wall—and she won her heat. Among those who had flown in to witness Scott's remarkable comeback was Ann Hipp, whose daughter, Colleen, had died in the accident. "I wanted to be here for her," Ann Hipp said, "and yet I know Haley's doing fine without me. I guess I'm here to make myself heal."
72 Returning The Favor
Just before signing a seven-year, $32 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks, former Kentucky forward Jamaal Mashburn announced he would donate $500,000 to a university scholarship fund. "I see this as my chance to give something back to the people who have helped me and to help those students who may not otherwise get a chance," said Mashburn, who was the fourth pick in the NBA draft last June. "I think I have enough money to give."
73 Northern Exposure
As he was lateraled from the Los Angeles Rams to the Chicago Bears to the New England Patriots, quarterback Doug Flutie had an NFL career that was incomplete. But after joining the Canadian Football League in 1990, the '84 Heisman Trophy winner led the Calgary Stampeders to the '92 Grey Cup and this year won an unprecedented third consecutive CFL Most Outstanding Player award. In fact, Flutie (above) has completed 1,278 passes for 18,643 yards and 114 touchdowns the last three seasons—better numbers than those of any of the QBs who played for the NFL teams that once owned his rights.
74 Underground Railroad
Hockey Hall of Fame wannabe Gil Stein is no longer a gonnabe. Apparently convinced he wouldn't get in on merit, the onetime NHL president rigged his March 30 election by stacking the hall's board of governors and railroading them into changing the rules for selection. Stein—whose major contribution to the sport was to suspend brawling players for practices, rather than have them sit out games—withdrew from the hall induction after the league hired outside counsel to investigate the balloting process.
75 A Major Achievement
On Aug. 15, when Paul Azinger parred the second playoff hole in the PGA Championship at Inverness in Toledo, Ohio, he forever shed his image as the best player never to have won a major. Given a reprieve when Greg Norman's birdie putt on the first extra hole lipped the cup and spun out, Azinger slammed the door on Norman after the Aussie three-putted the next hole. Azinger (below) won two other Tour events in 1993, finished in the top three in 10 tournaments and ended up second on the money list. A recent diagnosis of lymphoma in his right shoulder won't stop Azinger, who expects to be swinging a club again in six months.
76 Hey, Pop, Watch This
Only 23, Seattle Mariner centerfielder Ken Griffey Jr. tied a major league record by hitting a home run in eight straight games. Over that span Junior hit more homers than 11 teams did. He finished the year with 45 dingers, for a five-year total of 132—only 20 fewer than his dad, Ken Sr., had in 19 big league seasons.
77 A Modell Citizen
Jim Brown was 29 in 1965 when he left Cleveland for Hollywood. Trading screen passes for screen tests, the Browns' record-breaking fullback turned bad guy—more so in real life than in films. Lately he has adopted a more heroic persona, working to bring peace to gang-war-torn Los Angeles. That may explain why the Browns brought him back to the team as a troubleshooter. "A cloud of toughness and success envelops Jim," said Brown vice-president David Modell. "You get caught up in that type of thing."
78 Coming Full Circle
Minnesota Twin outfielder and DH Dave Winfield got his 3,000th hit on Sept. 16 at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, a few miles and a few decades from the Oxford Playground he played on while growing up in St. Paul. "It will be interesting to see what, when I'm done, people will perceive that I did best offensively," said Winfield, who has also belted 453 home runs and driven in 1,786 runs with five teams in 21 years. "To me, the biggest thing is the hits. No matter how you look at it, that's a lot of hits."
79 High Cost Of Winning
Convinced that he should be the highest-paid running back in the NFL, two-time rushing king Emmitt Smith held out until the Dallas Cowboys anted up. When the defending Super Bowl champs lost their first two games playing without Smith, Cowboy owner Jerry Jones caved in and made him the highest-paid rusher ever. Smith signed the contract on Thursday, Sept. 16, practiced on Friday and played in Dallas's 17-10 win over the Phoenix Cardinals on Sunday. "As crazy as it sounds, we knew the only way we could get our team back was to lose," said one teammate. "We weren't trying to lose, but we knew if we won a game, Jerry would figure we could get along without Emmitt. We're not the Dallas Cowboys without Emmitt." The team won seven straight before Smith injured a quadriceps in the first quarter of Game 10, against the Atlanta Falcons. He didn't return, and the Dallas winning streak ended.
80 Pulling His Own Weight
On Jan. 27 Shinto priests formally invested a 6'8", 466-pound Hawaiian named Chad Rowan as the first foreign yokozuna (grand champion) in the 2,015-year history of sumo wrestling. Rowan, known in sumodom as Akebono, took up Japan's sacred sport in 1988 after dropping out of college. For his first six months in Japan, this son of a retired Honolulu tour guide cried every night. "I wanted to quit," he said. "But if I went home, people would laugh at my parents and say, Your son has a big body, but he can't do anything." Akebono stuck with it. The past two years, he has won Japan's grand tournament.
81 The Mouse That Roared
When ski racer Marc Girardelli was 12, he met David Zwilling, the 1974 world champ in the downhill. Asked if he wanted Zwilling's autograph, the young Girardelli said, "No. I'd rather wait until he asks me for my autograph." At 30, Girardelli, who lives in the tiny, virtually mountainless Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, put his signature on a fifth World Cup overall title. That's more than Gustavo Thoeni or Pirmin Zurbriggen or David Zwilling ever did.
82 Bear In Mind
Ten years after the death of the legendary Bear Bryant, Alabama beat Miami 34-13 to win its 12th national title, its first since 1979. The Sugar Bowl victory was made even sweeter by the fact that 'Bama did it with one of Bear's Boys, Gene Stallings, as coach. Stallings plodded like Bryant, squinted like Bryant and grumbled like Bryant. Finally, he won like Bryant.
83 That's Not All, Folks
Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1988 amateur draft as a favor to Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda, family friend Mike Piazza last summer showed up the 1,388 players chosen ahead of him. Piazza had the best season ever by a rookie catcher, batting .318 with 35 homers and 112 RBIs. He also threw out 35% of potential base stealers, third best in the league. "I look around, and I think, What the hell am I doing here?" said Piazza almost apologetically. "Someday someone is going to drag me away and put me in a Looney Tune."
84 He's a Pushover
Bob Knight did what many college basketball fans have wanted to do for a long time slam-dunk Dick Vitale. Vitale, ESPN's talking machine, clamped a playful bear hug on Knight during a break in the filming of the movie Blue Chips, in which both men had roles. Knight turned, saw Vitale and slammed him to the floor. "I was surprised when he pushed me, but it's no big deal," said Vitale. "I just wanted to surprise him." Now, if someone had the guts to floor Knight....
85 A Nose For the Ball
On May 13 George Brett's 300th career home run cleared the fence at Cleveland Stadium, caromed off a concrete wall and bounced around the stands before it was retrieved by Ralph Gay, 55, a fan on an outing from a nearby veterans' hospital. Gay didn't exactly catch the ball: He picked it up as it rolled in front of him. Still, it was a pretty slick move. Gay is blind.
86 Brittle Battler
Cutting loose franchise favorite Joe Montana turned out to be not such a bad move by the San Francisco 49ers, even though they took a pummeling in the press for granting the then 36-year-old quarterback's request to let him start or let him go elsewhere. Given that Montana's bum elbow had limited him to playing in only one game in 1991 and '92, the Niners opted to stick with Steve Young, who, in Montana's absence, had kept the team among the NFL's elite. Snatched up by the quarterback-starved Kansas City Chiefs, Montana missed five games and parts of three others with hamstring and wrist injuries in the first 13 games. At least the Chiefs were 6-2 when Montana was able to play.
87 Play Him Where He Lies
While ambling toward a bunker at the LPGA Jamie Farr Toledo Classic on July 2, golfer Tara Fleming spotted a hazard she hadn't noticed before. Raymond Henzler, 63, was lying in an adjacent fairway, the victim of a heart attack. Fleming raced to Henzler and, assisted by caddie Jason Hamilton, administered CPR. Henzler was taken to a nearby hospital, and he recovered. Fleming found her ball and made bogey en route to a 74.
88 The Way the Ball Bounces
Defying 66-to-1 odds, the merely mediocre Orlando Magic won the May 23 lottery for the first pick in the NBA draft. The Magic, who finished 41-41 and lost a tiebreaker for the final playoff spot, had only one of the 66 Ping-Pong balls used to determine the first three picks. Under the lottery's weighted system, the team with the worst record, the Dallas Mavericks, had 11 balls, but they wound up with only the fourth pick. After Orlando got the top choice for the second straight year, the lottery was retooled in November to lengthen the odds against the Magic's pulling a three-peat.
89 Take It from An Expert
In a lecture to graduate business students at Penn's prestigious Wharton School, self-promoting boxing promoter Don King called himself a "pioneer, trailblazer, maverick, entrepreneur with magic vision, and a bridge over troubled waters." Advising budding CEOs to "rhapsodize and soliloquize," the man who was once acquitted of tax-evasion charges said, "You must write it on before you write it off."
90 Dial M For Martina
Her brilliant tennis career nearly over, Martina Navratilova found new life as a mystery writer, signing a reported $1 million deal with Villard Books for three whodunits. Best of all, she won't even have to buy a pad and pencil. Villard has hired a published novelist to take care of the messy writing end of the deal.
91 Nice Sack Of Change
One of the longest-running grudge matches in pro football ended in January when the NFL's owners and players finally reached a collective bargaining agreement after five years of often rancorous haggling. In return for a salary cap that takes effect in 1994, the owners coughed up a vastly liberalized free-agency system, for which the players had been holding out. The unfettered free agent who raked in the most money the first year under the new system was defensive end Reggie White, who this season became the NFL's career leader in quarterback sacks. After getting the red-carpet treatment in visits with six teams, White left the Philadelphia Eagles for the Green Bay Packers, who made him the highest-paid defensive player in history. The four-year, $17 million contract represented an average increase of $2,625 million annually over White's "92 salary.
92 Byrd Takes Wing
Dennis Byrd rolled into the New York Jet training camp on Aug. 4, less than nine months after the defensive end had collided with a teammate, broken his neck and become partially paralyzed in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Early in his rehabilitation, Byrd had confided to friends that he would show up at camp, prop his feet up, sip an iced tea and give the players hell. And that's exactly what he did, breezing into practice behind the wheel of a golf cart. As a result of the swift and effective medical attention he received immediately following his injury, and through his own sheer will, Byrd has made a remarkable recovery. He now walks with a limp but has nearly full use of his arms and legs, and he insists he'll someday run for exercise again.
93 The Perfect Couple
On Feb. 3, shortly after 69-year-old Nini Hopper aced the 175-yard 9th hole at the Kearny (Ariz.) Golf Course, her husband, Lee, playing in another foursome behind hers, teed it up at the same hole and hit a shot that bounced a couple times and went in the cup. Later, when he learned of his wife's feat, Lee, 76, played it cool. "I asked her how her day was," Lee said. "She said, 'Oh, fine.' Then a little bit later, she said, I made a hole in one.' I asked her what hole, and she said, 'Nine.' I said, 'Good, you tied me.' It ruined her day."