Twenty One years ago today the visiting Chicago Bulls defeated the Phoenix Suns in game 6 of the NBA Finals to win the series. The Bulls won by a score of 99-98. Michael Jordan was the leading scorer in the game with 33 points. This was the Bulls 3rd consecutive NBA Championship. This victory further increased Michael Jordan’s legacy as the greatest basketball player ever. Jordan would later retire in October of 1993. He would however come back in 1995 to win 3 more NBA Titles.
Posted in NBA, sports, Sports History
Tagged 1993, 20, 3 peat, 33 points, arizona, champions, championship, consecutive, game 6, june, michael jordan, phoenix, retired, title, win
The tradition that is known as the NFL Draft came into existence in 1936. The first player ever taken in the NFL Draft was Running Back Jay Berwanger. The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Berwanger, unfortunately he would never play a pro football game due to salary disputes with multiple teams
Since then the NFL Draft has involved thousands of players, many of which have gone on to become all time greats. Many more however went on to have careers that would earn them the dubious distinction of being called a “Draft Bust”. The most coveted position for any team is the first overall pick. The team that holds this position is usually in desperate need of a break out rookie that can turn their franchise around. There is only one chance for first overall greatness every year.
There have been only 78 men who can call themselves the first overall pick in the NFL draft. The positions picked the most may not surprise you but the positions that were picked the least might shock you.
The quarterback position has the title of the most popular first overall pick in draft history. Twenty seven QBs have been nabbed by teams with the most coveted draft spot. Ten of those twenty seven became pro bowl players, names like Eli Manning (2004), Peyton Manning (1998), Drew Bledsoe (1993) and Vinny Testaverde (1987) just to name a few. Only Troy Aikman (1989), John Elway (1983) and Terry Bradshaw (1970) had careers so great they were inducted into the Hall Of Fame.
Twenty five Running Backs have been picked first overall. Seven of them became Pro Bowlers including Bo Jackson (1986), Billy Sims (1980) and Tucker Frederickson (1965). The Running Backs hold the record of most Hall Of Fame inductees with five. Running Back Bill Dudley (1942) was the first player at any position drafted first overall to become a Hall Of Famer. The most recent Running Back to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame is Earl Campbell (1978) who was drafted by the Houston Oilers.
Defensive End’s have also been a very popular choice with eleven picked first overall. Defensive Ends Mario Williams (2006), Ed “Too Tall” Jones (1974), Dave Parks (1964) and Leon Hart (1950) were all voted to the Pro Bowl. Bruce Smith (1985) and Lee Roy Selmon (1976) were the only Defensive End’s to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame.
Positions that were drafted the least with the top pick are Defensive Tackle (4), Offensive Tackle (4), Line Backer (3), Center (2) and Wide Receiver (2). Eight different positions have all seen the top choice. Wide Receiver, Defensive Tackle and Line Backer are the only positions to never have a first overall player reach the Hall Of Fame.
A few of the players drafted in the last decade will more than likely find a home in the Hall Of Fame. As of now the first overall pick has only been a future Hall Of Famer twelve of the seventy seven times. Who knows, we might see the next great NFL player drafted with the first pick tonight in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Posted in NFL, sports, Sports History
Tagged 1936, 1942, 1950, 1964, 1965, 1970, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1993, 1998, 1st pick, 2004, 2006, 2013, 2014, 77, best, bill dudley, billy sims, bo jackson, bruce smith, busts, dave parks, defensive, drew bledsoe, eagles, earl campbell, ed too tall jones, eli manning, first, greatest, hall of fame, hall of famer, history, HOF, in, Jay Berwanger, john elway, lee roy selmon, leon hart, mario williams, never played, offensive, overall, payton manning, pick, player, QB, quarterback, salary dispute, super bowl, terry bradshaw, troy aikman, tucker frederickson, vinny testaverde, was, who
Nolan Ryan was 46 years of age when the 1993 MLB season began. He announced that he would retire at the end of the season. Nolan Ryan had pitched magic through four decades and was ready to call it a career. The last big moment in his pitching career came not from his pitches but from his fists.
On August 4th, 1993 the visiting Chicago White Sox were in Arlington to take on the Texas Rangers. Nolan Ryan was on the mound for the Rangers. After giving up 2-runs to the White Sox in the first inning he was facing young third baseman Robin Ventura. Ventura had hit for an RBI single off of Ryan in the first inning. On his first pitch Ryan beaned Ventura in the elbow.
Nolan Ryan fighting at age 46. (Getty Images)
Robin Ventura appeared to be walking to first base when he suddenly threw his helmet down and charged at the mound. Ryan calmly side stepped Ventura and put him in a headlock with is left arm. Ryan proceeded to punch the 26 year old Ventura in the face approximately 6 times before his catcher Ivan Rodriguez could pull him away. The teams quickly cleared the bench and a wild brawl ensued. When the field was cleared 5 minutes later, Ventura and his manager Gene Lamont were ejected from the game by the Umpire. Ryan would not be ejected due to the fact he never left the mound until Ventura reached him.
Nolan Ryan would leave the game in the seventh inning with his team leading 5-2. The score would not change and Ryan received the win. It was his third win of the season.
Nolan Ryan would only pitch for a few more times before his arm was finally thrown out in late September. This is not only one of the many memorable Nolan Ryan moments but it was the most memorable baseball fight of the 1990s. The fight was played numerous times on television newscasts the next day. Everyone was happy to see a 46 year old Ryan school Robin Ventura who was 20 years his junior. It showed how tough Ryan really was and baseball fans nation wide loved it. This was an incredible moment for Ryan to end his final season on.
Posted in MLB, sports, Sports History
Tagged 1993, 26, 46, august, baseball, beaned, bench clearing, brawl, charge, charged, dgout, fight, final season, gene lemont, hall of fame, head, headlock, historic, history, hit by pitch, hit ventura, in the face, ivan rodriguea, memorable, MLB, nolan ryan, pitch, played, puch, rangers, rbi, robin ventura, runs, second inning, single, the mound, what inning, which teams, white sox, win, years old
Alex Rodriguez in 1993. (Getty Images)
On this day in 1993 one of the biggest baseball stars of the 1990’s and 2000’s was drafted in the MLB Draft. The Seattle Mariners used their #1 overall pick in 1993 to draft Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez was drafted after his senior year of high school where he played at Westminster Christian High School. He was a highly touted player during high school, hitting .419 over 100 games. He would go on to be the highest paid baseball player at the time when he signed a 10 year $252 million deal with the Texas Rangers in 2000. Rodriguez also became the youngest player to reach 500 career home runs at age 32.
Posted in MLB, sports, Sports History
Tagged $, 1993, 252 million, 500th, a-rod, alex, draft, first overall, home run, mlb draft, rodriguez, seattle mariners, texas rangers. deal, Westminster Christian High School, what year
The State of Florida has been the home of Spring Training since the early part of the 1900s. Up until 1993 Florida never had a professional baseball team to call their own. The Florida Marlins who were based in the Miami area were the first. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays were soon to follow in 1998. But Florida has a deep history of pursuing Major League Baseball before they received their teams in the 1990s.
It started in 1983 in the Tampa Bay area when local city officials considered building a baseball stadium to house a pro team. Construction began in 1986 on what is now known as Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. It was completed in 1990. At the time there were no expansion franchises being granted for any city. So they sought a team the best way they could, trying to lure a team from their current city.
Tropicana Filed, The stadium that would bring baseball to the Tampa Bay area. (Getty Images)
The Chicago White Sox were the first team that Tampa pursued. In 1989 The White Sox were not happy in the old Comiskey Park and wanted a new stadium. They flirted with Tampa for a while before ultimately getting their new stadium and staying in Chicago.
The next team that was rumored was the Seattle Mariners. The talks did not go very far and the Mariners remained in Washington.
Tampa had their hearts broken in 1991 when they were denied an expansion franchise. The Miami area won out instead of Tampa and the Florida Marlins came into existence. The Marlins played the first ever regular season game in Florida in April of 1993.
The closest that Tampa ever came to stealing a team away from a city was in 1993. The San Francisco Giants owners were looking to sell and a group of investors from Tampa were looking to buy them. The deal was almost done. The local baseball fans were already celebrating and then the bad news came. The sale was vetoed by the National League Owners. The Giants remained in San Francisco and Tampa was still without a team.
That was until in 1995 when they were granted an expansion franchise. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays played their first regular season game in 1998.
The past does make one wonder how different things would be if the White Sox, Mariners or Giants would have relocated to Tampa. If the White Sox or Mariners would have moved would there have been a team in Miami in 1993? Probably not, there more than likely would have been years later though. The Giants move would have been interesting. The city of San Francisco would probably have a different team right now. There is no way that City would be without a team for too long, not with their tradition and history.
It’s really incredible how things turned out for Tampa. They took a huge risk by building a stadium without having a team for it. For many years they looked like failures. Many in the city thought they would never have a team to call their own. But Tampa proved to be very persistent and got what they wanted in the end.
Posted in MLB, Sports History
Tagged 1983, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1998, almost, April, baseball, Chicago, city, comiskey park, debut, devil rays, did they, first team, Florida, franchise, giants, inagural, mariners, marlins, MLB, move, moved, of, old stadium, opening day, pro, professional, rays, run down, san francisco, seattle, sports, stadium, tampa, tampa bay, tropicana field, white sox
Michael Jordan (Getty Images)
Twenty years ago today Michael Jordan hit a scoring milestone in his career. It was January the 8th, 1993. The Chicago Bulls were taking on the Milwaukee Bucks at home. The Bulls won by a score of 120-95. The Bulls continued on a season that would bring them another NBA title. During the game Jordan scored his 20,000th career point. The moment came when Jordan drained a 3 point shot with 5:12 left to go in the game. He was taken out just seconds later and ended the game with exactly 20,000 points. He did so in just his 9th NBA season and in his 620th NBA game.
The only other player to reach that scoring mark in a shorter amount time was Wilt Chamberlain. Chamberlain reached the mark of 20,000 career points in his 499th game. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the all time scoring leader with 38,387. Karl Malone holds the 2nd spot with 36,928 points. Jordan is in 3rd place with 32,292 career points.
Posted in NBA, Sports History
Tagged 000, 1993, 20, 3, 8th, all time, bucks, career, championship, chicago bulls, did it take, great career, how many game, january, kareem abdul-jabbar, karl malone, leader, michael jordan, points, scoring mark, three pointer, victory, wilt chamberlain, win
Many modern football fans have never even heard the name Otto Graham. Decades before Bernie Kosar was taking the Browns through many playoff runs. Otto Graham was the best quarterback not only in Cleveland but in the NFL. Years before Jim Brown dominated teams, Otto Graham was dominating the league. Graham will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. He was the 1st and possibly the biggest Cleveland sports star ever.
Otto Graham goes for a pass in Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium. (Getty Images)
Otto Graham started his professional career in Cleveland during the 1946 season. At the time the Browns played in the All American Football Conference (AAFC). In that season Graham lead the Browns to their 1st Championship and the team finished with a 12-2 record. The winning did not stop there. The Browns went on to win the 1947, 1948 and 1949 AAFC Championship prior to entering the NFL in 1950. During his first 4 seasons he played in 54 games and had 86 TD’s and 10,085 yards passing in total. Many people considered the AAFC to be the minor leagues so to speak. The Browns were not expected to be as dominant in the NFL.
The critics were completely wrong with their assumption. Graham had almost the same numbers in the NFL as he did in the AAFC. Graham would play in 72 games in the NFL and have 88 TD’s and 13,499 yards passing. Graham and the Browns made the Championship game from 1950 to 1955. In total Graham led the Browns to 10 straight championship games with them winning 7 of them. The only years during this period where they did not win a championship was 1951, 1952 and 1953. Their playoff record was 9-3 during those 10 seasons.
Otto Graham retired after the 1955 season. He retired with 174 TD’s and 23,584 yards passing. In his career Graham was a 5 time Pro Bowler and was a 7 time First Team All Pro. He was one of the first inductees into the Hall Of Fame in 1965.
Otto Graham’s Plaque (Getty Images)
Otto Graham was able to accomplish something that will never happen again by leading his team to 10 straight championship games. The only other player to come close was Jim Kelly with the Buffalo Bills. The Bills made it to the Super Bowl from 1990-1994 but never won any of those games.
There are many names that are discussed when talking about who was the greatest quarterback ever. Names like Dan Marino, John Elway, Johnny Unitas and Tom Brady but none of those players achieved the success that Graham was able to do. The only argument that any one might have against Graham would be that the playoffs were shorter with less games when he played. The fact of the matter is he still won those titles and in both leagues. The only reason that most people do not consider him the best is because they don’t know anything about him or what he did during his career.
As long as the stats and film are around no one can deny his greatness. For such a short career by today’s standards he really made an impact. Otto Graham passed away in 2003. He left a legacy that will never be forgotten, he will live forever in the Hall Of Fame.
Posted in NFL, Sports History
Tagged 10, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1965, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2003, 7, aafc, all american football conference, bernie kosar, best, browns, buffalo bills, championship, cleveland, dan marino, died, ever, games, greatest, hall of fame, hero, jim brown, jim kelly, john elway, NFL, one of, otto graham, passed away, playoffs, quarterback, record, star, straight, the, titles, tom brady