There may not be sports currently happening every day but that should not stop us from remembering some of the best moments from the past.
Since sports are a big part of the world and a big part of many people’s lives, we have decided to dedicate this section of the paper to events from the past which happened this week. Instead of dwelling on what events we have missed with the sports shutdown, we want to focus on the memorable moments that have made sports great.
Elmore County — May 24, 1991
The Tallassee baseball team entered the 1991 state championship series as a big favorite against Pleasant Grove. The Tigers were the two-time defending champions in Class 4A and they were sporting a perfect 27-0 record entering the final.
Tallassee got a bit of a shock in Game 1 as Pleasant Grove defeated the Tigers 4-2 to take an advantage but that would not last very long. Tallassee won Game 2, 3-1, and finished off the three-peat with a 7-5 victory in Game 3.
It was just the fourth time in the history of the AHSAA a team had won three consecutive state championships. The Tigers also held a 40-game winning streak between the 1990 and 1991 seasons which still stands as the second longest streak in AHSAA history.
The victory marked Tallassee’s fifth state title in six years, all under now-Hall of Fame coach Ronnie Baynes.
State — May 24, 2006
After the 2005 season, the Troy baseball team felt like it got snubbed by the NCAA Tournament selection committee. The Trojans made sure to leave no doubt the next season as they breezed through the regular season, winning the Sun Belt in their first season and earning the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.
Troy still did not want to leave anything up to chance so it pushed for the automatic bid and were not denied. The Trojans reeled off four wins in four days including a 10-6 victory over Middle Tennessee in the championship.
Josh Dew hit two home runs in the victory, knocking in five runs. Blake Green, who was named the MVP of the tournament, knocked in two runs and finished with two hits in the title game.
National — May 25, 1965
Cassius Clay had already pulled off one of the best upsets in sports history by defeating Sonny Liston in 1963 and the two met again two years later but with a different name on the poster. Clay had since changed his name to Muhammad Ali after converting to Islam but it did not affect his power in the ring.
Early in the first round, Ali knocked down Liston and stood over him which turned into one of the most iconic sports photos of the last decade. The count did not start right away as Ali refused to return to his corner but Liston stayed down for nearly 20 seconds and the match was called in Ali’s favor as he recorded a knockout in less than two minutes.
The match came with plenty of controversy as the press referred to the knockout as “the phantom punch” and there are still theories Liston threw the match for a variety of reasons.
International — May 25, 2005
AC Milan could not have asked for a better start to the 2005 Champions League Final against Liverpool. Legendary defender Paolo Maldini became the oldest goal scorer in the history of the competition when he volleyed home a shot within the first minute of the match to give Milan the lead.
Milan added to their lead with a brace from Hernan Crespo before halftime, seemingly burying Liverpool heading into the break. Liverpool just need a little bit of magic and it got it shortly after the second half began. Steven Gerrard got the comeback started with a goal in the 54th minute and it was quickly followed by a goal from Vladimir Šmicer two minutes later. Liverpool found the equalizer in the 60th minute when Xabi Alonso scored off the rebound from a saved penalty.
The match stayed level for the final 60 minutes of regular time and extra time as the two teams entered the penalty shootout to determine a champion. Liverpool came out on top, scoring three of four penalty attempts, after Jerzy Dudek saved an attempt from Andriy Shevchenko.