Monday, July 15, 2019

The best that I've seen live

There is a new bat-around that I saw on Night Owl Cards but originated on Five Tool Collector - naming the best athletes you saw in each sport in your first live game, and all -time. I got to see some pretty good ones yesterday - Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Vladimir Guerr

Like Night Owl, my first game was Royals at Yankees. Though mine was nine years late, it had several of the same players - Willie Randolph, Willie Wilson, and of course, George Brett. Other notables in that game from April 19, 1987 (I am only counting the first game of the doubleheader) are Bo Jackson, Don Mattingly, Rickey Henderson and Dave Winfield. Out of that group, Rickey Henderson pretty clearly had the best career. An honorable mention would be Mickey Mantle. He was working as a Yankees announcer at the time and it was his first game back after a health scare - the crowd gave him a big ovation.

All-time - I have to go with the only unanimous Hall-of-Famer. I consider myself lucky that several times I got to see Mariano Rivera stride out to Enter Sandman and close out a Yankees win.

I've only been to one pro football game in my life. It's pretty much impossible to get Giants tickets, but in 2003 a friend with connections got tickets to a Giants at Jets game at the Meadowlands. The Giants won a sloppy game in overtime, 31-28, to improve their record to 4-4, in what was supposedly setting the team up for a playoff run. Instead they went 0-8 in the second half, leading to the firing of Jim Fassel, the hiring of Tom Coughlin, and the drafting of Eli Manning.

Neither team had a fantastic quarterback (Kerry Collins, Chad Pennington). Other than Hall-of-Famer Curtis Martin and Hofstra's Wayne Chrebet, there wasn't much big-time talent on the Jets side. Lots of key Giants though, including Amani Toomer, Tiki Barber, Jeremy Shockey, Keith Hamilton, Osi Umenyiora, and the Hall-of-Famer Michael Strahan.

I'm not really a hockey fan, but I went with some friends to a Devils-Islanders game at Nassau Coliseum on March 4, 2012. The only goal was scored by the Islanders' Kyle Okposo. Looking at the game summary, the only other players whose names I recognize now are Patrik Elias of the Devils and John Tavares of the Islanders, who appears to be the best of the group.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so jealous that so many of you remember specific games. Wish I would have kept all of my ticket stubs from my childhood.