General Sports

Top 10…er…8 Calls of All Time

Recently, I was watching the Best Damn Top 50 Spectacular Plays and it got me obsessed with Top Ten lists. Naturally, I had to watch Who’s Number 1? and The Sports List afterwards, and yell at Summer Sanders when I disagreed. Now I’m hooked and I have been trying to think of unique top ten lists. With this list of the best sports casting calls of all time, I feel I’ve accomplished that (even if I could only think of eight worthy of the list).

8. 1998 NBA Finals Game 6 – Utah Jazz vs. Chicago Bulls

“If that’s the last image of Michael Jordan, how magnificent is it?” I don’t know who said it or why he has to have such a boring, monotone voice, but it’s still a great line. After MJ hit the jumper to put the Bulls up two with six seconds left, this announcer gave us one of the most memorable calls in all of basketball. Of course, it was not the last image of Jordan, but either way, it was still magnificent.

7. 2000 AFC Wild-Card Game – Buffalo Bills vs. Tennessee Titans

“10, 5, end zone…touchdown, Titans! There are no flags on the field! It’s a miracle! Tennessee has pulled a miracle! A miracle for the Titans!” This radio call, also known as the `Music City Miracle’, by Mike Keith will probably not be as lasting as the actual play in people’s minds, but his constant use of the world `miracle’ garnered a spot on my top eight list (plus it was one of the most thrilling finishes ever). As Kevin Dyson got the ball from Frank Wycheck on the controversial lateral, you could see the sideline opening up and feel the emotion, and Keith captured the play perfectly.

6. 1991 World Series Game 6 – Minnesota Twins vs. Atlanta Braves

“And we’ll see you…tomorrow night!” Jack Buck made this call, and when it comes to walk-off home runs, this is one of the best. Kirby Puckett was already doing everything for the Twins in this series, and then he came through again to force a Game 7 with an 11th inning blast to left center in the Metrodome. Oh and that `tomorrow night?’ The Twins won that one too, becoming World Series Champions.

5. 1985 NLCS Game 5 – St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

“Go crazy, folks! Go crazy!” Another gem on a walk-off homer by Buck. Though I hate to have this call in the top 5 because my beloved Dodgers lost the game, I have to admit it’s a solid call. When Ozzie Smith hits a homer it’s unbelievable in itself, but this one was a walk-off home run at Busch Stadium that gave the Cards a 3-2 advantage. What an image it is of Ozzie rounding the bases, fist raised high in the air, with folks goin’ crazy everywhere! Oh yeah, and the Cardinals ended up winning the series too. Bastards.

4. 1951 NL Pennant Game 3 – New York Giants vs. Brooklyn Dodgers

“The Giants win the Pennant! The Giants win the Pennant!” Another terrible defeat of the Dodgers, this time at the hands of their enemies. But even as much as this call by Russ Hodges makes me mad, I can’t deny that it’s a chilling, exciting way to call Bobby Thompson’s walk-off home run that sent the Giants to the World Series. More commonly known as `the shot heard `round the world,’ Thompson’s home run and Hodges’ call is one of the most memorable plays in baseball history.

3. 1988 World Series Game 1 – Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Oakland Athletics

“I don’t believe…what I just saw!” Another call from the Jack Buck collection, and finally one in which the Dodgers actually won the game. Kirk Gibson was the Dodgers’ best hitter the entire 1988 season, but was hobbled and hurt in the playoffs, and was deemed unavailable for the World Series. But with two outs in the ninth inning of Game 1 and a runner on, Dodgers trailing by two, Gibson did the unthinkable. He went in to pinch-hit, and took the best closer in baseball (at the time), Dennis Eckersley’s, 3-2 pitch deep to right, sparking Buck’s memorable call.

2. 1982 Big Game – Cal vs. Stanford

“Oh, the band is out on the field! He’s gonna go into the end zone! He’s gone into the end zone!…And the Bears! The Bears have won! Oh, my God! The most amazing, sensational, dramatic, heart-rending…exciting, thrilling finish in the history of college football! California has won the Big Game over Stanford!” Wow. Joe Starkey with the radio call for one of the most famous, and arguably the best finish to any game in any sport, ever. The laterals, the band, the trombone player, will forever be remembered, and so will Starkey’s wild, out of control call.

1. 1980 Olympic Hockey – USA vs. Russia

“Do you believe in miracles!? YES!” The most simple, honest question turns into the best call of all time. Al Michaels pours it out with his call of the Americans’ 4-3 victory over the unbeatable Soviet Union team at the 1980 Olympics. Not only were the American players underdogs and in over their heads even being on the ice with the Soviet team, but they pulled out this incredible victory in the midst of the Cold War. Do I believe in miracles? Yes, Al, I do now.

13 replies on “Top 10…er…8 Calls of All Time”

An Underrated Call…. …my favorite and possibly the most underrated call was when Gonzaga knocked off Florida to get to the Elite Eight and Gus Johnson did his:

“Shot clock turned off… Calvary…Hall…8 to shoot…Hall… the runner…loose ball…it’s good!!!…with 4.4 to go… Shannon… Don’t want to foul… Shannon from the corner… and it’s over… Gonzaga!!!… the slipper still fits!!!…”

This has to be on there… “Little roller up along first…BEHIND THE BAG!!..It gets through Buckner…here comes Knight and the Mets win it!

this is a great list what? no “Ladies and gentleman, the Flyers are going to win the Stanley Cup! The Flyers win the Stanley Cup! The Flyers win the Stanley Cup!”?

Hey Vin… I have never heard that call, thought it sounds good…and the reason i didn’t put buckner on there is because it was exciting but it wasn’t as spine-tingling as the others…i don’t know maybe i overlooked that one…also for some reason when i edited something i saw an error with, the sound clip disappeared…could you take a look at that for me? Thanks

Down Goes Frazier! That’s the only obvious one you left off. I love top 10 lists too.

You forget… 1994 East Finals Rangers v. Devils on MSG…

Stephane Matteau sends Jersey home in overtime


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