There's a new book out called Being There which collects the firsthand memories and ramblings of 100 people about the most memorable sporting events they've ever seen. From Mike and The Mad Dog, which is odd since every game that comes up one or the other says "Didn't see it but read the boxscore", to Marv Albert, the contributors run the gamut of the sports world. In that vein Jamie Mottram of Mister Irrelevant and the Fanhouse asked a bunch of bloggers for their most treasured live sports memories. Mine is after the jump but by all means you should go check out the rest.
No game I've ever been to has compared to Game Five of the 2001 World Series and it's hard to imagine that any game ever could. The city was less than two months removed from September 11th and it felt like the only thing we had to steal our minds from the grueling digging and constant funerals was sports and, specifically, the Yankees run for a fourth straight World Series. I was in various bars formost of the big moments in the playoffs to that point - Jeter's remarkable play in the third game of the ALDS with the season on the line, the wins over Seattle to upset the 116-win juggernaut and the events of Game Four. When Tino Martinez tied the game with two out in the ninth with a home run and when Derek Jeter won it innings later I was in the middle of a jolly scrum knowing that I had tickets the next night and the spectre of elimination wouldn't hang overhead.
It didn't feel like such a gift for the first eight and a half innings of the game. Miguel Batista was outstanding for Arizona, holding the Yankees scoreless until he left the game with two out in the eighth inning, and outdueled a very game Mike Mussina who had given up just two solo homers. The top of the ninth ended with every fan in Yankee Stadium on their feet cheering Paul O'Neill, as everyone knew it would be his last game in the majors, although Byung-Hyun Kim, back a night after giving up the Martinez homer got two outs after Posada doubled. Scott Brosius was the batter and my hopes weren't high. He'd been popping out left and right all season and after the night before who could expect another dramatic game saving home run. That was just what we got, though, and it was bedlam. Strangers hugging strangers, grown men crying and four cops in full uniform in the stands next to me doing a lot of each. Soriano's game winning single in the 12th was academic, there was no way the Yankees were losing after that moment, and even though they lost the series I always seem to remember that moment, when Brosius homered as the last moment of the greatest baseball team I've ever seen, not the humpback single that truly ended the dynasty.