Top Nine July 4 Moments
By Lou DiPietro
Some two-and-a-half centuries ago, our nation's forefathers approved and signed the Declaration of Independence, giving figurative birth to one of the world's superpowers. As we celebrate Independence Day and our country's 238th birthday, there will be hundreds of men and women hard at work in the sports world to entertain us while we take a break from hot dogs, fireworks, and sunburn.
Many great sports moments have happened on July 4, but it's hard to top these nine. U-S-A!
PISTOL PETE POPS A 7-PACK (1993)
Pete Sampras dominated Wimbledon and his first of seven titles at the All-England Club came when he defeated fellow Yank Jim Courier on July 4, 1993. Sampras' final one came in 2000, and 12 years later, he's still the last American man to come out the victor on London's lawns.
WRESTLING'S NEW HERO (1993)
Numerous pro athletes and WWE Superstars tried (and failed) to body slam the 500-plus-pound WWE Champion, Yokozuna, aboard the USS Intrepid in 1993 ... until Lex Luger arrived via helicopter and saved the day by channeling his inner Hulk Hogan. Look out below!
DOUBLE TROUBLE (1965)
July 4, 1965 is the birthdate of twin brothers and former NBA stars Horace and Harvey Grant, who played a total of 28 seasons in the league and proved that goggles aren't just for swimmers anymore.
JUST BORN, BABY (1929)
The Grant twins share their birthday with iconic Raiders owner Al Davis, who was born on July 4, 1929 ...
HERE COMES THE BOSS (1930)
... and one year later, George M. Steinbrenner III was born on July 4, 1930. It's almost fitting that the Yankees are in his native Tampa to play the Rays on The Boss' birthday, isn't it?
THE MICK GOES DEEP (1960)
When Mickey Mantle launched a three-run bomb off Washington's Hal Woodeshick on July 4, 1960, he became just the sixth man in MLB history to reach 300 home runs. By the time "The Mick" finished with 536, he was ahead of all of the previous five except Babe Ruth.
: THE RYAN EXPRESS REACHES STOP 3K (1980)
Poor Cesar Geronimo. After having been Bob Gibson's 3,000th strikeout victim in 1974, Geronimo again recorded a historic whiff in 1980 when he was on the business end of Nolan Ryan's 3,000th career K. Good thing he had retired by the time Randy Johnson debuted, no?
A BIRTHDAY NO-NO (1983)
Dave Righetti gave the Yankees' owner one heck of a 53rd birthday present by no-hitting the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium ... and it's probably a safe wager that the Sox didn't get any of Mr. Steinbrenner's cake either.
THE IRON HORSE LUCKS OUT (1939)
On July 4, 1939, Lou Gehrig considered himself "the luckiest man on the face of the Earth" as his number was retired at Yankee Stadium. Need we say more?