|Readers' List: Best moments of 2001|
From the Page 2 mailbag
'Tis the season for year-end lists.
With the whole nation watching in excitement, the most dramatic World Series in recent history came to an unexpected conclusion when Luis Gonzalez slapped his game-winning single off Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning. Similar to the excitement drawn by Edgar Renteria's game-winning single in the 1997 World Series, Gonzalez's hit captivated us all. With a World Series that was crazy to begin with, the ending just added to the insanity. Who would have thought that with the Yankees just three outs away from their fourth straight title, their streak would come to an abrupt halt. Most importantly, though, the nation needed something like this to happen. Although there was a larger than normal hope for a Yankees victory, the conclusion, be it for some only a split second, took our minds off of the tragedy of Sept. 11. America needed a break, and Luis Gonzalez delivered. Adam Kallin
Cooper City, Fla.
2. Ray Bourque hoists the Stanley Cup (138 letters) The best moment of 2001 was unquestionably the moment when Joe Sakic immediately skated over and handed Ray Bourque the Stanley Cup. I realize the lack of hockey fans in the United States will keep this from getting to No. 1, but that should not matter. Bourque is everything that is good about sports in this country. He was loyal, played at a high level for a long time, and he appreciates his fans. He was so good, and so loyal to the fans in Beantown, that they even endorsed his being traded to a contender, and then got behind him during the seven-game Finals. There is something to be said when a whole city routes for a player to win the Stanley Cup. On top of all of that, he hoisted the Cup in his final game, and then quietly retired without seeking loads of attention. Matt S.
I'm not a huge hockey fan anymore, and I'm definitely not an Avalance fan, but I watched this whole series just to see if Raymond Bourque could finally get what he deserved. The picture of him hoisting Lord Stanley's cup will forever be in my memory. Chris Riggi
3. Scott Brosius homer wins Game 5 of the World Series (120 letters)
Brosius' home run had to be the most "Unbelievable Insane Twilight Zone I Can't Believe That Just Happened" moment in baseball since Buckner. Ben Thompson
I have to agree with you on Scott Brosius' game-tying homer. If there's such a thing as ending a dynasty with honor, the Yankees managed it in the 2001 World Series. Game 5 was like getting ready to leave the arena after my favorite band finishes their encore, and then realizing they're coming back out for one more song. Andrew Pushlar
White Plains, N.Y.
4. Lance Armstrong wins his third straight Tour de France (86 letters)
Menlo Park, Calif.
It is inconceiveable to me that Lance Armstrong's winning of his third Tour is not on the list or honorable mention. Comparing a single home run, e.g., either Bond's or Brosius', to what Armstrong accomplished is like comparing walking to Michael Johnson in the 400 meter. As for MJ, it was a mistake from the beginning, and it continues to be a hype by the press only. It is and was a non-event. David Black
Clear Lake, Texas
5. Derek Jeter's flip throw in Game 3 of the ALDS (63 letters)
The most dramatic sports moment of 2001 has to be Jeter's play in Game 3 against Oakland. I still can't believe it when I see it. There's no conceivable reason for him being there, let alone to be able to make that flip to Posada. Then Posada's tag just clips Giambi's leg without a mili-second to spare. It's picture-perfect and impossible. Plus, it let the Yankees stay in the series they eventually won, giving them the momentum to get to the World Series. That play is simply unforgettable. Adam Ruder
Though I am by no means a Yankees advocate, I have to rank Jeter's relay to home plate in Game 3 of the ALCS as the sports moment of the year. Without that throw, the greatest World Series of all-time might never have occurred. Maybe the A's would have won it all, creating the leverage to secure Mr. Giambi's services for 2002. Instead, Jeter's throw seems to have set the stage for years of Yankee dominance to come. Has one play meant so much to one sport in recent memory? Steve Averett
6. Dale Jr. wins in return to Daytona (43 letters)
7. Cal Ripken's homer in the All-Star Game (32 letters) Cal Ripken Jr.'s first-pitch homer in the All-Star Game reminded those of us who admire great players that respect sometimes goes both ways. Cal's shot was the ultimate thank you to the fans. And while it might have counted for nothing, the home run's drama foreshadowed the exciting events in the season's second half. Quinn Hanchette
8. Goran Ivanesivic wins Wimbledon (18 letters) This guy had been called "The Best Player to Never Win a Major." After coming so close three times, his emotional win over Patrick Rafter in the fifth set meant he had to trade that in -- for the title of being the first wild card ever to win at Wimbledon. B. Hansen
Iowa City, Iowa
9. Seventh-inning stretch in New York, Sept. 21 (16 letters) I think it should be a tie between every baseball game after Sept. 21 where they played "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch. For a long time many Americans were getting sick and tired of the national anthem being played before every game. Now, not only do we demand the National Anthem, but we need more. We need to hear "God Bless America," too. We live in a cynical world, and perhaps now we, as Americans, can take pride and honor in being American. Joe Novick
10. Duke rallies against Maryland in the Final Four (14 letters)
Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.