Big Lead Sports Bar



ESPN's Dave Dameshek and I discussed the greatest plays in Pittsburgh sports history in our upcoming Friday podcast, and that's one of those conversations that could've lasted all night.

I suggested we take Dave's list and throw it to the Mondesi's House readers for discussion, so please, check it out and add as you feel necessary, because as we both recognized, this is undoubtedly an incomplete list.

The Immaculate Reception

Bill Mazeroski's 1960 Series-ending HR

Mario Lemieux scores the winner with 12 seconds left in Game One of the '92 Cup Finals

Willie Stargell's seventh game HR in the 1979 World Series

Ben Roethlisberger's game-saving tackle of Nick Harper in the 2006 AFC Playoffs

Troy Polamalu's INT return vs. Baltimore in the 2009 AFC Championship

John Stallworth's 4th quarter TD catch in Super Bowl XIV

Mario Lemieux scores on the first shift (and first shot) of his NHL career

Tony Dorsett breaks the all-time NCAA rushing record at Pitt

'The Save' (Frank Pietrangelo vs. Petr Stastny)

Ronnie Francis beats Mike Richter from the blueline in the 1992 Playoffs

Jack Lambert throws Cliff Harris to the ground

Mike Renfro's no-catch/Jackie Smith's drop in Super Bowl XIII

Manny Sanguillen's GW pinch hit in 1979 World Series Game Two

Jerome Lane breaks the backboard (aka "Send it in, Jerome!)

Mario Lemieux's empty-netter vs BOS to send Pens to first Cup Finals in 1991

Mario Lemieux's split-the-defensemen-goal in Game Two of 1991 Finals

Willie Williams' shoe-string tackle of Indy's Lamont Warren on 3-and-1 in the 4th Quarter of the '95/'96 AFC title game

Mario Lemieux scores his fourth goal of the game in OT from his bum in the must-win, second-to-last game of '88 in DC (ironically, it was Caps D Larry Murphy who took out his legs)

The onside kick in Super Bowl XXX

Rod Woodson forcing an OT fumble @ Houston in the '89 wild card to set up Gary Anderson's 50-yd winner (Cope called it "The Act of Rod")

Dave Parker's two '79 All-Star Game put-outs from right field

Petr Nedved's 4th OT goal vs the Caps

Darius Kasparaitis' OT goal vs the Sabres, 2001 Eastern Conference Semis Game 7

Mean Joe giving that kid his jersey in exchange for a Coke

Rick Tocchet's tying goal with a minute left in the 1993 Patrick Division Finals Game 7 vs. the Islanders

Mario Lemieux's last goal before his first retirement, 1997

Mario Lemieux scores in his first comeback game, 2000

Willie Parker's record-setting TD in Super Bowl XL

James Harrison's bodyslam of a Browns fan in 2005

Max Talbot & Petr Sykora goals in Game 5 of the 2008 Cup

Francisco Cordova/Ricardo Rincon No-Hitter/Mark Smith pinch hit three-run walkoff HR for the 1997 Freak Show Pirates

Mario Lemieux's 5 Goals 5 Ways

Deshea Townsend's pick-six of Tony Romo, 2008, Steelers vs. Cowboys

Jerome Bettis owns Brian Urlacher, 2005, Steelers vs. Bears

Feel free to add whatever was inevitably missed in the comments section or via email and we'll compile a more comprehensive list

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bohica said...

In his short time here, Ronnie Francis was so money it was unbelievable. Still my favorite Penguin to this day.

I was at that no-hitter in 1997. My old man despised the Pirates and still does to this day (because of the money bullshit) but he took me to that game because we had free tickets from my youth baseball team. We left before it ended. Typical of my whole experience with the Buccos.

Real McCoy said...

Great list.

If anybody knows where to find a picture of Bettis running over Urlacher I would be interested.

Anonymous said...

I also was at the no-hitter. I got interviewed by Kurt Angle for Fox 53 news after the game. Haha.

Pancakehead said...

I was at the blowout when Turner Ward crashed through the fence in '98, on my way up the steps. To see a journeyman risk his body like that for a crap team in a crap game was amazing. I haven't left any game, of any sport, since.

Also, the Harvey Haddix 12 perfect innings should be on the list. Way before most of our time, but I'm sure most of our dad's remember listening to that game.

jmarinara said...

How can this have nothing from Roberto Clemente on it? Good grief.

Three Roberto Moments for consideration:

1. His 3,000th hit
2. His Game 7 home run in the 71 series
3. His over the roof home run in the Detroit All-Star game

This list is a joke without at least one of those on the it.

Ryan said...

Two recent ones:
The ridiculous pick Troy Polamalu had in the San Diego game. Might have been the most athletic and amazing play I've ever seen in person.

Sidney Crosby's picturesque ending to the Winter Classic in the shootout.

bohica said...

If I may add on, I really thought the Pens were going to win the Cup once Sykora scored that goal.

Koz said...

If there is ANY doubt about the greatest athlete in Pittsburgh history, just look at who appears most on this list.

Unknown said...

I know it was only a regular season game and didn't count for much, but I think Levance Fields step-back 3 to beat Duke last year has to at least rank up there in Pitt hoops history.

Jess Shoe said...

First of all, I think the immaculate reception was great...but i disagree it was the greatest play in our history.

correct me if i'm wrong, but didn't the dolphins win the super bowl that year?

maz's home run = ring
mario's goal = ring
pop's home run = ring
ben's tackle = ring

the immaculate reception belongs 5th behind those four

Also, Justin Marianna makes a great point. I would put roberto's 3000 hit easily in the top 10...its a travesty not to have him on this list...even his cannon from right field to third base is missing?..I know the buccos dont deserve recent love, but dont leave off the biggest sports icon in our city's history.

Unknown said...

What about Darrell Revis' punt return against WVU?

SantoGold said...

Max Talbot's Game 5 goal against the Red Wings last Spring has to be mentioned.

Also, look closely at the upper right hand corner of the Tony Dorsett cover of Sports Illustrated: What's Cornelius from Planet of the Apes doing there on the Pitt sideline?

Anonymous said...

Great list, but I think I would add the Randle El-to-Hines TD Pass in Super Bowl XL as well.


Unknown said...

Lloyd McClendon steals first base. The enduring memory of the PNC Park Pirates

Unknown said...

You forgot one: McCaskey calling (wrong) the coin toss that gave the Steelers the #1 pick in 1969.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

The Great One (the Original) gets no love?

I agree about Fields' do or die 3 pointer to beat Duke in MSG. And was there for Kinder's PR against WVU, which I'll never forget, but like Don said, they could have gone on all night so there are going to be omissions.

Also, I know it was regular season,but Santonio's 65 yard GW TD Catch in OT to end the Bengals' playoff hopes, with one shoulder pad hanging out, was also an amazing moment.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

i said Kinder, i meant Revis, Kinder pancaked 2 'Eers to free him, i am an idiot.

Stein said...

What about Lynn Swann's acrobatic catches in Super Bowl X, what about Roberto Clemente's HR in Game 7 of the 1971 World Series, what about Jagr's sweet goal in game 1 of the 1992 SCF? And what about Malkin's highlight reel goal against the devils in 2006? Just some suggestions.

Anonymous said...

What about the goal Jagr scored in Game One of the SCF vs Chicago??? Practically walked around the entire defense!!!

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