News Home Page
The Top 10: You Make the Call
By reviewing 80 calls of great sports events, we narrowed the list to the following as the 10 best of all time. Vote for the your favorite sports call.
"The Giants win the pennant!"
Russ Hodges, Giants radio, 1951 National League playoff.
Stunned and elated after Bobby Thomson's home run in the bottom of the ninth inning beat the crosstown Brooklyn Dodgers for the National League pennant, Hodges yelled, "The Giants win the pennant!" six times, perhaps the most famous words in sportscasting history.
"Havlicek stole the ball!"
Johnny Most, Celtics radio, 1965 Eastern Division finals.
The best basketball announcer ever called many great moments, but none is more famous than his description of John Havlicek's saving Game 7 of the playoffs against the 76ers with five seconds to go, sending the Boston Celtics to the NBA finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, and their seventh straight championship.
"Orr in front of the goal . . . shoots . . . goes down . . . he scores!"
Dan Kelly, CBS, 1970 Stanley Cup final.
The legendary hockey announcer was already calling a remarkably exciting game when Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins captured the Cup early in overtime of Game 4 by speeding right to the left in front of the goal, diving to avoid a St. Louis Blues defender and flicking in the puck in one spectacular motion. A play and call imitated by kids and announcers ever since.
"It's a fraud, Frank!"
Erich Segal with Jim McKay, ABC, 1972 Olympics.
As U.S. marathoner Frank Shorter was just a quarter-mile from the gold medal, an imposter entered the stadium ahead of him. Segal and McKay went crazy, calling the imposter a bum on the air and then Segal yelled to Shorter, "It's a fraud, Frank!"
"They're all gone."
Jim McKay, ABC, 1972 Olympics.
When Arab commandos killed two Isreali team members and kidnapped nine others, McKay summed up the 16-hour hostage ordeal with the news of the team members' fate with a very eloquent and somber, "They're gone, they're all gone."
"Like a tremendous machine."
Chick Anderson, CBS, 1973 Belmont Stakes.
As Secretariat pulled away from the field in the backstretch of the final race to win the Triple Crown, the announcer's call, "He is moving like a tremendous machine!blowing away the field in the Belmont Stakes" was perfect poetry to the horse's explosive and historic run that ended with a 25-length victory.
"There's a new home run champion of all time."
Milo Hamilton, Braves radio, 1974.
The world waited and watched as Hank Aaron prepared to surpass Babe Ruth's home run record of 714. And when the moment finally arrived, ever-excitable announcer Hamilton gave the moment its appropriate exclamation by saying, "There's a new home run champion of all time, and it's Henry Aaron!"
"Down goes Frazier!"
Howard Cosell, HBO, 1974.
The match between George Foreman and title holder Joe Frazier in Jamaica is now overshadowed by the energy of Cosell's play-by-play in which Foreman knocked out Frazier in the second round, and Cosell yelled some of the most famous words in sports broadcasting: "Down goes Frazier! "Down goes Frazier! "Down goes Frazier!"
"Do you believe in miracles?"
Al Michaels, ABC, 1980 Olympics.
Often called the greatest upset in sports history, the U.S. hockey team's improbably victory in the semifinals against the powerhouse Soviets was accentuated by Michael's counting down the final seconds and asking a stunned worldwide audience, "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!"
"Oh my God!"
Joe Starkey, Cal radio, Cal vs. Stanford, 1982.
After Stanford grabbed the lead with a John Elway-led score with four seconds left, the Golden Bears took the ensuing kickoff and made five laterals to avoid being downed. Kevin Moen ran the final 25 yards around, through and over the 144-member Stanford band, which had spilled onto the field thinking the game was over. Starkey's description of the play ended with: "Oh my God! The most amazing, sensational, traumatic, heart-rending, exciting, thrilling finish in the history of college football."
Calling It as They Saw It