710 Classic Picks: Tom Wassell has baseball, football and hoops memories from the way-back machine
With the sports world at a standstill, we’re checking in with the cast of characters from 710 ESPN Seattle and 710Sports.com to find out what they’ve been watching or reading to get their sports fix, or what sports memories they have that other fans in the Seattle area (and beyond) might connect with.
Here’s what Tom Wassell, co-host of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy, has picked out.
It might be the first baseball game I ever sat down and watched, but I’m not sure. I had no idea about curses at the time, all I knew was that it was an insane game that came down to the last strike before Dave Henderson completely changed the fortunes of the Red Sox in the bottom of the ninth. Al Michaels doing play-by-play for ABC just adds to the legend of this game.
I was still living in Bloomington, Ind., at the time, and nobody expected much from this pesky IU squad heading into the tournament. After they knocked off top-seeded Duke in this Sweet 16 matchup, the entire town was drunk for the next week and a half. All I remember is a pigpile on the floor with my friends on top of me!
In 2011, the soon-to-be champion Giants were 7-7 going into a game against the Jets on Christmas Eve. Backed up at their own goal line, things looked bleak until Victor Cruz went for 99 to the house. From that moment on, everything went NY’s way en route to its fourth Super Bowl Championship. I could watch this all day.
8 years ago today, Victor Cruz went 99 yards and sparked a Super Bowl run.
— Giants Videos (@SNYGiants) December 24, 2019
If I don’t bring this up, nobody will ever know about it. In the 90s, the Red Sox won a lot of games with rag-tag players who you may have heard about, or maybe not. One such player was Troy O’Leary, who in a wild back and forth affair at Jacobs Field came up huge with a grand slam and a decisive three-run homer to cap off a comeback from down 2-0 against a juggernaut Cleveland team.
When you’re a kid, sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason to the things you like and dislike. I sat there on the couch watching this game with my father, and as I saw Kent Hrbek put his hands in the air after the grand slam, he became my favorite player. You should see the amount of Twins/Hrbek memorabilia I have at my parents’ house. For a little while there, I was obsessed with the Twins and they rewarded my dedication with another championship in 1991.
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• Movie time and Duke fandom with Dave Wyman
• Brandon Gustafson on Wilson vs. Mahomes
• Jessamyn on Shaq and ‘Remember the Titans’
• Paul Gallant on Clowney’s insane HS highlights
• Groz on ‘Slap Shot,’ 1986 Masters, books and more
• Jim Moore will set you straight on WWE wrestling
• Danny O’Neil on Ken Griffey Jr. and Bobby Knight
• Brent Stecker on the 1996 Sonics and “Little Big League”