The U.S. Open’s Last Day at Forest Hills
Sept. 12, 1977
Jimmy Connors hopped onto the old grass courts in front of the clubhouse and with a retinue that included his mother, Gloria, and his guru, Pancho Segura, he walked quickly toward Forest Hills Stadium, where the flags were snapping in the chilly wind blowing out of the sunny blue sky. People were taking his picture and whispering, “There he is,” and they swarmed around him until he entered the marquee. And on the last day of the last United States Open at Forest Hills, a tennis player had walked down from the clubhouse to the stadium for the last time.
Title Retained After Ugly End to the ‘Thrilla in Manila’
Oct. 2, 1975
Frazier was shaken now, wobbling on his stumpy legs, but his heart kept him going. But then Ali’s straight right hand sent Frazier stumbling backward to the center of the ring, but somehow the former champion kept his feet. His mouthpiece gone, Frazier kept spitting blood as he resumed his assault moments before the bell.
In the 14th round Frazier hopped out quickly but Ali shook him with a hard right, then jolted him with several left-right combinations before the bell and Frazier stumbled to his corner.
Moments later, Futch waved his surrender to the referee. On the stool in his corner, Frazier appeared exhausted. He didn’t protest.
The Food on a Table at the Execution
November 22, 1980
Near the door of George Steinbrenner’s office in Yankee Stadium yesterday, there were two trays of bite-sized roast beef, turkey and ham sandwiches, each with a toothpick in it. As soon as 14 invited newsmen entered his office for the execution of Dick Howser as manager and the transfer of Gene Michael from general manager to dugout manager, Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ principal owner looked around.
“Anybody want any sandwiches?” he asked. “We’ve got a lot of sandwiches here.” Gene Michael had piled four little roast beef sandwiches on a small plastic plate and he had a cup of coffee. But as he sat against the far wall, under a huge Yankee top-hat insignia and several enlarged photos of memorable Yankee Stadium moments, he was the only one eating when Dick Howser suddenly appeared and walked quickly to a chair in front of the table with the sandwiches.
For the Giants, Images of Smoke and Lessons of Spirit
Sept. 17, 2001
From outside Giants Stadium, you could look across the Meadowlands and see smoke still rising slowly into a baby blue sky from the ashes of what had been the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The smoke that had resulted in the “Giants Game Postponed” sign near the tollbooths to the empty parking lots. The smoke that had the American flag, the yellow New Jersey state flag and the black POW-MIA flag flying at half-staff in the breeze above the north side of the empty stadium.
At high noon, an hour before the Giants were to have played the Green Bay Packers in their home opener yesterday, the only movement was among the dozens of volunteers in the west parking lot and inside the team’s practice bubble.
Why Was George Blubbering on TV?
Oct. 23, 1998
Who was that silver-haired man in the white turtleneck and blue blazer blubbering over the World Series trophy on television Wednesday night?
It couldn’t possibly have been George Steinbrenner, not grumpy George, not the Bronx bully. It had to be somebody else, maybe the actor on ‘’Seinfeld’‘ who played the Yankees’ principal owner.
Then again, it had to be the genuine George because the genuine George’s ego would not have allowed anybody else, certainly not an actor, to accept the World Series trophy, much less blubber.
A Fastball, a Swing and Forever
Oct. 1, 2001
Half a century ago, it never occurred to them to feel for each other. In those years when Leo Durocher and Charlie Dressen feuded as the managers, when Sal Maglie was knocking down Roy Campanella and Carl Furillo, the Giants and the Dodgers were not only raging rivals, they simply did not like each other.
“I never spoke to any of the Dodgers,” Thomson once said, “except for an occasional hello to Gil Hodges.”
But that was then and this is now. Their respect, if not fondness, for each other is evident when Thomson and Branca are signing baseballs at a memorabilia show or a corporate function. Just look at the sweet spot between one of those baseball’s seams where there is just enough room for two signatures, one above the other.
Jones: ‘This Guy Died in Front of My Hands’
Dec. 9, 2001
For the rest of his life, George Jones, a 33-year-old unbeaten left-handed light heavyweight out of Paterson, N.J., will wear the memory of what happened after his 10th-round knockout of Beethavean Scottland on the deck of the Intrepid Museum on June 26. The Hyattsville, Md., boxer known as B never regained consciousness. Six days later, he died of a subdural hematoma.
“This guy died,” Jones said, staring at the floor as if it had been the canvas in that ring, “in front of my hands.”
This Thanksgiving, There’s Plenty to Be Grateful for in Sports
Nov. 25, 2015 (The final edition of Anderson’s traditional Thanksgiving Day column)
The Mets physicians who advised General Manager Sandy Alderson to cancel a July 29 trade with the Milwaukee Brewers for center fielder Carlos Gomez (who went to the Houston Astros), prompting instead the arrival of outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, whose slugging spurred the Mets’ late-season ascent under Manager Terry Collins to the National League East title and the World Series.
Novak Djokovic, who won three of the four men’s Grand Slam tennis titles, as well as the ATP World Tour Finals for the fifth time.
The Yankees, who honored their longtime pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre with a plaque in Monument Park at the Stadium.
Sydney Seau, who allowed The New York Times to print the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech that she had prepared for her late father, Junior Seau; she was allowed only an interview onstage during the ceremony in Canton, Ohio. “The reason why this honor is so hard to accept,” she wrote in part, “is because we had always envisioned him still being here to accept it.”