5 Fourth of July Sports Moments

Though only a few sports are in full swing in July, all sorts of marvelous, bizarre and messed up sports moments have occurred on America's Independence Day.

Here are five of them.

5. Dave Righetti's No-No Facing the hated Boston Red Sox on July 4, 1983, the Yankees' southpaw baffled New York's bitterest rival with filth in a 4-0 conquest at Yankee Stadium. It was the only no-hitter thrown by the 16-year vet and current San Francisco Giants pitching coach.

4. The best women's tennis player in history proves it When Martina Navratilova dominated Steffi Graf in straight sets at Wimbledon on July 4, 1987, the Czech-American cemented her legacy at the top women's tennis player of all-time.

3. Let's play 19 It started on July 4, 1985. Nineteen innings and six-plus hours later, it was over on July 5, 1985. Instead of resuming the Atlanta Braves-New York Mets game at a decent hour on the 5th, Atlanta Fulton County Stadium officials decided to let them play on (the Mets won the 16-13 slugfest) and even went ahead with its planned fireworks display...at 4 a.m. Rad.

2. "The Fight of the Century" sparks race riots When undefeated heavyweight champion Jim Jeffries ditched his retirement plans, his sole purpose was to get a piece of Jack Johnson. On July 4, 1910, a crowd of 20,000 packed downtown Reno, Nevada and witnessed the aging champion getting knocked down twice by the African-American prizefighter, who was declared the winner after the bout was halted in the 15th round. Afterwards, the nation went into a race-riot frenzy.

1. A dying superstar says "farewell" On Independence Day 1939 during a shindig called "Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day," the terminally ill superstar and future Hall of Famer addressed a packed Yankee Stadium in what has become one of the most famous sports speeches ever. Gehrig would succumb from multiple sclerosis at the age of 41 on June 2, 1941.

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Steve Jansen is a contributing writer for the Houston Press.
Contact: Steve Jansen