View Full Version : 10 Perfect Individual Sports Performances

07-18-2006, 11:59 AM
This is from Fox Sports there is a link below.
These 10 athletes were perfect
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Kevin Hench / FOXSports.com
Posted: 23 hours ago

On July 18, 1976 in Montreal, 14-year-old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci did something that had never been done in the Olympic history of her sport.

She was perfect.
When she stuck her dismount after a flawless performance on the uneven bars, Nadia received a perfect 10, the first ever such score awarded in the Olympics. She enjoyed it so much that she delivered six more perfect 10s in what became Nadia's Games.

On the 30th anniversary of Nadia's first Olympic 10.0, here are the top 10 perfect performances in sports history.

10. Scott Wedman

Scott Wedman could do no wrong against the Lakers in Game 1 of the 1985 NBA Finals. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via / Getty Images)

Elgin Baylor went off for 61 in 1962. Michael Jordan hit six 3-pointers and broke Baylor's record for points in a half with 35 against the Trailblazers in '92. Dwyane Wade scored 36 points on 18 field goal attempts in the Heat's title-clinching Game 6 victory last month. But none of them was perfect. That distinction belongs to Scott Wedman, who was perfect in Game 1 of the 1985 NBA Finals.

Wedman came off the bench to bury all 11 of his shots, including four 3-pointers, as the Celtics were nearly perfect, crushing the Lakers 148-114 in the Memorial Day Massacre. Perfection doesn't last, of course, and the Lakers won four of the next five games to take the title. But Wedman's finals records for field goal attempts without a miss and 3-pointers without a miss still stand.

9. Eric Heiden
While the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid will always belong to the U.S. hockey team, Herb Brooks' boys weren't quite perfect. There was, after all, that opening tie against the Swedes. But another college kid from the Midwest was perfect.

Eric Heiden entered five speed-skating events at ludicrously differing distances and won them all, setting Olympic records in each event. He won the 500-meter sprint and 5,000-meter grind on consecutive days. He capped his run with a world record in the 10,000 meters the day after the U.S. beat the Soviets. Heiden's five golds were more than all but two countries, the Soviet Union and East Germany.

8. Fabio Grosso
Italian defender Fabio Grosso didn't just produce a perfect play or a perfect match in the 2006 World Cup. He had a perfect month. Consider: He was a rock-solid outside back on a defense that reached the final without allowing a goal to the opposition. (The only goal the Azzurri gave up before the title game was an own-goal against the U.S.)

In the round of 16, Grosso drew the penalty in the final minute that led to the only goal of the match as the Italians advanced despite playing down a man against Australia. In the semis against host Germany, Grosso broke a scoreless tie in the 119th minute with a spectacular curling shot just inside the post to lift Italy into the final. In the title game against France, Grosso buried the clinching PK, capping his perfect month by delivering the Cup for his country. Perfetto!

7. Sandy Koufax

Sandy Koufax had a number of no-hitters, but none were better than on Sept. 9, 1965. (Louis Requena/MLB Photos / Getty Images)

Harvey Haddix was perfect longer. Don Larsen was perfect on a bigger stage. Randy Johnson was perfect older. But no one was as dominant in his perfect game as Sandy Koufax on Sept. 9, 1965.

Not only did Koufax retire all 27 Cubs he faced including a 3-4-5 of Billy Williams, Ron Santo and Ernie Banks but fewer than half the batters he faced even put the ball in play. Koufax's 14 strikeouts remains the all-time high for a perfect game. After three slightly blemished no-hitters, Koufax achieved perfection with No. 4. And talk about hard-luck losers. Cubs starter Bob Hendley was almost perfect, allowing one hit and one walk, taking the 1-0 loss on an unearned run in the fifth.

6. Secretariat
On June 9, 1973 Big Red went to the gate at the Belmont Stakes a 1-to-10 favorite. He had already won the Kentucky Derby, in a record 1:59.4 that still stands, and Preakness Stakes. But the previous seven horses to win the Derby and the Preakness had faded in the mile-and-a-half Belmont and failed to win the Triple Crown. It seemed Secretariat was destined to either bitterly disappoint the bettors or merely meet his outsized expectations.

Shocking the world seemed out of the question. But with his unfathomable 31-length victory, Secretariat achieved athletic perfection. The classic photo from this race shows Big Red barreling toward the finish line with his competitors looking like mere specks on the horizon in the distance. He broke the Belmont record by 2.6 seconds, the equivalent of 13 lengths.

Even jockey Ron Turcotte had to turn his head to take in the ridiculous gap his horse had opened. Like his Derby record, Secretariat's 2:24 mark at the Belmont has yet to be broken. In the 33 years since, no horse has come within two seconds of the record, which was set in the most perfect race ever run.

5. Mark Spitz
Seven events. Seven gold medals. Seven world records. At an Olympics overshadowed by tragic human failings, Mark Spitz achieved athletic perfection in 1972. Every time he got wet, he set a record. Spitz won four individual golds 100 and 200 free and 100 and 200 fly and three relay golds. He won gold in the 4-x-200 relay just one hour after winning the 100-meter butterfly. And he did it all while pulling his perfect '70s 'stache through the pool. I'm sure the drag coefficient of his mustache cost him a couple hundredths of a second here and there.

4. Christian Laettner
In the game that supplanted the North Carolina State-Maryland 1974 ACC final as the greatest college basketball game ever played, Christian Laettner was perfect. He went 10-for-10 from the floor (including a three), 10-for-10 from the line and made the buzzer-beating game-winner as Duke defeated Kentucky in overtime to win the 1992 East Regional final.

Scoring 31 points on 10 field goal attempts is something you might expect to see in November in a blowout against a non-conference patsy, but he did it on the big stage in the big dance, keeping the Blue Devils alive on their way to a second straight title. (Bill Walton came within a botched chippy of making the list, but 21-for-22 ain't perfect. Sorry.)

3. Rocky Marciano
The Brockton Blockbuster fought 49 professional fights and won them all, knocking out 43 of his opponents. But instead of being the only perfect champion, Marciano may well have been tagged with a loss in his second fight against Ezzard Charles in 1954 if not for the heroic efforts of his cut man, Freddy Brown.

In the sixth round, Charles split Marciano's nose lengthwise down the middle, leaving the champ looking "like he had two noses," according to Brown. The Hall of Fame cut man found a way to stitch the gruesome injury some say by using a banned iron-based paste called Monsel and Marciano knocked out Charles in the eighth round.

Marciano won the heavyweight title by coming off the canvas to knock out Jersey Joe Walcott in 1952 and went out on top in similar fashion in 1955. In his final fight, Marciano weathered an early knockdown by Archie Moore and won by knockout in the ninth to preserve his perfect record.

2. Don Larsen
There have been 17 perfect games pitched in big-league history, but only one by a guy who once went 3-21 in a full season. That's right, two years after posting a .125 winning percentage in Baltimore, Don Larsen found himself on the mound for Game 5 of the 1956 World Series. He'd already gotten hammered by the Dodgers in Game 2; and a quality start seemed doubtful, never mind a shutout, a no-hitter or a perfecto. But when Larsen struck out Dale Mitchell to end it, he'd retired all 27 men he'd faced; and the Yankees led the series three games to two on their way to the title.

1. Nadia Comaneci
Think about it. Hundreds of male and female Olympic gymnasts had performed thousands of routines on the bars, beams and rings, etc., beginning for the men in Athens in 1896 and for the women in Amsterdam in 1928. But not once had a gymnast delivered a perfect score. Not Viktor Chukarin. Not Larisa Latynina. Not Olga Korbut.

Enter Nadia, the preternatural pixie. She stunned Montreal and the gymnastics world with four perfect performances on the uneven bars and three more on the balance beam. Nadia doing back flips on the four-inch beam with nary a wobble would become the defining image of the '76 Games and women's gymnastics. (Soviet gymnast Nelli Kim's two perfect 10s that followed Comaneci's in Montreal are largely forgotten.)

Nadia was first. Nadia was best. Nadia was perfect. Happy anniversary, Nadia.


07-19-2006, 04:25 PM
I seriously don't get how they can put Fabio Grosso in there and not take into account Maradona in 1986. The guy wore the number 10 jersey for christ sake! how could they not connect the dots!??

07-19-2006, 06:37 PM
I seriously don't get how they can put Fabio Grosso in there and not take into account Maradona in 1986. The guy wore the number 10 jersey for christ sake! how could they not connect the dots!??

There are 100's of better perfomances than Grosso's, some even in this world cup...

07-19-2006, 10:01 PM
What about Wilt's 100? It's not perfect, but shit it should always break any list that has to do with indvidual sport performenaces.

07-20-2006, 04:22 PM
That list is really funny.... maybe his idea was to mention "underdogs" or "one-hit wonders" that were... well... really good.
Fabio Grosso... yes... we will probably not hear anymore from him. Who was it?

07-20-2006, 10:51 PM
wattabout tds final g ame against tthe nets in the finals...that was perfect as it can be