In the Bay Area we're spoiled with a rich and varied sports history. We've been able to witness transformational moments of sports history such as the black power salute in the 1962 Olympics, to an early glimpse of Tiger Woods' competitive fire at Stanford in 1995, and Bill Walsh's genius in the late 1970's. It's always great fun to reminisce about past and recent champions: Oakland A's, Raiders, Niners, Giants and Stanford Women's basketball. Also, consider the number of Olympians from the London Games who have Bay Area ties--71 out of the 530 members of team USA. Here's a list with more great titles about local area teams both past and present.
For 6 years, the 49ers enjoyed an embarrassment of riches with quarterbacks. First, Joe Montana, then Steve Young led the team successfully. Their battles both public and private to be the starter were great theatre and fueled much sports talk discussion. Even if you sided on Team Steve instead of Team Joe, the sight of Montana in a K.C. Chief’s jersey in 1993 was disconcerting and a little sad.
One of the most polarizing figures in the Bay Area sports arena is Al Davis. Davis was a maverick and a pioneer whose Hall of Fame career included stints as head coach, general manager, league commissioner and controlling partner of the Oakland Raiders franchise.
In this definitive biography, we learn again how Mays and other black players had to endure racism in those early years of desegregated baseball. We get a better sense of why he was reluctant to publicy plunge into the civil rights movement. Due to Mays' unique combination of modesty and caution he was later attacked by Jackie Robinson for not being more outspoken.
I listen to this author on the radio. He's put together an entertaining book of original sports and entertainment lists. Lists include "10 Most Colorful A's of All-Time" and "Gone-But-Not-Forgotten Bay Area Teams". A number of local stars contributed lists, including Orlando Cepeda, Brent Jones, Gary Radnich, Drew Remeda, Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead, and more.
The Greatest Game Ever Pitched is a dual biography of Warren Spahn and Juan Marichal. It leads up to the incredible summer night in 1963 where Spahn and Marichal face-off in one of the most unforgettable games in baseball history. Taking the mound at San Francisco s Candlestick Park that summer night in 1963 were 42-year-old Warren Spahn and 25-year-old Juan Marichal. The former is an embodiment of an ageless wonder whose career firmly ensconsed him in the record books and the latter is a whirling wunderkind making his own case for immortality. Both ended up with plaques in baseball's Hall of Fame.